La Llegadora and Grupo Poderozzo, La Casa del Mariachi, 6/5/12

La Llegadora and Grupo Poderozzo La Casa del Mariachi Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Arizona's banda scene really knows how to party. Decked-out dudes and chicas filled the music hall side of La Casa Del Mariachi last night and danced their asses off. It didn't matter to anyone that it was a school night.

It was a little past 10 p.m. when I got to the restaurant/venue, and by the looks of things, I thought the show had either been canceled or that it was going to be an early night for me after all. Only a handful of people occupied the heavy wooden tables and chairs situated throughout the hall by the time the 15-piece party band, La Llegadora, took the stage. I almost started feeling bad for the guys as they shuffled out, all primped out in chocolate brown coats, purple dress shirts, white pants, and closely cropped hair.

Just then a pack of women filtered in. Then another. Then another. Before long, all of the primo seating areas were full, and partiers were tearing it up.

Banda La Llegadora led the charge, using a variety of whiny wind instruments to re-create a Mexican-looking Star Wars cantina scene. Considering their vast size, the band effectively worked the stage swaying side to side while managing not to whop each other. One man armed the tingy timbales while another pounded away on a large bass drum. The two vocalists were in a playful mood, casually joking about and even checking their cell phones during songs.

The crowd consisted of mostly dolled-up ladies; at one point seemingly outnumbering the guys five-to-one. They nursed fruity drinks at their table in curve-hugging mini-dresses or danced away while tugging on their short skirts. The fellas were equally gussied up in various tucked-in button-down shirts and carefully coiffed hair. They mostly observed the crowd like a pack of hungry wolves, seeking out their prey with greedy eyes.

The opening band ended up playing for just under an hour before the house DJ came back on with some more music. Banda/rock fusion five-piece Grupo Poderozzo Norte took the stage next.

Their smaller scale setup was less imposing than La Llegadora's but they were just as loud and entertaining. They employed a drummer, accordionist, acoustic guitarist, bassist, and vocalist for a much more rock 'n' roll-sounding vibe. Rat-a-tat drum hits rang out in the air while the singer rambled rapidly.

I didn't stick around for closers Banda La Maciza, but the crowd looked like they didn't have any intentions of going home anytime soon.

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Anthony Sandoval
Contact: Anthony Sandoval