Review: ‘Maldita Vecindad’

Long considered the best of this decade's Rock en Espanol bands, Mexico City's Maldita Vecindad headlined a solid four-act bill (collectively called Ritmo de Corazon, or Rhythm of the Heart, '98), and delivered an explosive performance that combined the fun of a street carnival, the energy of a political rally and the fulfillment of a great rock concert into one dynamic package.

Long considered the best of this decade’s Rock en Espanol bands, Mexico City’s Maldita Vecindad headlined a solid four-act bill (collectively called Ritmo de Corazon, or Rhythm of the Heart, ’98), and delivered an explosive performance that combined the fun of a street carnival, the energy of a political rally and the fulfillment of a great rock concert into one dynamic package.

The five-piece group (with an additional touring percussionist and keyboard player) played an unflagging and heady blend of rock, ska, Afro-Caribbean, swing, punk, reggae and a host of Latin styles throughout the 75-minute show, one of only three California dates on a tour that focuses on cities in Mexico and Central America.

The songs, many taken from Maldita’s current RCA/BMG album, “Mostros (Monsters),” touched on topics that ranged from an infamous peasant massacre 30 years ago (“2 de Octobre”) to the colorful old-style cabs that used to ply the streets of Mexico City in the ’50s (“El Cocodilo”).

Between tunes, singer Roco (they all prefer just one name) encouraged the young fans to keep alive the spirit of underground Latin music, while horn player Sax kept everyone smiling with his patented knack for playing two saxophones at once.

Maldita Vecindad

Rock en Espanol; Greek Theatre; 6,129 seats; $40 top

Production

Presented by Nederlander. Reviewed Sept. 26, 1998

Cast

Band: Roco, Aldo, Pato, Pacho, Sax.
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