The same folks who gave punk rock fans a safe outdoor place to play in the summer, via the successful Warped Tour, have this year launched the Latin rock-themed Watcha Tour, which hopes to give an annual national outlet for both established and rising artists of the Rock en Espanol persuasion.

The same folks who gave punk rock fans a safe outdoor place to play in the summer, via the successful Warped Tour, have this year launched the Latin rock-themed Watcha Tour, which hopes to give an annual national outlet for both established and rising artists of the Rock en Espanol persuasion.

This year’s model, featuring such stars as double-bass hard rockers Molotov, L.A. funk-rock merchants Fishbone and the twisted Cafe Tacuba, ended its two-week, 10-city run through the South and Southwest U.S. at the three-fourths full Greek Theater on sunny Sunday, where singing, dancing and indulging in food and drink was the order of the long day.

The above mentioned groups provided most of the highlights during the 6-hour production, though a revolving stage that kept all of the bands’ 30-minute sets on or near schedule allowed for a total of 12 acts to perform, also including the Chris Perez Band, led by the widower of slain star Selena, as well as the aggressive sounds of Puerto Rican metal act Puya and East L.A. punks Union 13.

Fishbone — which earlier had played an entirely different set at an afternoon benefit for ill Circle Jerks singer Keith Morris at the Whisky — was the post-sunset trigger that finally set off the tired audience, which was composed almost entirely of young Latinos. Bald ‘Bone singer Angelo Moore stirred the crowd’s fire by leaping into the audience and performing 1991′s “Sunless Saturday” while riding over the kids’ upstretched hands, ignoring the guy who threw an entire drink on his head.

Mexico City’s Cafe Tacuba’s unique sound, which combines traditional Mexican songwriting with modern alt-rock flourishes, stood out from much of the less-imaginative music around it. They were the most impressive performers of the day, particularly bassist Quique Rangel, whose screeching upright instrument made a lasting impression.

Headliner Molotov brought the show to a close with a heavy, Led Zep-informed style that included such crowd faves as the reggae-flavored “Chinga tu Madre” and the musical fiesta “Molotov Cocktail Party,” where the drummer and the singer switched places.

Watcha Tour

Greek Theater; 6,162 seats; $45 top

Production

Presented by Nederlander & WARP magazine. Reviewed Aug. 15, 1999.

Cast

Bands: Molotov, Cafe Tacuba, Fishbone, Control Machete, Illya Kuryaki, Puya, Bersuit, Chris Perez Band, others.
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