by Abraham Navarro
Hit Los Angeles band Chicano Batman sold out the Arcata Theater Lounge on April 27. The American/Colombian band Divino Nino warmed up the audience. Received with open arms and a few reeling mosh pits buzzing with fervent energy, this show firmly confirmed a living foothold for the growing Latino music scene in Arcata.
Divino Nino were joyous to receive before the main event. They started with the intoxicating song “Quiero” from their 2019 album Foam, which got the crowd swaying to song after song.
Divino Nino, formed by childhood friends from their hometown of Bogota, Colombia, plays surreal psychedelic dream-pop with Spanish lyrics and a unique style perfect to open for Chicano Batman.
When Chicano Batman were ready to perform, the crowd was reeling and ready for the four piece team to rock the night.
Their iconic sound is marked by familiar basslines and funky swaying beats, characteristics of the psychedelic-soul twisting inspirations they derive from.
“Polymetronomic Harmony” from their 2020 album Invisible People was the haymaker that turned the crowd into a swarm of music hungry fiends, flailing every which way in the pit.
The energy out of every note nudged listeners to their feet, electric energy flowing through the audience as lead guitarist Eduardo Arenas’ fingers flew across every fret of his guitar with lightning speed. For some songs, he danced gracefully up and down the neck of his bass, laying out the backbone for the rest of the band to follow up and deliver.
Carlos Arévalo rocked the guitar and held the melody together from his stronghold on stage right. Though he seldom moved from his spot, his presence was felt throughout the entire set.
The music was medicine, but the performance was deliverance. Lead vocalist Bardo Martinez took the entire stage, jumping in the air and dancing like a possessed person writhing to the beat of the music and the rhythm of the roaring crowd.
Not only did Martinez sing, but he took on the keyboard, kept up with his bandmates on the guitar and danced his heart out to the screaming fans in the sold out show.
Not a single fan walked out without the marks of Chicano Batman firmly on their souls.
I prefer a tuba to lay down a funky bass line. I suppose you could play a bass guitar through a sampler to get the proper sound though.