I am always on the lookout for interesting shows. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy every show I go to night after night but I always look forward to a show that I feel will mix things up and that’s exactly what Thursday night’s show was for me. I mean, come on, “The World’s First and Only Heavy Metal Mariachi Band”– how was I going to say no to that?
Local group Madness Malaga got the night started off right at 8:30 PM. I was instantly struck by this band. They were instantly fun to watch with every member bringing a clearly different flavor to the stage while coming together to form a very distinct and fun sound. Although at face value, you could just call Madness Malaga’s music Latinx rock, it was so much more than that. Throughout their nearly hour-long set, I caught hints of everything from ska to surf to blues to funk with everything in between being touched at some point or another. What this band is doing is truly unique and innovative and even though most of the crowd stayed seated towards the back of the venue during their set, the music was not lost on a single soul that was inside as they played.
I have bragged before about how amazing the local Twin Cities music scene is and Madness Malaga is proof of that. They are not a straight-up rock or metal band and definitely have a sound all of their own yet they were able to captivate all of the walks of life that were inside of the Turf Club on Thursday night. Even if their music wasn’t for someone in there, everyone rounded out each track with a warm round of applause and some even spent the set dancing their hearts out all the while sporting giant smiles on their faces. Seeing that kind of support for a scene that may not be the hottest scene out there right now just made my heart so warm. Personally, I loved how different Madness Malaga’s sound was from what I typically go see night after night and I truly hope I get another chance to check them out live sooner rather than later.
It didn’t take long for the crowd that had been scattered along the back wall of the venue to move up as soon as the band took the stage and jumped into their set. From a cover of Welcome to the Jungle (Guns N’ Roses) to, my personal favorite from the night “Santeria” (Sublime), Metalachi knew exactly what songs to cover to get the crowd going. Outside of a few solos from the amazing musicians on stage (including a stunning violin solo), the band only played covers. If you know me, I’m not typically one for covers but the fact that this band has turned all of these classic hard rock and metal songs into mariachi styled tracks had me falling for every song and singing along to those tracks that annoy me oh so very much when my friends play them.
Beyond the creativity of the music is the fun that this band has on stage with both the audience and themselves. Sure, I’d be willing to bet that some of their schtick is scripted and doesn’t change from night to night but that didn’t stop them from getting huge laughs out of the audience multiple times throughout the night. Some of their jokes absolutely tip-toed the line of being inappropriate and even a little uncomfortable at times but, like Steel Panther (which is who the joking reminded me of), it is all just an act and if you can look past some of the self-deprecating humor, you will end up laughing so hard that you may just cry a little. From them explaining the five ways to know if you’re Mexican-American to just berating people in the audience all the while keeping giant smiles on their faces, I honestly don’t know if I remember the last time I laughed that hard at a concert.
Thursday night’s show was a good reminder to not take things too seriously. Both bands were clearly having a great time on stage and that was mirrored in the audience. I think sometimes I forget that I am truly living the dream and getting to live the rockstar life night after night and get too focused on what I’m going to write about or fretting about getting good photos if I am doing photos for the night. Thursday night reminded me that it’s okay to just go to a show and have a good time and that’s exactly what I did.