LOS AMIGOS INVISIBLES at the Opera House, February 26. Tickets: $20. Attendance: 300. Rating: NNNN Rating: NNNN
Man, I wish I spoke spanish, cuz after watching Venezuela's Los Amigos Invisibles tear the roof off the Opera House last Saturday night, it's pretty much official that Latinos have more fun than the rest of us.
And when a band takes the stage and immediately addresses the crowd en español, you know it's going to be one hell of a fiesta. For the entirety of the band's nearly two-hour set it was easy to forget this was Toronto and not some club in Latin American.
And while the crowd at the Opera House felt a little sparse, that just meant there was more room for the rest of us to dance.
Tunes like Playa Azul and Esto Es Lo Que Hay (taken from last year's Masters at Work-produced Venezuelan Zinga Son, Vol. 1 LP) bump with considerable thump on the home stereo, but this is music that works best in a live environment.
Dressed in matching shirts and ties, the six-piece band tore effortlessly through a set that would have left even an amped-up Jamiroquai gasping for air. It was a workout for sure, but after a few cervezas, even a gringo like me could cut loose and kick it.
There was some variety, too. Instead of riding their disco/house four-on-the-floor riddims for two hours, the crew flexed some musical muscle at the set's midpoint, slowed things down and delivered some slinky salsa. This, of course, was greeted with more shouting and some pretty impressive dance moves from the audience.
Cleary, these guys didn't just stumble into this thing after the late-90s Ricky Martin/Enrique boom. At one point, somebody even tossed a Venezuelan flag onstage.
Though cool-guy singer Julio Briceño kept the stage banter to a minimum, a well-timed costume change (into a fedora, no less) ensured at least a few hearts were set aflutter.
Or maybe he'd simply sweated through his first outfit. I guess two encores will do that to a guy. Loco, man.