Twenty years ago, when Los Fabulosos Cadillacs made their L.A. debut at the Latin Rock Festival at the Sports Arena, “they were greeted by flying beer and nachos thrown by hard-core Mexican fans who were there to hear legendary blues band El Tri,” according to an L.A. Times account.
Last Friday, at the Gibson Amphitheatre, the Argentine ska-punk-reggae-rockers received a very different reception from a sold-out crowd, most of whose members appeared far too young to remember the Cadillacs’ tumultuous 1989 appearance.
Pogoing, moshing and singing along vehemently with practically every verse, the audience paid exuberant homage to a band that has survived through numerous personnel shifts; creative upheavals; a seven-year hiatus while founding members Vicentico (lead vocalist Gabriel Fernandez Capello) and Senor Flavio (bassist Flavio Cianciarulo) pursued solo projects; and a recent tragedy, the sudden death of percussionist Gerardo Rotblat, of pulmonary edema, at 38.
Performing at the Gibson, this now middle-aged ensemble showed that they have attained a new level of artistic maturity. A touch of gray and a few extra kilos become them. Always urgent (and occasionally frenzied) in their delivery, the Cadillacs now have added a welcome solidity to their collective persona.