Metalachi at Trees: Codpiece Margaritas and Metallica Covers for The Whole Family
Here was my reaction after 30 seconds of Googling Metalachi: "I have to see this live. It's like my childhood and teenage years got together to blow my whole world asunder."
Metalachi takes the stage at Trees in full costume, their violin player is shirtless, each member of the band is adorned in a sombrero covered in lights. The band's trumpeter, El Cucuy, is dressed in a costume that's best described as a cross between an Oakland Raiders fan, a member of Gwar and Antonio Bandaras in Desperado. At random intervals, he takes a moment to thrust his crotch repeatedly at the audience. It's like Magic Mike, but with better background music.
Kicking off their set with with Ozzy's "Crazy Train" is a good way to immediately ignite the crowd. Various calls for, "Let me hear you Dallas!" only lead to more shouting and applause. Close to my set-up a family of about six was taking in the show and having maybe the best time in the bar. Even the youngest member, with x's on his hand,s was singing along. As the saying goes: The family that Metalachis together, stays together.
The band never lets the energy take a downturn. Every song from "We're not Gonna Take It!" to Dio's "Rainbow In the Dark" is surrounded by never ending shouting and stage banter. The band's banter is often hilarious, only sometimes teetering on cringe worthy. They trade in "borracho belt" humor with aplomb. Nary a moment isn't filled with a call for "chi-chis" and the crowd is addressed as vatos without care of its racial make-up, which makes sense as easily 90% of the crowd is Latino and eating it up.
At one point, the band brings a young lady on stage and uses her as sort of a plot device to introduce the band. Each member pours an ingredient of a margarita into a glass for her, complete with El Cucuy squeezing fresh lime juice into her cup by smashing the limes into his spiked cod piece. The young lady is then called onto to chug the concoction as the crowd cheers her one, and the night is really just starting to kick off.
After taking an extended break, the band returns with a set of Metallica covers that featured a virtuoso performance from violinist Maximilian "Dirty" Sanchez. Eventually, another young lady is brought on stage to engage in some banter with the band, and then told to take a seat as she is serenaded through a rousing cover of "Every Rose Has a Thorn" that made one concertgoer put away his cell phone and actually revive the long held tradition of holding a lighter aflame in the air.
As the band segued into a cover by Mariachi legend Vicente Fernandez, it takes ever bit of control I have to not start dancing. This is the music I first learned my bastardization of rhythm to, I look to my left at Deep Ellum mainstay Bob bouncing along. I give in a bit, and let out a "ha-hahaiii!!!" A sign that it had not just been a good night but a great one.
Local openers Bastardos de Sancho are big fans of the '80s -- their set is filled with winking references to the Karate Kid and Star Wars. The crowd ate it up when they opened their set with a riotous take on the "Imperial March."
It doesn't get praised enough in the media, but Trees has the cleanest sound mix in the region. You hear every note perfectly in that place.