Chicano Batman, Thalia Hall, Chicago

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Chicano Batman’s brings a holistic experience to Thalia Hall.

The crowd erupted once frontman/multi-instrumentalist Bardo Martinez played the first notes on his keyboard.

I don’t have a long history with Chicano Batman.  I have heard the name around different places and have heard a few songs as they streamed across my path. But when I was given the chance to see them up close and personal, through my camera I was excited.  I dug through live footage on youtube, listened to their discography multiple times and was more eager and excited as the day drew near.

Fast forward to me waiting in the pit with my camera and some other photographers that I have made friends with over time.  The band filled the stage one by one and Bardo took his place last.  They kicked off the night with their currently most played on Spotify ‘Black Lipstick’.  Martinez’s vocals are infectious.  It’s inviting and draws you in and almost makes you feel like you are in a dream state.  To say it was a pleasure to be in their presence is an understatement.

Bardo isn’t the only allure to Chicano Batman.   Eduardo Arenas crafted some pretty funky and wicked bass lines to carry through the songs.

I was blown away by his exposed his sound was and how integral it felt to the music.  Not only does he deliver when it comes to the bass, but he also sang and played guitar on and off throughout the night.  Gabriel Villa holds down the beat on drums.

The drums live weren’t standing out in the mix, but you could see how hard he was working to keep up with the fast paced songs.  Lastly is Carlos Arévalo on guitar.  His stage presence left me wanting a little, but his talents shined through in his intricate playing.  The band as a whole killed it.  At some points I felt like I was teleported back to a 70’s psychedelic show.  The use of the wah was perfect creating awesome swells that helped build all over the place.  it truly felt like the band could sway my emotions from song to song between happy, sad, and enthralled.  They kept a great pace as well, never letting the energy get too low.

The band also drew in their crowd multiple times calling out to Chicago and the fans reacted with cheers and arms raised high.  Bardo did an excellent job at keeping the crowd engaged.  He made great use of the stage including some jumping around off of the backup singers riser.  Every chance I got to turn around and look at the crowd was met with more and more involved onlookers.  Dancing ensued, arms flailed, and people had a great time singing along.

Chicano Batman still has plenty of dates on their current tour.  I would highly recommend getting out to see them!  You can listen to their setlist here on Spotify and a link to their site here to keep up with their tour.


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