Los Lobos played their final XRT show of a two-night stint Wednesday night in Downer’s Grove.
Where do you begin with such an immense night of world-class music? From the sophisticated venue of the Tivoli Theatre, (which had nearly every single one of it’s 1,012 seats filled), to the talent on stage itself, it was a one-of-a-kind live music experience.
Beverages were flowing and the popcorn was aplenty as the excited audience took their seats inside the Tivoli. Though those under the age of 30 were few and far between in the crowd, that did not stop the enthusiastic audience from having the time of their lives.
Speaking of youth, opening act Ryley Walker, may have been one of the youngest in the house. At the age of 27, the Chicago-based singer/songwriter has immense talent for both technical skill and vocal talent. As 7:30 p.m. rolled around, and Walker took the stage, he captivated the crowd’s attention, stating “Live music. It’s a s$*& business, but baby it’s our business!”
His set up, a modest four-piece. Ryley and his acoustic and/or electric guitar, joined by a second guitarist, a bass player, and a drummer. His set consisted of four immensely immersive and and transcendent songs, that well surpassed 5 minutes each. He started with the vocally captivating track, “The Roundabout,” which got the audience whistling and clapping in their seats.
(Photo: Alex Restrepo)
The following three tracks featured his drummer playing a gong, unpredictable tempo switches, and surprising genre changes all within a single song. Songs were musically built up, adding layer upon layer, getting the entire crowd nodding their heads to the intense percussion and guitar jams they were experiencing. The swooping sound of Ryley Walker and his band left he audience in amazement, and that was just the beginning of the night.
As the lights went back up, people passed the time slow dancing in the isles, getting more drinks, or just simply chatting with fellow Los Lobos fans. But as soon as XRT’s Marty Lennartz hit the stage to introduce the L.A. natives they all came to see, cheers erupted.
(Photo: Alex Restrepo)
The group, (minus lead singer David Hidalgo), took the stage and opened with “Why Do You Do.” Cheers, whistles, and fists in the air exploded from the crowd. César Rosas, planted stage right, took the lead with the vocals. Enrique “Bugs” Gonzalez was seated at his drum kit, all smiles. Keyboardist and sax-master Steve Berlin stood modestly on stage left, while bassist Conrad Lozano stood closest to what could be called center stage.
Read about the rest of the show, on WXRT's site here.