Jarabe de Palo at The Observatory in Santa Ana
Written by Ángel Aguilar
Published on October 4, 2012
As part of their plan to establish a more constant relationship with their American fans, Spanish band, Jarabe De Palo played their second show in the L.A. area in front of an enthusiastic crowd at Santa Ana’s The Observatory.
Opening the festivities were Orange County’s own, Signa, who got the crowd going with healthy dose of alternative guitar rock. Following was Bang Data, a Latin alternative Hip Hop/rock outfit from the Bay Area that got the fans dancing with a great mix of bass lines that went from cumbia to rock & roll.
As the house lights were dimmed, the roar of the crowd was deafening as Jarabe De Palo appeared on stage. It didn’t take long for Pau Donés, the band’s lead singer, to take charge of the crowd. With his guitar over his shoulder and his charisma on high, Donés led the band through classic songs and new Jarabe de Palo material.
The band presented a new formula that added the sax and clarinet to their traditional guitar, bass and drums setup. The addition masterfully took the music to a different dimension. Songs like “En Lo Puro No Hay Futuro” had a heavier guitar rhythm, giving the 2001 release a harder edge. “Depende” started off with Pau and his acoustic guitar, but as the band came on the single was transformed into a groovy reggae version that got fans excited.
Throughout the performance, Jarabe De Palo effortlessly graduated from slow-tempo songs to jazzy and rock tracks. The songs from the new album were well received by the fans, but more familiar songs like “Romeo Y Julieta”, “Bonito” and especially “La Flaca” gave them a good dose of classic Jarabe De Palo.
Although the band has become a household name in Mexico, most of Latin America and some parts of Europe, the U.S. had been a place they only visited on special occasions. And when they did play the U.S., they visited major American cities like Los Angeles or New York. But after Tuesday night’s performance and the reaction of the fans, it is clear that Jarabe de Palo is a pivotal part of the Spanish-sung rock landscape in the United States. We anxiously await their return.