Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Santa Fe & The Fat City Horns (Again!)

A bad picture of a great band.
Last night, my buddy, DJ Chris Cox, took me to see Santa Fe & The Fat City Horns at the Palms. This band is made up of a 6-piece horn section, 2 keyboardists, a drummer, a percussionist, a bassist, 3 vocalists, and bandleader/guitarist/singer Jerry Lopez, all crammed onto the tiny stage of the casino lounge. Talk about musical intimacy.

I've seen them before and have written previously about how wonderful their show was when it was a free-admission spectacle at the Tropicana. In their new digs at the Palms, they charge a nominal $7 cover (or $15 for a VIP booth), but this show is well worth it.

Here's my original description of their music (it still fits):
Santa Fe & The Fat City Horns play a range of musical styles from latin jazz to funk, including some nicely-arranged covers of such hits as The Beatles' "Come Together" and Stevie Wonder's "Livin' For The City." And their original material fits right in with the covers.
Though just about every number was phenomenal last night, my personal favorite was their version of "Come Together" by The Beatles. I've seen these guys do this song before, and they really put their stamp on it, with a super-funky rhythm and tightly-harmonized choruses.

The show also featured a guest appearance by America's Got Talent winner Michael Grimm, who borrowed a guitar and growled his way through a bluesy number that included a really nice organ solo from a guest player whose name I shamefully didn't catch.

Another highlight of the show came when vocalist Tony Davich rocked through a cover of "Soul Power" by James Brown. Bandleader Jerry Lopez also provided a nice change of pace when he performed a virtuoso classical guitar piece that ended with dramatic flair.

These guys are killers, each & every one.
It must be said that every member of Santa Fe & The Fat City Horns is a monster player, and blistering solos were peppered throughout last night's 2-hour show, so that everyone got a little piece of the spotlight and each musician made the most of it. I can't remember the last time I was wowed by a trombone solo.

Now, I worry about the viability of a large-ensemble band that only performs one night per week. The logistics involved must be hair-raising, and I take my hat off to these fellas for doing what they do the way they do it.

And my summary judgment is this: if you count yourself an authentic Las Vegas resident in any way, you need to see this show.


performing at the lounge in the Palms Casino
Monday nights at 10:30 p.m.
Admission: $7 (or $15 for a VIP booth)

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