Manic Hispanic, Swingin’ Utters, Riverboat Gamblers, RØBBER at The Observatory OC
April 30, 2022
Manic Hispanic | Swingin’ Utters | Riverboat Gamblers | RØBBER
So I rolled out Friday night to see Manic Hispanic at The Observatory Orange County! I did get to catch the Swingin’ Utters! They were tight and very entertaining! Good songs and really good players.
Manic was next and all I can say is DANG!
Those of you who are in deep with the history behind the band will know well, that this for me would never just be any old show. This band was founded by my dear friends Gabby Gaborrno and Steve Soto; Gabby was also the singer in our band Cadillac Tramps. Sadly, they have both passed on to the great music scene in the sky… this was definitely an emotional show, to say the least!
Gabby and Steve are gone but never forgotten. The band is now the 3 remaining original players Maurice Torres, Rue Rivera, and Warren Renfrow. (Mo Grease, Chino and Oso) with Efrem “Chuey Luis” Martinez Schulz who joined while both Gabby and Steve were still there. After Gabby’s passing Louie “Juan Solo” Perez III came on board with Gilbert “Dreamer” Pichardo, and Elvis Cortez. This lineup is not here to mess around! Well they do mess around in the fun way Manic always has… with proficiency and talent that makes this band off the charts good!
Did I miss Gabby and Steve? Of course I did!
Is This line up of Manic Hispanic awesome? Of course they are.
Manic Hispanic is an institution. A way to honor Hispanic culture and blood in a way that’s both hilarious and heartfelt. ￼Ripping through punk rock’s greatest hits converted to Spanglish stories from the barrio, it’s fun as hell! The legacy going forward is in great hands! I highly recommend seeing them whenever and wherever they play!
– 13 Stitches Magazine
I’m a photographer, not a journalist… Yes, Manic Hispanic, Swingin’ Utters, and Riverboat Gamblers were a definite must see. What I didn’t expect was RØBBER (a local South Orange County band with members from my hometown San Clemente) to have a solid lineup with music that will blow you mind! I ran into Chris Devine on the patio before the show and I was confused at first. I recognized Chris from his band The Side Eyes and every time I’ve seen him perform and I’m blown away by his stage presence and skill. After figuring out that Chris was with RØBBER, I knew the show was going to be great!
When RØBBER took the stage and got ready to play, you could tell the audience wasn’t sure what to expect… The wall banner with the band’s name had a flowery 70’s look/feel, Chris was wearing a trench coat and cowboy hat, the singer was wearing a ski mask… very diverse appearance. However, when the band starts playing, nobody even remembers their preconceived notions, the band rocks!
RØBBER was solid with great music and all of the band members are skilled at more than one instrument (they traded instruments with each other during the show during several of the songs). The lead singer in his ski mask is a fun front man (I worry that he may be accident prone as he twisted his ankle on stage). However, what he lacks in grace he makes up for with showmanship!
Riverboat Gamblers performed next. If you’ve ever seen Riverboat Gamblers, then you (like myself) are probably thinking… “They’re not headlining?” The reason I mention this is because Riverboat Gamblers is amazing; they are truly explosive live performers. Lead singer Mike Wiebe could easily have been a basketball player with his height and consistent jumps, but I guess his vocal talents dictated a different life for him.
Originally from Denton, Texas (now residing in Austin, Texas), the band’s line-up comprises vocalist Mike Wiebe, guitarist Fadi El-Assad (recently recovering from an ankle injury), guitarist Ian MacDougall, and super stylish bassist Rob Marchant. The first time I saw Riverboat Gamblers was at a small bar in Los Angeles back around 1998/1999, from that moment I have been a fan! The band is touring regularly, so you have several opportunities to see them perform live. Just this year we’ve seen them at Punk Rock Bowling, Punk in the Park, and now at The Observatory Orange County. Do yourself a favor and be sure to see Mike jumping off of everything imaginable and crowd surfing over your head!
– 13 Stitches Magazine