From Ritchie Valens and Chan Romero to ? & the Mysterians and Los Lobos, the rich legacy of Chicano rock & rollers has been consistently kick ass, and the dazzling mid-60s East Los Angeles break out by bands like Cannibal & the Headhunters, The Premiers, The Blendells and dozens of others, represented the most highly concentrated and artistically irresistible musical hot spot of them all.
From that same feverish ELA breeding ground emerged Thee Midnighters, a far-reaching, deep grooving band capable of delivering just about every big beat permutation known to man, throwing down each with high-voltage passion and emphatic, instinctive mastery. Prized for such classic records as “Whittier Boulevard,” the penultimate instrumental cruising anthem, wig-twistingly savage garage rock stomps like "Jump, Jive and Harmonize" and a deck of smoldering ballads ("That’s All"), Thee Midnighters work with a set list of unrivaled scope and depth.
Although many of the original members have scattered by time’s punishing course, the core duo of vocalist Little Willie G and guitarist-singer Jimmy Espinoza remain (and every other cat you’ll see on the bandstand is a like-minded veteran who themselves came up during the Eastside soul-rock conflagration) and it seems the years have only broadened the pair’s skill and involvement. Espinoza’s untamed six-string pyrotechnics blaze with rabid intensity, while Willie G’s gale-strength pipes and flawless technique rank him as one of the finest voices in all of pop—one with a soulful sensitivity and raw power you’ll hear nowhere else. Thrills guaranteed.
NOS EVENTS CENTER, 689 S. E ST., SAN BERNARDINO, (877) 714-7668; WWW.NATIONALORANGESHOW.COM. SAT., 6 P.M. $10.