Written by David Campos (@magicdave1983)
Live at Grand Central: (Miami, FL – 4/12/2012)
One night, somewhere between the late 80s/early 90s, a group of young Buenos Aires men were aspiring to form a band. They wanted to catch the wave of the rock renaissance that was moving across Argentina. With their instruments intact, they noticed they were lacking a key piece in their rock equation: a lead singer. A brainstorm ensued as to any possible candidates that might fit their needs. After some time, the mental search yielded empty results. They were strumming and drumming their instruments nonchalantly in defeat when a blast of lightning flashed and swirled above them. In the blinding light, a dark shadow passed through and landed with thud on the floor. As the light dissipated suddenly, the mysterious figure rose with a microphone in hand. The band asked him who he was and the figure gave his name: Adrián “Dárgelos” Rodríguez. After a curious inquiry, Adrian mentioned he was an aspiring singer from 1970 who currently Sandro de America’s tour assistant. The band, charmingly disregarding the obvious time travel event that happened before their eyes, asked the time traveling singer if he wanted to try out to be their lead singer. Adrián agreed, and as they tried out their first song, Adrián burst out in an immediate swagger, hip-shaking, leg-kicking, hair shaking, and anything else that he picked up from Sandro’s repertoire. With a sonic boom out of thin air, the band was now complete. Playing on this image, and a picture of Indian guru Sia Baba on one of their guitar cases, the Adventures of Babasónicos began.
I can’t remember at all if they ever came to Miami, although my brother says they have in a small capacity, mini-showcases and what not. Yet, this is the first time he knows of that Babasónicos have come to play a full show. Following my brother’s lead and invitation, I decided to check them out for the first time at Grand Central. One seldom gets complete open access to the front of the stage. So we quickly staked our claim knowing that people were eventually going to swarm around us. Being that close allowed me to take a peek the 90-minute setlist. After the standard wait and foreseen packed crowd, it was showtime.
“Microdancing” opened the show in a strange way in my view. The band members came out one by one. Then, one who was dressed in grey slacks and a black vest, came on stage and began dancing a little two-step move and twirling a microphone in his hand. He promptly began singing. Having never seen the band before, I figured this was the lead singer. Then, on a totally unexpected cue, a Napoleon-looking individual came on in tight red pants and ankle-high, zip-up leather boots. His swagger quickly annihilated the crow d. I learned from the screaming women that this was Adrián “Dárgelos” Rodríguez, the star character of the introductory short story. Why was that story written as an introduction you may ask? The reason is because that was exactly what I was thinking as I was watching Adrián perform. The catalyst for this thought actually came from my mother. She has told me before about when she was a young girl in the late 60s/early 70s, wearing tight pants and ankle-high, zip-up leather boots, and seeing and listening to Sandro wow crowds with his hip-shaking, leg-kicking, hair shaking, and all the moves that only the Argentine Elvis could generate. Seeing Adrián’s similar swagger and wardrobe, and seeing all the female audience members melt like chocolate made me think that this is what it must’ve been like for my mother in her youth.
Adrián’s zany attitude was all over the place. He would jump on the monitors, almost hurtling himself into the crowd. He faked dropped the microphone stand on my brother, which made him flinch in fright. He would look deep into the eyes of random women and serenade them while most likely undressing them mentally. The highlight of the night came when he began to use his hand to signal a girl to the stage. She was stared at him in disbelief. She hesitated, not knowing if he was really referring to her. While she tried to solve this puzzle, the truth revealed itself in the form of someone else entirely. Turns out he was not calling her to the stage. He was calling the guy behind her who was sparked up some weed. He promptly went up and passed it to Adrián, who took long drag while being cheered on by the audience.
That’s pretty much how it was for the entire show. Adrián was the clear star of the night, with the rest of the band members in the background just doing their musical parts by the book. They were pretty stationary and interacted with the audience very little. They seemed kind of bored. One technical factor that could’ve played a part was that the sound system was actually very low. There were times you could barely hear any of Adrián’s singing. I only understood the lyrics because the crowd practically knew every word. Still, the low sound was disappointing and hindered an otherwise entertaining one-man show. The time traveling Adrián “Dárgelos” Rodríguez truly found his place on stage in the not-too-distant future, but that’s just what I think.