Review: Los Amigos Invisibles Cool Love Tour w/ Senxao

My Spanish is limited to ordering a beer and asking directions to the bathroom. So, lucky for me, the Venezuelan dance band, Los Amigos Invisibles, demonstrated that good vibes are universal, and a funky dance beat requires no translation. My favorite band growing up as a kid was the Rolling Stones, and honestly I had no idea what Mick Jagger was singing about half the time with his thick British brogue. But, I loved the music anyway (probably a good thing I didn’t comprehend most of the lyrics.)  

The show started late, but it was worth the wait. Senxao, a local six-piece Latin party band, consisting of a lead singer, guitar, bass, keyboard, drum and bongo, kicked it off with a lively set of about a dozen songs, mostly covers of Latin favorites from across the region. 

Senxao Photo Credit Alban Jeset

Special thanks to Rodolfo, a Venezuelan now living in Roy, for putting the music into context for me. Most opening acts don’t get the crowd’s undivided attention, but Senxao’s charismatic lead singer had the mostly Spanish-speaking patrons beaming. They played songs popular among Millenials from Cuba, Venezuela, and Mexico. The crowd joyously danced and sang along.

Los Amigos Invisibles opened their expansive, 21-song set with “Amor,” a crowd pleaser with some English lyrics, and a funky retro disco beat tailor made for the roller rink. The next song “Yo No Sé” continued the disco beat, but with a more bossa nova flair. What I enjoyed the most about the music is that it constantly changed. Unlike some club music with a monotonous beat, Los Amigos Invisibles moved the groove from Jazzy funk to disco while retaining the Latin and Caribbean styles. 

They played a few teaser tracks where they hit the first few bars of Sinead O’Connor’s “Nothing Compares 2 U,” then moved on to “Tuyonama.” For me, the connection between the two was lost in translation. On the next song, they played the keyboard intro to Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” then played “Vivire Para Ti.” I think they were just messing with me. They played a portion of Aqua’s “Barbie Girl” with a momentary riff of “Billie Jean” before settling on the catchy singalong “Cuchi-Cuchi.” Even I could join in for that one, mostly.

Photo credit Alban jeset

Not lost in translation was “Disco Anal,” I’m sure that’s a risque title in Spanish too. Musically, the song has a cool throwback sound that would be perfect as the theme song for the Spanish version of the ‘70s TV show The Love Boat. The crowd enjoyed the retro vibe too. I thought the naughty lyrics continued with “La Vecina,” maybe it was the funky soul sound, but the title actually means “the neighbor.” The crowd loved it and the phones came out, so maybe that neighbor was a bit naughty.  

The band entered the homestretch and rocked the house with their fan favorites “Mentiras” and “La Que Me Gusta,” the latter echoing an ‘80s Hall and Oates feel (think “Maneater”).

What a fun night and a great vibe. I’m glad the Commonwealth Room brought in two terrific Spanish-language party bands for the whole community to enjoy. I got to dust-off my dancing boots while also expanding my definition of Americana.

Who: Los Amigos Invisibles w/ Senxao

What: Cool Love Tour

Where: The Commonwealth Room

When: Thursday, September 7, 2023

Info: www.thestateroompresents.com


John Nelson
John Nelsonhttps://www.saltlakemagazine.com/
John Nelson covers the local music scene for Salt Lake magazine. He is a 20-year veteran of Uncle Sam’s Flying Circus with a lifelong addiction to American roots music, live music venues, craft beer and baseball.

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