Concert Review: Molotov
Photo credit: Josue Rivas
By Juan Barragan
11 August 2013
There is a very interesting venue off of the Interstate 405 highway in Santa Ana. This venue is The Observatory and houses a unique layout for concert goers in the general admission section. The main level consists of a small pit section that is surrounded by a half circle a few feet above it, and another standing level that overlooks the first two levels of the venue. This unique layout allows for concert-goers to have a good view no matter where they choose to stand inside the venue. The entertainment for this particular evening consisted of Molotov, a rap-metal band, on their cross country Jagermeister Tour. Unfortunately, on this particular night, Molotov were delayed in starting their set by several hours which resulted in plenty of discontent from the audience.
Eventually the band came out and used the audience’s fury to their advantage, greeting them with their mosh-friendly song “Noko.” The crowd rapidly forgot their anger and instead used their energy to mosh and sing along to the fast-paced song. What makes this band interesting to listen to regardless of their origins is their instrument lineup. They have two basses playing during every song, which gives the band its signature deeply distorted sound. Also unique is the band’s rotating lineup throughout their shows. They constantly rotate instruments, displaying their band members’ versatility and highlighting the different sounds that each member can create on whatever instrument is being played. Dubbed by many in the United States as the Mexican Rage Against the Machine for their politically charged lyrics, the band played a few songs that appropriately fit the description. They played “Gimme the Power” and “Hit Me,” two songs that go hand in hand and speak out against the corrupt nature of political officials and the disparity between the rich and the poor. Both songs serve as a call to action to the crowd of listeners who have heard their songs in the past. This behavior has caused the band to be subject to extreme censorship in their home country,and in some extreme cases they’ve even been banned from terrestrial radio.
The band played many of their hit songs as well as some innovative cover songs that have been great cause for discussion. One of these covers was “Rap, Soda, y Bohemia”, which is a Spanish-Rap Metal version of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.” The band does not simply translate the lyrics to Spanish, but rather completely changes them into an obscenity-ridden masterpiece that gets the crowd going every time. The band finished off their set with one of their hit songs and then abruptly left the stage. This sparked the crowd’s fury as they all united to encourage the band to come out for an encore by yelling the chant of encouragement, “Cu-le-ro!” repeatedly. The band, clearly inspired by the audience’s chants, came out to deliver their final songs. The band ended their set with the song that has caused them the greatest deal of controversy worldwide: “Puto.” Though the literal definition is a derogatory word towards members of the L.G.B.T. community, it can also mean “loser,” as is the band’s claim of the use of the word in their song. Civil rights activists in many nations have worked tirelessly to ban the rock band from playing their shows, accusing them of being homophobic and intolerant. For this reason, as soon as they started playing the riff to the song, the singer disclosed that the song was not geared towards the L.G.B.T. community, but rather the people in government who want to get away with corruption and bribery. After giving the crowd a reason to identify with the lyrics, they finally played the song, causing everyone in the entire venue to jump around wildly for the remainder of the show. By the end of the song, everyone was yelling “Puto!” in rhythm and harmony, sparking happiness all around the venue.
Molotov is definitely not for the faint of heart. With vulgarities and sexual references in almost every song, there is no question as to why every one of their albums has a parental advisory sticker. To the band, this sticker is more of a certificate of achievement than anything else. By the end of the night, everyone was extremely sweaty but content with the show they had experienced.