There aren’t very many Hispanic bands in the indie/psych rock world that transition their music from English to Spanish, but Chicano Batman pulls it off so effortlessly. The Los Angeles based four-piece band brought the funk with in full formal suits with a touch of west coast swagger.

The group walked up on stage with matching maroon tuxedos, complete with bow ties and ruffled shirts. The lead vocalist, Bardo Martinez, casually walked on stage, with a slight limp, and throws a nod at the crowd like “sup?”. They opened up with the title track of their debut album “Cycles of Existential Rhyme” and seamlessly transition into “Jealousy” from their latest album, “Freedom is Free”. They were both very relaxed, mellow songs that had the venue nodding and singing along. For “Flecha Al Sol”, Bardo steps away from his keyboard and grabs his vintage guitar and brings the energy way up. This song is entirely in Spanish, yet the entire crowd was singing along. There’s something special about seeing an all-Hispanic band play songs in Spanish and have the entire crowd sing every word.

Chicano Batman formed in 2008 and have released three full length albums and several EP’s over the years. They have made a name for themselves by touring for giants such as Alabama Shakes and Jack White. Chicano Batman have always been about breaking down barriers and bringing everyone together. They have been very vocal about how the United States government is handling immigration and how they don’t agree with them. Their singles “Freedom is Free” and “This Land is Your Land” have become anthems for anti-Trump and pro-immigration activist.

Even though the group gets political at times, their concerts and music are about escaping that for a moment and simply having a great time. Be sure to catch them on one of their remaining dates on their spring tour.


Ismael Valenzuela

St. Louis based photographer and writer.