Joe Bataan made a return to the to the L.A. area for a couple of shows this weekend. My friends and I drove down the 710 to the 91 to get to The Hop in Lakewood where Joe was to perform. Entering the venue, I got one of the most thorough pat downs from the security lady. The dress code was in full effect: no baseball caps, no t-shirts, no white tennis shoes, no jerseys. The message was clear: you can lean like a cholo, but you can't dress like one.
Truthfully, the performance was not as good as last year's show at The Montebello Inn but it was still a great time. The sound at the Hop was horrible and I felt the crappy sound affected Joe's performance. His set list was pretty much the same ("Ordinary Guy," "My Cloud," "I Wish You Love Parts 1 & 2") which kept all the homeys at the show content. A special bonus for me is that the audience was mostly from barrios of the South Bay (Gardena, Compton, San Pedro,Carson & Wilmington, for those who don't know) which is where I grew up. On top of that many of the Long Beach locals...or shall I say...locos, were in the house.
There were a lot people with tattoos of their children, more than I've seen in a while. Lots of of couples ass-grabbing during the slow jams as well as more women with the pencil thin eyebrows than you could shake a stick at. In short, I felt like I was home again. It was good to be back.
At the end, Joe thanked everyone for the years of support and headed to his merch booth to sign autographs. He said, "I'll sign anything you got. If you want to hang out or want me to come over your house to have some Menudo, I will. Just give me a ride! "