Los Lobos, Kick-off Outside The Box Festival In Boston, MA

Los Lobos, Out of the Box Festival, 2013, Boston, MA Photo by C H Willson.
Los Lobos, Outside the Box Festival, 2013, Boston, MA Photo by C H Willson.

Los Lobos, Los Lonely Boys, and Alejandro Escovedo hit the Beacon Stage.

Outside The Box Inaugural Festival July 13-21, 2013

Maestro Charles Ansbacher, the founder of Boston Landmarks Orchestra and Free for All Concert Fund passed away in 2010, but his legacy is manyfold. Outside the Box founder Ted Cutler was so touched by the man’s simple philosophy that “concerts should be accessible to all” that he “built an entire festival around it.” Robert Brustein, critic and Founding Director of the A.R.T also was involved from the ground up in the creation of this enormous happening.

The kick-off concert was held on the “Beacon Stage” on Boston Common. One of several stages specifically setup for the nine day event. Three jumbo-trons surrounded the stage and the grass was partitioned off for VIPs. Sponsor’s logos were prominently displayed on the proscenium.

We missed Los Lonely Boys’ and came in as Alejandro Escovendo was leaving the stage. Los Lobos kicked it into “Papa Was A Rollin’ Stone” with an unexpected awesome funk grind, followed by another great cover of the blues classic made most famous by The Allman Brothers, “One Way Out,” but originally recorded by “Sonny Boy” in the sixties. Everyone sang along to the chorus, “Cause there’s a man down there, might be your man, I don’t know.” The vibe morphed into country soul with “Just A Matter of Time,” and Steve Berlin performed an amazing bass sax solo. Los Lonely Boys joined Los Lobos on stage with a very tight version of “Don’t Worry Baby” from Los Lobos breakout album “How will the Wolf Survive?” (1984). The Lonely Boys continued the extended jam, Jojo Garza offering up a wicked bass solo on that number. The Los Lobos’ singer and guitarist Cesar Rosas jokingly warned that with that low tone on that solo Jojo was getting close to brown tones. Next up was some Grateful Dead. The audience danced and held forth with much applause, followed by “Bertha” written by Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter with another kick ass guitar solo by the long haired lead guitarist and singer Los Lonely Boy’s Henry Garza sporting a Boston Strong shirt. For the encore Barrence Whitfield, a local boy, joined the crowded stage with a screaming rendition of “Georgia Slop.” Los Lobos ended with their signature “La Bamba” and “Good Lovin’” the 1966 Young Rascals hit.

More music, theatre, and art events will take place throughout the week – all for free. Some highlights include the Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, Puppet Show Place, Quick Silver Dance, Taj Mahal, Gaga The Musical, Imagination Movers, James Montgomery, Air Traffic Controller, and a concert on Saturday evening featuring Buffalo Tom, The Lemonheads and The Mighty Mighty Bosstones at the Beacon Stage.

For a schedule of events see: http://outsidetheboxboston.org/

Los Lobos, Los Lonely Boys, and Alejandro Escovedo are touring together.

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