The Fabulosos Cadillacs' brief performance Saturday at the Greek Theatre demonstrated once again that rock en espan~ol doesn't get any better than a good performance by this Argentine band.
Sandwiched between sets by local group Pastilla and Mexico's excellent Maldita Vecindad, the Cadillacs exhibited a lush instrumentation that recalls that of a salsa combo. There's a three-piece brass section, a percussion ensemble, including timbales, trap drums and congas, keyboards, the obligatory upright bass of composer Flavio Cianciarulo and the melancholy voice of fellow songwriter Gabriel Capello.
The group often has expressed its admiration for the instrumental discipline of salsa orchestras, and the fact that it has duplicated such a complex sound and placed it at the service of rock 'n' roll might be the key to its success.
Luring the audience with old hits such as the irresistible "Mal Bicho" and the bouncy "Carmela," the band then offered less accessible material from its last two (and strongest) albums.
The rich amalgam of sounds-- from funk guitar to seductive bossa nova, opulent hard-core to spoken poetry, Broadway glamour to tango grit--brought to mind the image of the Cadillacs as an enchanting, phantasmagoric musical circus.