A late night with Venezuelan big band Mermelada Bunch feels like a fast-forward trip through the musical looking glass. The uninitiated should expect a wild mish-mash session scattered all across the Latin pop-rock spectrum. One minute, you're being bombarded by electronically distorted disco elf voices, happy horns, and salsa beats. And the next, there's heavy metal riffage and melodramatic gang vocals laughing in your face while the mosh pit whips to maximum ferocity.
In other words, this bunch -- vocalists Pipo Ramirez and Leo Colina, guitarist Toto Fernández, bassist Kiky Rincón, drummer David Schlesinger, percussionist Juan Paúl Hernández, and utility man Armandito Hernández -- is a totally manic party band.
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Specializing in effervescent odes to alcohol and good times like 2002's "Commando Borracho" ("Drunk Commando") and 2007's "Hijos de la Cerveza" ("Sons of Beer"), Mermelada fills entire arenas with giant giddy crowds throughout Central America, Mexico, and the band's home country.
Here in Miami, though, the six-piece will play a more modestly sized venue -- La Covacha. But just give the six-piece a couple years and a few return trips. No doubt, the Bunch will soon stir the American Airlines Arena into a big bowl of sticky, sweaty jam band insanity.