Zapato 3 on La Ultima Cruzada Tour: "It's a Great Environment to Rock and Roll"

The year was 1990.

Styx had announced they were reuniting, recording a new album, and going on tour for the first time in seven years, ditching guitar legend Tommy Shaw because of his commitment with Damn Yankees, and Depeche Mode had just released Violator, the band's first album to sell a million copies in the U.S.

The start of the decade also marked the year Zapato 3 created sound waves that reverberated across Venezuela and Latin America.

"I don't know how the band became very popular," admits lead singer Carlos Segura. "We don't know. Venezuela is a Caribbean country, so salsa and all Latin music is welcomed. In the middle of that environment, we were playing hard rock, like Anglo music, but in Spanish."

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Maybe the story behind their name is what destined the humble artists to greatness.

"A journalist once asked the Beatles, 'Why do you call yourselves the Beatles?' and they said, 'I don't know, we could have been called shoe or table.' We saw the interview, were [originally] three guys, and thought, We can take the shoe," laughs Segura.

And that's how Zapato 3, who'll be stealing the stage at Grand Central for La Ultima Cruzada tour, or the Last Crusade, was born.

Over the course of the band's career, it went through several changes in membership, played with some of South and Central America's most famous groups like Soda Stereo, released a number of albums, and sold out stadium-sized concerts.

ut the music came to an abrupt halt in 1999 when Hugo Chávez was elected president of Venezuela and Segura, his brother and guitarist Álvaro, and Zapato's bass player fled the country.

"In the middle of the rush, we left the country and we left for good," recalls Segura. "It was one day to next ... We came here to the States."

From there, the guys established new lives for themselves.

Segura made Miami his home and stayed in the entertainment industry working at Univision for several years before taking a job at the Discovery Channel.

His brother Álvaro also continued working in the arts, heading to Hollywood where, Segura brags, his brother has helped create visual effects for big screen hits, including Iron Man II, Hotel Transylvania, and Green Lantern.

So while Segura and the rest of the band may be at another stage of their lives, in the eyes of the hardcore fans, Zapato 3 will always be their favorite rock crew.

"After 13 years, people on Facebook and Twitter started talking about the band and asking, 'Hey, what happened to you guys? Do a final tour.' And we made the decision to do a final tour last year."

"It's not easy to get together and play, but the most important thing is that when we're together ... it's a great environment to rock and roll."

"[La Ultima Cruzada] is not a nostalgic show. We're not talking about 'Oh, remember when we were young?' No. The show is about present and future. The spirit of the tour is about now."

"People who are looking for the past are not welcomed," jokes Segura. "We came back older, but stronger than ever."

La Ultima Cruzada tour. With Zapato 3. 10 p.m., Saturday, August 24. Grand Central, 697 North Miami Ave., Miami. Tickets cost $25 plus fees via ticketfly.com. Call 305-377-2277, or visit grandcentralmiami.com.

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