What a night for music it was Saturday night at Shank Hall.
Back in the day they were called the Milwaukee Mafia. Victor DeLorenzo, Sam Llanas and John Sieger.
Today they are all older, smarter, better than they ever were and able to bring a crowd to its collective feet in admiration.
And what a thrill it was to see Llanas back onstage and, I think, better than he ever was.
The evening started with 1913, the two percussionists one cello group that can raise goosebumps. Their final song, a mysterious version of Ravel's "Bolero" was one of the best versions of the song I have ever heard. Unusual and excellent.
Then John Sieger and Semi-Twang took over, playing stuff from their current album, "Wages of Sin," and other Sieger songs that grab you by the neck, shake you from head to toe and leave you with a smile on your face and trouble breathing.
Finally it was Llanas' turn, with his sparse new band. I was never a huge BoDeans fan, mainly because I wasn't a huge fan of the songs. I thought they were immature and sometimes reached too hard for popular hooks.
But this new Llanas is wonderful. His hair is grey and even disappearing a little on top. But he can command a stage like few singers I've ever seen in Milwaukee. His voice has lost none of his trademark rasp. If anything he's even more in control of the stuff he sings.
He's out on the road promoting his solo album, 4 a.m. (The Way Home). The record features Llanas songs plus an incredible cover of the Cyndi Lauper hit, "Nobody Loves Me."
If anybody ever asks you if there is great music in Milwaukee, send them to see the Milwaukee Mafia in action.
No Talkbacks for this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Dave Begel
Published Jan. 19, 2017
Most of the actors had only a nodding acquaintance with the unique sound of Shakespeare's language, sight gags ranged from risque bumping and grinding to pratfalls, and the entire scenery budget was $65 but this production of "The Taming of the Shrew" was plenty funny,
Published Jan. 19, 2017
Dave Begel has long maintained a bromance with Brett Favre forever and long resisted all claims that Aaron Rodgers is the best quarterback in Packers history. Until now. After the display at the Palace in Dallas, it is now time to put the crown on Rodgers' head.
Published Jan. 17, 2017
It could hardly be more appropriate to our times that The Milwaukee Rep unveils a Pulitzer Prize-winning play about Muslims in America the very week that we are getting a new president who has made Muslims a target of his vitriolic political campaign.
Published Jan. 14, 2017
"Welcome to Bronzeville" is a world premiere at First Stage about the vibrant and exciting neighborhood that existed in Milwaukee. The play can't capture that vibrancy and delivers a performance that is without any excitement.
Published Jan. 13, 2017
When I was a young man in the U.S. Navy, stationed far from my home, I had to borrow $300 from my father in order to pay for an abortion. It's stayed with me since then and I now find myself thinking of it again as new abortion attacks are underway,.
Published Jan. 10, 2017
It's clear that the Milwaukee theater community faces challenges of young artists leaving town in order to find work. How to keep them here is a question that deserves attention and consideration of a variety of ideas that could step that tide.
Published Jan. 5, 2017
Republicans in the Senate and Assembly celebrated their increased stranglehold on Wisconsin politics by smiling with glee over the prospect of being able to do just about anything they want without any real regard for people who might think differently.
Published Jan. 4, 2017
"Sexual chemistry" is not a phrase normally associated with the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical "The Sound of Music," but the production at the Marcus Center creates a fully realized Maria, a woman perplexed by her feelings of love.
Published Jan. 3, 2017
There has been no formal announcement yet, but it appears as if another theater company that provides work for young actors and directors in Milwaukee, is about to fold its tent. Soulstice Theatre looks like it's shutting down after 15 years.
Published Dec. 29, 2016
The angle that most columnists take when it comes to their annual New Year's column is to write fanciful resolutions for a variety of celebrities. This year, however, I'm taking the whole thing seriously. My resolutions mean something - and I hope I can stick to them.