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Concert Review: Davila 666 at Churchill's Pub, August 11

Photo by Ben Thacker
Davila 666 at Churchill's Pub Tuesday night.
Click here to view the full slideshow from the event.

Davila 666 with Jacuzzi Boys, Electric Bunnies and Lil Daggers
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Churchill's Pub, Miami

Better than: Berlitz

Puerto Rican neo-rock 'n' roll group Davila 666 shook things up Tuesday night for a happier-than-usual crowd at Churchill's Pub in Little Haiti. The six-piece, tambourine-toting band of brothers (Davila is their alleged common surname) was supported by local acts Lil Daggers, Electric Bunnies and Jacuzzi Boys (who have been accompanying the touring Boricuas on a handful of Florida dates).

The guitar-heavy vintage garage rock stylings and sing-alongability of the Jacuzzi Boys' handclap anthems like "Island Avenue" fuse surf and psychedelia with punk and blues, transforming the smoky room into a 1960s LSD revival. This power trio is a Miami legend in the making, already amassing an impressive cult following, which includes the Davila brothers, who stood front and center for the Jacuzzi set, clearly enjoying their tour-mates' performance. Though the Tuesday night crowd was generally tamer than other Jacuzzi (or Churchill's) crowds, frontman Gabriel was at one point ejected from the stage and hoisted up atop the mob, mid-guitar solo. You gotta appreciate that kind of musicianship.

Equally impressive are the musical skills of Davila 666, especially

those of lead guitarist Johnny Otis Davila, whose wailing solos (along

with Sir Charles' vocals and Panda's tambourine shaking) are the

driving force of the band. The band sings in Spanish, but banters in

perfect -- better-than-Miami -- English. Strangely reminiscent of

another Puerto Rican boy band from back in the day, the Davilas have

the whole backup vocals thing down pat, though they [thankfully]

omitted the spandex leggings for this show. Other noted influences

range from blues greats to Bob Dylan to Lil Wayne, but the sound never

drifts far from raw, retro rock 'n' roll.

Critic's Notebook

Personal Bias: I've been to Churchill's more than I've been to church.

Random Detail: A night in Little Haiti wouldn't be complete without witnessing a beat-down after the show.

By the Way: Davila 666 and Jacuzzi Boys play tonight in Tallahassee.

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Ben Thacker

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