Concert Reviews

Brujeria Grinds Against Trump at the Bluebird

Despite the sold-out Slayer/Anthrax show happening up the street at the Fillmore Auditorium, Brujeria, Cattle Decapitation and Piñata Protest garnered a sizable audience at the Bluebird for its own raw display of musical brutality.

San Antonio's Piñata Protest brought an odd but effective mixture of punk and norteño that felt like rowdier ska with accordion. Cattle Decapitation performed mostly music from the two records it recorded in Colorado with Dave Otero, who seems to be one of the few recording engineers out there capable of fully capturing the sharp edges of extreme metal.

It seemed perfect for a band like Brujeria to be performing on Indigenous People's Day in Colorado. Our state first celebrated Columbus Day in 1907, long before it became a federal holiday; we've since changed the holiday to honor something other than a legacy of genocide. Dressed up like a cross between Mexican narco gangsters and the EZLN, complete with face-obscuring kerchiefs, and singing and mostly talking to the audience in Spanish, Brujeria looked like rough customers during some of its songs.

That we are so close to the U.S. presidential election and that Brujeria's songs generally stand in contrast to what Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump champions gave the show an added dimension. A sort of effigy of Trump came on stage to gesture along to samples of the “orange one” speaking before being dragged out of view with a machete to his throat and the band encouraging a chant of “Fuck Donald Trump” before Brujeria treated us to its early 2016 single “Viva Presidente Trump!” Brujeria ended with a cover of Los Del Río's versions of “Macarena,” but changing the lyrics so that it was more like “Marijuana” and the refrain of “Hey Marijuana” was a nice reminder that this intimidating-looking band, occasionally soliciting “mota por la banda” (at one point someone in the audience provided some), has always been aiming its hostility at the things and the people most in need of ridicule.

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Tom Murphy is a writer, visual artist and musician from Aurora, Colorado. He was a prolific music writer for Westword and a documenter of the Denver music scene.