IN THE FLESH! Mariachi El Bronx @Manning Bar


words by Adele Stewart



Manning Bar is a room in which the band always has to put in a decent effort to maximise crowd energy. From my first time there seeing COG to my ‘largest’ time there seeing the Foo Fighters, I’ve seen a decent variety of bands in that space over the years & tonight wasn’t going to be an exception to the DIY energy rule.

I’d been trying all day to secure a very last minute review spot to tonight’s show after discovering it wasn’t at all in my budget – when the email came through late I was already a minute from home so I had to rush to the venue in an uber, arriving just in time for Mariachi El Bronx! Anticipations in the venue were high (I literally heard two girls behind me say ‘omg so much anticipation’ after rocking up), I assume the support bands amped things up nicely.

Things kicked off slow during the first few songs. Not slow for an office worker attending a gig on a work night but definitely too slow for a band finishing up a massive tour, about to have their first day off in TWO MONTHS! The introduction to their most known song, 48 Roses, came with some food for thought about where we were & why! To quite simply.. FUCK. SHIT. UP. Regardless of life’s bullshit, whatever that may entail. And with that the crowd resigned to the fact that Mariachi El Bronx would expect a better effort from us this Wednesday night.

Holy is a song I can tell a nice little percentage of the audience love to belt out when they’re all alone at home – you know who you are.
Everything Twice garnered a MASSIVE sing along during the 2nd chorus. It’s almost as if amidst this Wednesday night energy everyone was trying to fight against, the intelligible crowd intuitively knew when to pick their moments in syncing up. From dancing to swaying to belting out only one line of a particular song harmoniously! Wildfires sounds like a Mariachi inspired homage to Alkaline Trio.

Eternal is the song that made it imperative I make it to the show after hearing it on their third & most intricate album yet. It’s a song that hit this little punk’s heart so deep she burst into tears every time for the first few listens! A bit of an anomaly compared to the rest of their discography, it was everything I wanted it to be & more.
In summary – I’d seen Mariachi El Bronx once before at Soundwave, when they were a pretty fresh band & still figuring things out. With 3 albums now under their belt & a constantly touring hardcore punk band to keep vocalist Matt Caughthran’s chops very fucking sharp. I felt so warm, fuzzy and ok with the world again by the time the set was over.

Funnily enough I’d watched another wise bald American dude the night before on Netflix – Joe Rogan’s new comedy special – Matt definitely reminded me of him & his willingness to share himself, insight & unconditional love. More awesome bald dudes please making life more real please! I think I finally understand why Marisa Tomei is into funny bald dudes in that episode of Seinfeld.


“Alright now – OKay – so – I’m not sure what day it is.. but I’m pretty sure by the way you all acting – I’ma say it’s WEDNESDAY. Am I right?! It’s Wednesday!!? Right? OK! So fuck that shit! What you guys gotta understand is. SO. What I’m trying to say is that – we have been working our asses off for about 2 months straight & tomorrow we finally have a day off ladies & gentlemen. Yes. Yes. YESYES. AND this is the last Mariachi El Bronx show of THIS TOUR. SO. We’re hangin on by A THREAD right now. OK. Were a MESS. We’re a mess right now. But the point is we’re Are you ready to have a good time make some noise? Alright let’s do it then! 48 ROSES!

-Mariachi El Bronx’ frontman Matt Caughthran doesn’t want to hear your excuses


Alistair is the founder of Bear Family. Alistair resides in Melbourne and can be found wandering the streets searching for bargains and peppermint tea. Come and say Hi, he's nice.

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