The biggest Cinco De Mayo celebration in downtown Los Angeles had to be at the two sold out Lucha Va Voom shows at the grandiose Mayan nightclub, on May 4 and 5. For the uninitiated, Lucha Va Voom is an amalgamation of Mexican wrestling, music, and sideshow acts, combined with 1950s era inspired Burlesque, stand up comedy and good old fashioned ear piercing American rock music. The result is a unique blend of entertainment that inspires a fiercely loyal audience, as uniquely diverse as the city of Los Angeles itself. By combining these different elements, the ever morphing talent pool that makes up La Lucha Va Voom has created their own unique form of, what can only be described as, pure Americana art. Sometimes the show includes musical acts like former Eurythmics star Dave Stewart and pop singer Pink. Although this night did not included any performances by pop stars, the commentator did give a shout out to electronic music pioneer Gary Numan, who was apparently in the audience. The normally reclusive Numan, moved to Los Angeles several years ago and has been experiencing a musical renaissance, producing and playing lots of fascinating new music with a new band.
The Psychedelic Cinco performance may have not featured any rock stars but it was one of the biggest and most elaborate shows in its twelve year history. The setting for this year’s Cinco de Mayo celebration could have not been more appropriate and has become the de facto home base for Lucha Va Voom. The gargantuan Mayan theater was built back in 1927, and features a huge facade of pre-Columbian sculptures outside and a gargantuan chandelier inside in the shape of a giant Aztec stone calendar. The theater was remodeled in 1990 and became one of the hottest New-Wave nightclubs in downtown LA. It has recently seen new renovations and continues to be one of the largest dance oriented nightclubs in the city.
There were many memorable moments that engaged the crowd including a scat throwing wrestler with a naked bum and a shirtless stage diving 200 pound man, who accidentally got too close to the Alice In Wonderland imbibements. There was another little person appearing as the human piñata, Pinatita. But the star of the show was undoubtedly Cassandro, the most athletic and skilled Luchadore, who looks much like Liberace on steroids. The carefully coifed, glitter faced wrestler dressed in a pink leotard may have looked too pretty to be a real athlete, but in reality, Cassandro is a champion athlete and highly skilled acrobat. Launching himself from atop the wrestling ring, he relentlessly flew across the ring time and again in carefully choreographed moves that astounded the crowd. After disposing of the bad guy competition by depositing them in the adoring crowd, Cassandro took a bittersweet victory lap around the venue. Commentator Capatch had announced at the beginning of the match that Cassandro was going into short term retirement due to multiple injuries over the years that would require surgery to repair, as a result of his incredible acrobatic moves. The evening ended fittingly, with Aztec dancers performing traditional dances.
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