Cabana Boys returned to the Fullerton College Campus Theatre with a taste of latin, jazz and rock fusion music on Thursday, May 11.
The music department’s Gregory Woll gathered this year’s ensemble to perform a selection of tropical, sun-soaked songs which began with the energetic “Captains Song.”
instagram captions for guysAfter the explosive opening and crowd’s applause, drummer Nico Vasquez quelled the in-between silence with the band’s opening statement, “We’re the Cabana Boys. We’re gonna play some jazz, Latin, and rock and roll. Let’s get to it.”
And so they did – jumping from the hot taste of latin grooves to the cool licks of jazz with ease.
After cruising through “Bone Crusher,” “Some Skunk Funk” and “Chucho,” the band invited special guest and Grammy nominated Rob Mullins to play on piano to perform a select few of his own songs.
The band transitioned into their original song “Old School Groove,” a fiery composition directed by Woll and composed by Mullins.
Mullins skipped his weekly gig performing in a Doors tribute band to perform with the Cabana Boys, mostly in part to his dedication and friendship with Woll.
“The main reason I come back is because of Greg. He has a big heart, his approach to teaching and who he is as a guy is the reason I come back,” Mullins said.
Because of Mullins’s love for The Doors, the band performed a rendition of “Crystal Ship,” joined by singer Laurena Corona-McNeill who crooned and added flavor to the Jim Morrison original.
The band then played another original composition, “Cool Water in the Summertime,” a song about looking for love on the breezy Venice Beach, which featured Corona-McNeill delivering the melancholic words “I need someone to love me, I need someone to care, but there’s no one there.”
The night continued with a chilling rendition of legendary soul singer Etta James’ classic “At Last” – grooved and performed by the backing band and belted with heart by Corona-McNeill with range not unlike James herself.
The band temporarily vacated the stage, allowing Mullins to deliver a solo ambient performance, full of angelic synths and haunting piano performed under a glaring spotlight.
The band neared the end of the night out with “Island Girls”, a Caribbean-inspired song splashed with life and reminiscent of a beachfront daytime disco.
After thanking the crowd and complimenting the young band, Mullins directed the band into the final song of the night, “2 Cold,” a pure rock song that was all teeth and riffs.
“I thought the performance was astonishingly good,” Mullins said. “I met all these guys on Sunday, and look how good that was.”
The band waved goodbye and the curtain closed before a voice over the p.a. system announced that “the Cabana Boys have left the building.”