City Slang: The Howling Diablos at the Park Bar
Tino Gross – Detroit’s perennial Mr. Nice Guy. It’s hard to believe that the man has ever said a bad word about anyone and yet the Howling Diablos have struggled to climb further up the ladder for at least half a decade.
Perhaps that’s a good thing. The Diablos are really not a stadium band – they’re best suited to viewing at a Detroit bar with a bunch of like-minded souls. The Park Bar, the venue for the show on Saturday night, is perfect.
The show is to celebrate the release of the new Diablos album, Ultra Sonic Gas Can, the best record of the bands career. After a fine set by rockabilly-tinged outlaw country outfit the Horse Cave Trio and an introduction by DJ Linda Lexy and the Motor City Rah-Rahs, the Diablos took to the stage and blew the thing apart. “Carwash”, “Green Bottle”, “Funky Daddy” and other crowd faves are ploughed through before the stunning new “Mr. Right Now” single gets an airing and Motown man Robert Bateman is brought up on stage. Bateman wrote “Please Mr. Postman” and he appears on the new Diablos single.
The band kill tonight. Tino assembled a highly talented group of musicians so you wouldn’t expect anything else. But the Diablos isn’t about admiring technical brilliance. That just happens by itself. No, this band is about finding the groove and wallowing in it. That’s what Tino does, front and center.
You know what – maybe the Howling Diablos won’t ever get any bigger than this. But that’s ok, because they’re here in Detroit, they play regularly, and they still kick ass. Why would we want to share them?