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Club Monaco
769 N. Mathilda, Sunnyvale; 408.245.8777

By Christine Lee

Hours: Thu-Sun 9pm-1:45am
Amenities: Full bar, snack bar, live music

ROQ EN ESPAÑOL Googles as "the latest generation of Spanish rock & roll that borrows heavily from British and American influences." What Google omits is that it's a rowdy time--concerts consist of a lot of jumping, dancing and loud, drunken singalongs. Imagine seeing Metallica circa Master of Puppets--not at Shoreline, where you could only glimpse them from the lawn screens--but in the sweaty confines of the deceased Cactus Club. That's how Latin rock is received by the masses in the Bay Area. The established names regularly play small local venues in the South Bay, not just in San Francisco.

Club Monaco is a Latin nightclub that frequently books roq en español bands in addition to its weekly roundup of house, pop, meringue and salsa. The club and its shows are mentioned often on the new Latin pop/rock station Viva 105.7, which also promotes a weekly party night at the Spy nightclub in San Jose. Club Monaco is all-ages, with a short wall separating the drinking seniors from the Similac-swilling freshmen.

The club itself meets standard expectations. Guys line the walls in the back and stare at everyone walking by. Cute girls get pulled onstage to strut their stuff. The restrooms are barely tolerable. But Club Monaco makes up for its lack of style with intimacy--fans are free to worship bands from a spitting distance. "I like it because it's a no-frills club. You just go in, grab some drinks and groove to some kick-ass bands," says Armando Aguillon, a die-hard rockero.

Continuing post-Cinco de Mayo festivities, Club Monaco booked one of the veteran names: the Argentinian band Los Enanitos Verdes (the Green Midgets). The band consists of Felipe Staiti on guitar and Daniel Piccolo on the tambourines and is led by the unlikely hero Marciano Cantero on bass and vocals. Check them out on May 14 and save gas money for a round of Tecates.

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From the May 5-11, 2004 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

Copyright © Metro Publishing Inc. Metroactive is affiliated with the Boulevards Network.

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