Saturday, January 8th 2022
Acid Test Presents: Dakila, BOLERO! & Tabernacle, located at the Rickshaw Stop amongst modern sheik high rise apartments, theaters, and the gold plated San Francisco City Hall. The Rickshaw Stop is decorated with a dark wild octopus mural in stark contrast to the upscale surroundings. Stepping inside the misfit venue it was clear this night was dedicated to classic psychedelic San Francisco arts, music and culture. The venue’s walls, ceiling, and floor were animated with stunning live liquid light, vividly coating the space. The live light show was by none other than The Mad Alchemy Liquid Light Show led by Lance Gordon, who created light shows for The Grateful Dead. The vibrations were high; the crowd dressed in style, DJs spun vinyl and the bands Dakila, BOLERO!, and Tabernacle thrilled the audience.
San Francisco was the center of psychedelic culture in the late 1960s and 1970s. The summer of love was an early breakthrough moment in a longer movement that is still alive today. Tie-dye, psychedelic poster art, liquid light shows, The Grateful Dead, Santana, Jefferson Airplane, and tonight’s headliner Dakila, all formed in San Francisco’s psychedelic era.
Dakila blends the classic psychedelic San Francisco sound with latino percussion and multicultural fusion. The band released their self-titled album in 1972. At that time Santana had gained national attention and major labels were seeking to tap the talent in The Mission District of San Francisco. Dakila was signed to a recording contract with Epic/Columbia Records, now Sony. Their album is inspired with captivating percussion, classic lead guitar, and soaring organs; its Latino with jungle flavor. Unfortunately, the band was short lived and disbanded 2 years later. Dakila was the first Filipino- American band signed to a major label.
The band reunited in 2020; their music had become an underground lost gem of the psychedelic era sought by fans of Latino rock. Bootlegs of the album were sold around the world and the band realized that they needed to regain control over their music. David Bustamante started to perform again as Dakila with a new line-up to carry on the legacy of the band.
The opening act was Tabernacle immersed in attire and accessories that were torn from vintage photos of the ‘summer of love’. Tabernacle blends 60s female folk vocals with 70s rock guitar for a sound that is Pentangle and Fairport Convention meets classic over-driven rock. The band’s four performers played guitar, bass, drums, vocals, and synth. Those who arrived early were rewarded handsomely by the Tabernacle and their bewitching sound.
BOLERO! brought ‘freak flag rock’ to the stage and played to a packed room. Forward guitar, boisterous vocals and jamming good bass filled the space. The band’s rhythm section was hot with a drummer on kit and a percussionists on congas, and cowbell. The bass player was reveling in his performance, accenting the rhythms and running up and down the neck to carry the melodic line. The audience let their freak flag fly moving and grooving while liquid light camouflaged the venue and everything in it. BOLERO! played without their lead slide guitar player, however, the strong rhythm and their ability to adapt enhanced their inspired performance.
Dakila took the stage dressed in leather pants, blazers, leather boots, and a sequined vest which dissolved into the lights. The band was tight, so tight. The rhythms were precise and blended Latino, Filipino and American rhythms with extraordinary performers. The fusion of cultures is a defining feature of their music. The guitarist plays rhythm and lead on a PRS brand guitar with Santana inspired tones. The guitar played by Bustamante heats up during the guitar solos with fast picked notes and progressive fusion.
The original line-up in the 1970s featured 7 members, many of whom were related brothers, cousins, and friends. Since that time, band members have retired or passed away. Now Dakila’s only original member is David Bustamante who sings and plays guitar carrying on the legacy of the band. They played all original music with a number of classics from their self-titled album along with new songs. The set was made to uplift the audience with themes expressing appreciation for family, friends, dancing, and music.
The set was exciting; the band was sharp, and the rhythms forced the audience to dance and move. They highlighted the guitar and percussion with extended solos and sections which felt improvisational. The entire production was professional and rewarding.
Acid Test Presents: Dakila, BOLERO! & Tabernacle with The Mad Alchemy Liquid Light Show had a strong vibration of harmony and freedom. It shows the San Francisco psychedelic music scene has many talented bands both from its famed past and the underground in the present. San Francisco is a melting pot of cultures and this is reflected in the arts and music all embodied in Dakila’s music. The fashion, style, music, art and ethos of the past is revived in the present. It was a night of seeking liberation in music. The local San Francisco music scene has survived the challenges of the last few years. Tonight’s event was a multifaceted and immersive experience that brought together thrill seekers, artists, journalists, DJs, and musicians from the local area. It was a happening scene that could only be found here in San Francisco.
The vocals had hints of Asian pop ballads with 70s rock vocals that were smooth and easy to sing along with. The lyrics were both in English and Tagalog. There was magic in the air with whirling dancers in flowing attire melting into the lights. The music became transportive, especially in the unstructured moments where percussion or the guitar would take an extended solo.