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One year removed from its month-long 25th birthday party, the Casbah celebrated the big two-six by inviting mariachi-punk band Mariachi El Bronx and a sold-out crowd. But the iconic club wasn’t the only one who’d be making a wish before the night was over.

About halfway through its set, singer Matt Caughthran told fans that his group had recently received a letter from England that included “some Make-a-Wish shit,” then brought up its alleged author, GBH bassist Ross Lomas, to fulfill his supposed lifelong desire of playing with the band. It was but one of many light moments from a group whose main purpose – judging from Caughthran’s permanent smile, anyway – seems to be simply having fun.

Whether repeatedly encouraging the crowd to “make some noise for the band” or refusing to let security guards remove a female fan who kept coming up onstage during the show, Caughthran took charge from the beginning, leading his seven-member group through 90-plus minutes of tight material that flowed smoothly between so-called “vulnerable jams” and up-tempo happy songs.

Getting older isn’t always fun, but if it means getting to have Mariachi El Bronx play your birthday, turning 26 isn’t the worst thing in the world.

  • Concert: Mariachi El Bronx
  • Date: January 19
  • Venue: Casbah
  • Seats: stage-front
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