El Vez Seattle Center, Seattle, WA, September 3
Published Sep 04, 2012At first glance, El Vez looks and sounds like a joke. Bursting onto the stage in a glitzed-up, bell-bottomed twist on the classic Uncle Sam outfit, the East L.A.-by-way-of-Mexico entertainer turned his set into a mini-campaign stop for his fourth run for president. That's pretty ambitious for a dude who got his start as the Mexican Elvis impersonator. But even that was all about embracing the American dream, in all its vaunted, twisted glory. What El Vez does isn't terribly original -- he takes beloved pop songs spanning the decades, and, yes, plenty of Elvis hits, and crafts new lyrics and mashups out of them -- but what he accomplishes is nothing short of brilliant. Arguably, his utterly engaging satire means more now than it ever has: his songs tackle racism, immigration, abortion, women's rights, class warfare and religion. He calls bullshit on everyone with a smile on his face and a swivel in his hip. El Vez 2012!