KINGMAN – The Rivals, a local rock band with a heavy ska flavor, make their fourth appearance for the Sounds of Kingman concert series at 5 p.m. Sunday at Metcalfe Park, corner of Beale Street and Grandview Avenue.
The concert is free and the audience is encouraged to bring lawn chairs, blankets, picnic baskets and coolers for a relaxing afternoon of music in the park.
The Rivals were formed by Cardo Diaz, his cousin, David, and nephew, Robert. They’re originally from Flagstaff.
Cardo Diaz leads the band on percussion and vocals. When he’s not carrying a tune for the Rivals, he’s carrying mail during his day job with the Kingman post office.
He also teaches percussion and brass at Lee Williams High School, and gives private lessons on the side.
It’s going to be a fun weekend for The Rivals as they play Flagstaff tonight, Black Bridge Brewery on Saturday and Metcalfe Park on Sunday. It’s the fourth anniversary party at Black Bridge.
“As you can tell, we really enjoy playing in Kingman and have developed a very good following,” Cardo said. “With Sounds of Kingman, it’s nice because we are actually giving back to the community and usually have a very good and enthusiastic crowd. The thing that surprises us is the wide range of ages that come to that show.”
Cardo has lived in Kingman since 1992. David, who plays bass and sings, lived here for a few years and was manager of the former Hastings store. He now lives in Flagstaff. Robert, guitarist and singer, also lived in Kingman for three years and has since moved to Farmington, New Mexico. He has another band, Black Lemon, that’s played here before.
Cardo is a few years older than his cousin and nephew, so he was influenced by the second wave of ska bands such as The Specials, English Beat, Bim Skala Bim and the Skatalites.
Cousin David’s influences are more along the third wave of ska, including No Doubt, Mighty Might Bosstones, Sublime and Sandpaper Love. Robert, the youngest, likes Streetlight Manifesto, Sublime, John Mayer and Jason Mraz.
“We are all highly influenced by my father, Ray Diaz, and his band, Los Rivales, which is where our name is derived from,” Cardo said.
“As far as our musical style, our main style is ska, but we have a wide variety of music we play, anywhere from Jason Mraz to Daft Punk and everything in between. We like to throw in some novelty songs that we surprise people with.”
The Rivals get a great reaction from the Kingman crowd, and that’s what drives the band, Cardo said.
“We have a lot of music and we’ll adjust our set list based on the crowd,” he said. “David is very good about watching the crowd and shifting on the fly. He calls the shots as far as our set list is concerned.”
The Sounds of Kingman audience can expect a more “mellow” set list, but again, The Rivals will adjust to the mood of the crowd, Cardo said.