These days, Pablo Cruise might be more “Pablo Cruise” than ever.
The laid-back pop/rock band — which got its start in 1973 San Francisco and is known for infectious hit singles like “Whatcha Gonna Do,” “Love Will Find a Way” and “Cool Love” — has long claimed the “Pablo” part was chosen for being a sort of Joe Six-Pack Spanish name, while the “Cruise” depicted the band’s easygoing California attitude.
Ergo, “Pablo Cruise” is the synonym for a relaxed everyman band that is all about the fun.
In a recent interview from his Thousand Oaks home, founding band member Cory Lerios said the Pablo Cruise vibe is alive and well in the band these days.
“It’s about fun, we do it because it’s fun, and we wouldn’t be doing it if it wasn’t fun,” Lerios emphasizes. “That’s super important.”
That’s also three “fun” references in one sentence. Because the members of Pablo Cruise have never been more focused on just enjoying the ride.
Back in the 1970s, it was a bit of a different story, according to Lerios.
“Then it was, ‘What’s the next record,’ ‘Where are we in the charts,’” he said. “We don’t worry about that these days. Everybody just looks forward to getting together and playing.”
Nor is it a particularly grueling schedule these days, either. The most the band has played in recent years is seven or eight concerts in the space of a couple of weeks.
Pablo Cruise will be in concert on Saturday, July 20, in Layton’s Kenley Amphitheater, as part of the Davis Arts Council’s Summer Nights With the Stars concert series. Tickets are $20 to $40.
These days, the band features founding members Lerios on keyboards and vocals, David Jenkins on guitar and vocals, and Stephen Price on drums and percussion. More recently, they’ve added Larry Antonio — who appeared as The Wolfman in the Tom Hanks “That Thing You Do” — on bass and vocals, and Robbie Wyckoff on vocals and percussion.
The addition of Wyckoff as frontman vocalist has changed the dynamics of the show, according to Lerios.
“We’ve never had a guy fronting the show who’s just a singer with a microphone,” he said. “And everybody sings in the band now. So what’s different is this may be the best Pablo Cruise band ever, even from back in the day.”
In addressing the legacy of Pablo Cruise, Lerios said dkdkd.
“I would say that we were a summer band,” he said. I think it was, again, a real positive repertoire, and uplifting music. A lot of times people referred to us as ‘the new Beach Boys.’ It was just that California sound.”
Lerios said Utah audiences can expect to have a good time on Saturday night.
“Our show is a complete show — there’s a lot going on,” Lerios said. “There’s a lot of interaction between the players, and a good chunk of comedy in the show.”
Much of that comedy takes the place of making light of an aging band and aging fans.
“We joke on stage that the band members are old friends because we’ve forgotten what we don’t like about each other,” Lerios says. “And the first thing we say to the audience is, ‘I hope they told you at the door: Please don’t rush the stage.’”
As if, at their age, they could.