The revving of engines and the buzzing of power tools are the most common sounds at Rantz Auto Center in Eagle Rock. But, come Saturday night, the sounds of auto repair will give way to a Latin beat and other tunes as the Colorado Boulevard repair shop once again turns itself into a venue for the Eagle Rock Music Festival. After speakers and lights are set up outside in front the garage doors, musicians on the Rantz “stage” perform before swaying crowds and their hosts, the Antunez family, which owns the shop and has served up tacos to the crowd in previous years. It’s one one of the quirky sights of the festival, which in the past has hosted musical performances at the former American Tire Depot and other unexpected venues.
Repair shop owner Ricardo Antunez said he is partial to Latin music but he is not picky about the bands that perform at Rantz. “My favorite is whoever moves the people,” said Antunez.
It was festival organizers who approached the auto repair shop about hosting live music. Antunez, who has allowed his shop to be used for car wash fundraisers and other community events, agreed. There have been a few minor problems over the years, including dancing that got out of hand one year. But for the most part, Antunez said he and his family have enjoyed the evening.
This Saturday, Rantz will play host to Six-Pak, the Eagle Rock High School Latin Jazz Ensemble, Cambalache and Umbalaye. Antunez, however, won’t be able to be on hand during the show, and there won’t be any tacos (he usually handled the preparation).
The bands don’t seem to have a problem performing in a place where cars – not guitars – are usually getting tuned up. “As far as I know, no one has ever objected to playing at an auto repair shop,” said festival spokeswoman Meagan Kadish.
A few festival goers who listened to bands at Rantz sometimes return to the shop, but not to listen to music. “They come back as customers,” Antunez said.