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Spanish Rock Band Maná Performs Sold Out Concert at AAC

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By Abraham Sanchez
Photos by Jovana Sanchez-Melendez

Lead singer Fher Olvera opening the Dallas concert for the "Drama Y Luz" tour.

Spanish Rock favorites Maná returned to Dallas last Thursday to a sold-out crowd at the American Airlines Center. Fans cheered and roared as the band strummed the first shimmering notes of Lluvia al Corazón from behind a curtain that hung over their stage. Lluvia al Corazón isn’t a very intense or exciting song and in fact, the first half of the show was remarkably relaxed and downtempo from my perspective (nosebleed seats).

While Maná’s previous hits were as well received as ever, their new songs were played to a lukewarm welcome, with people throughout my section scrolling through their cell phones instead of looking at the show. Then again, many of Maná’s songs require you to listen to them a few times before they sink in and really become enjoyable.

The band’s performance was more to be heard and not seen, as the band members don’t move much across the stage, with the exception of Alex, the drummer. He was fun to watch because he appeared to feel the music throughout the show, whereas the the guitarist and bassist mostly just played. The show’s high points began when they introduced the winner of a local competition, an amateur musician named Adal Benitez. Something they said they will continue to do for every city of their tour. Adal’s enthusiasm was contagious and brought plenty of good energy to the show as he rocked his guitar and played half of the solo to the band’s mega hit, Me Vale.

Maná bassist Juan Calleros.

The show continued to pick up from there when the rest of the band left Alex Gonzalez to do his drum solo, which he performed on his rotating mechanical drum platform. Throughout his solo he would stand on his seat and play from behind his back.  Halfway through he took a break to pull a beer out of one of his drums, which turns out to not be a drum and instead a conveniently drum-shaped cooler. He opened the beer bottle with his drum stick, took a sip, and put it back to continue the solo to the massive cheer of the crowd . Immediately after he finished, the stage was empty and the screens showed a public service announcement by lead singer Fher that said the typical “We only have one planet earth, lets take care of it” speech. The crowd, as usual, was enthused. “Let’s go recycle!” shouted one fan.

The band reemerged onto a smaller (10 ft x 10 ft) stage in the middle of the concert floor that they called the “Island of love” because — get this — it’s like an island surrounded by love.

One fortunate lady was picked from the crowd to be serenaded onstage by the band. Fher slow danced with her as he sang Se Me Olvidó Otra Vez by Juan Gabriel. She left the stage, and the band played “songs that are sung in the cantinas”, that’s songs about heartbreak for us English-speaking folks. They performed Si No Te Hubieras Ido by Marco Antonio Solís, during which they disappeared behind the stage and reappeared on the main stage with the music still playing through the speakers.

Once back on the main stage the concert took a more political tone. Fher came out from backstage with a Mexican flag and spoke about the state of Latin America, we have the same story, the same language, the same family, and there are 50 million Latinos in the U.S, he proclaimed. “To all the gringos that come here in good will, welcome”, he said in English. He continued saying that “Immigrants that are being persecuted didn’t come here for crumbs, they came for justice.”

Front row at the Maná concert.

In the back ground, images of Latin American flags were displayed, while in the crowd, several Brazilian, Argentine and Mexican flags could be seen. A sign that said “Racismo” was displayed on screen with a red slash and circle over it.

The concert resumed with the band playing one of their classics, Vivir Sin Aire. Most of the crowd had been standing or dancing for the entirety of the concert, now some people had their arms around each other as they swayed to the music. Como Yo Te Deseo followed next, as fans cheered and sang along to the rhythmic song. The show ended with high energy to the tune of Clavado en Un Bar.

The crowd watched the band exit the stage and asked for an encore by chanting otra! otra! “One more! One more!” The band obliged with  Labios Compartidos and then with En El Muelle De San Blas.

The concert was quite good overall, and despite it’s ho-hum beginning it finished strong with a satisfying encore. The band’s 32-year tenure, three-hour concert, and the sold-out crowd at American Airlines Center is a testament to the fact that Maná is a band of talent and substance, something that can’t be said about many bands anymore.

Abraham Sanchez is a resident of Pleasant Grove and a practicing musician.

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  • Matthew Hall

    People should live where they want to. It just seems that for many at this concert, that isn’t the U.S. I think that is sad on several levels and I hope they can live where they want in the future. I’m just glad I already do.

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