Review: Maná rocks Tucson Arena

2012-09-21T11:36:00Z 2012-09-21T12:36:12Z Review: Maná rocks Tucson ArenaBy Ernesto Portillo Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
September 21, 2012 11:36 am  • 

The Mexican rock group Maná came to play last night and its feverish, fervent fans were not disappointed.

In front of an anxious 6,000 fans, who waited for an hour in the Tucson Convention Center Arena for the band to appear on stage, the popular quartet delivered a solid, more than pleasing two-hour plus show. With lead singer Fher Olvera, strutting the stage, bassist Juan Calleros, drummer Alex González and guitarist Sergio Vallín delivered a string of the group’s hits from its past 20 years, sprinkled with a few, newer and less familiar songs: “Labios Compartidos,” “Mariposa Traicionera,” “Bendita tu Luz,” “Rayando el Sol,” “Clavado en un Bar,” and “En el Muelle de San Blas.”

The group also included its very well-known cover of “Siempre en Mi Mente,” by the prolific and hugely popular singer/songwriter Juan Gabriel.

In its two decades of performing across continents, Maná has honed its stage presence. Fher leads sing-alongs from fans, regales them with references to good times and extols the benefits of tequila shots, whether he actually drinks tequila on stage or not.

The state production was enhanced by the lights and background video of images and colors. Fher also delivered his patented appeal to respect and preserve the environment, a major theme for Maná, and the group’s appeal to Latin American nationalism with the unfurling of a Pan Latino flag and call to Latino unity.

That’s all part of the Maná show.

Musically, however, what was impressive was González’s massive drum solo near the concert’s midway point. Perched on a hydraulic, revolving stage, in what seemed like an endless solo, González let loose on a full drum kit, leaving himself and his audience drained.

He lived up to his name as the “animal.”

The group also lived up to its reputation of being fan friendly and appreciative.

After González’s frenetic demonstration, Fher and Vallín, appeared at the opposite end of the arena floor and perched themselves on a small elevated stage. There the duo, later joined by the González and Callejos, gave their fans in the far-flung cheap seats an intimate acoustic mini-show with snippets of the group’s softer tunes.

The highlight was Fher’s serenading of a young woman from the audience with the band’s seminal, Police-sounding hit, “Vivir Sin Aire.”

Maná returned to the stage and resumed its amped affair, including a 15-minute encore, leaving its audience with the salsa-tinged “Corazón Espinado.”

It was a seamless and timeless Maná show. Its fans wanted nothing less and received more.

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