Maná: Friday, May 11 at the AmericanAirlines Arena
I will start by saying that I am fully aware of Maná's reoccurring themes - love, heartbreak, forgivingness, blah, blah, blah - but I don't really care, they were still (French warning) fucking amazing. I would rather listen and watch Maná share their longings than some bachatero with plucked eyebrows, background dancers, and tight pants. As a bilingual individual, I find that there are only a handful of Spanish-speaking bands and artists that can truly transcend language barriers, and I'm convinced that Maná is one of them.
Friday's concert had no opening act, with Maná delivering an exhilarating, two-and-a-half hour show that was free of overly-done gimmicks. Miami's pitstop also marked the close of their Drama y Luz U.S. tour, one that broke the record for the most performances held at Los Angeles' Staples Center (surpassing mega-stars like Madonna, U2, and Britney Spears).
I won't go too much into details about the band's history and laundry list of awards (just plug in some Googling), but I will say that if you have the opportunity to catch them live, do so. Lead singer Fher Olvera's voice live is as pure as it sounds on any record. He's also a captivating performer, whose awkward dancing gestures often illicit a chuckle, but still add to his overall intrigue. Guitarist Sergio Vallin and drummer Alex González each got respective solos, but it was the latter that stole the show. González' set sat on a hydraulic stage that rotated to face each side of the audience. After a fifteen minutes of (French warning) banging the shit of his drums - i.e. standing on his chair, flipping his sticks, drumming his hands behind his back, slamming a gauntlet, and pulling a bottle of tequila out of his set - González was met with a rip-roaring standing ovation that lasted almost two minutes.
Midway through the show, the band popped-up on a secondary stage at the back of the floor, playing a more intimate showcase of songs. They performed on the platform for almost 45-minutes, serenading a lucky lady in the meantime. After completing the set, Maná walked through the floor high-fiving spectators and retook the main stage for the closing selection of songs. Appropriately, the encore was mega-hit and tortured love song, Labios Compartidos.
My tickets were generously provided by Univision, but next time the tour rolls into my home city, I'd gladly pay to see them again.