Maná Reminded Latinos To Keep Voting For Their Rights At the Honda Center

Honda Center

If you grew up Latino or well versed on rock music, you know that the band Maná is held to a unique standard of greatness. As Latin rock's most celebrated and commercially successful act, the 4-piece collective have garnered Grammy awards, multi-platinum records and a world-wide audience that transcends language barriers. Basically, if you don't know about Maná, what rock have you been living under?

The legendary Mexican rock band closed out their “Latino Power” tour at the Honda Center on Saturday night and showed an arena full of fans that in these times of civil unrest, Maná will be there for you. “We have lost a battle but not the war,” vocalist José Fernando “Fher” Olvera repeatedly said to the mostly Latinx crowd in the stadium when talking about the U.S's current political climate, which was a reoccurring topic throughout the show.

Maná were vocal about their efforts to get out the Latino vote in the U.S by having voter registration booths at each one of their shows leading up to the presidential election on the Latino Power tour—which kicked off three months ago in San Diego and made it's way through New York, Texas, Illinois, Arizona, Nevada, Colorado and ending back in California.

“We have baptized our new tour 'Latino Power', because with the strength of their collective vote this year, U.S Latinos can further empower our community—demanding more respect and effecting real change in the living conditions and opportunities of our people,” Olvera said back in February when announcing the tour.  After Olvera called Donald Trump's words as violent and as hateful as Hitler's speeches last summer at the Staples Center, the band's opinion of our new president-elect is pretty clear.

Give the climate of frustration and political anxiety in the audience in audience on Saturday, it was crucial for  Maná to give their fans a space to unwind and witness the band do what they do best, put on a chingón rock show.

Maná's cold open to their show included snippets from classic songs such as “Querida” by the late Juan Gabriel and “Revolution” by The Beatles blasting from a boom box in the center of the stage. Clips of political unrest, war and Donald Trump's speech about building a wall between Mexico and the U.S were shown—which garnered boos from the audience. Beneath the clips, the phrase “enciende tu luz” (fire up your light) was written as “Manda una Señal” began to play. “Manda una Señal” was met with voracious cheer and a crowd sing-along—a theme that continued throughout the night with each song Maná played.

“Vamos a pasar este Sabado muy madras!” Olvera shouted then proceeded to give Anaheim, Latin America and Mexico shout outs. Flags of Mexico, Brazil and El Salvador were spotted being waved throughout the crowd before the band began to play their arguably biggest hit, “Oye Mi Amor.”

Pitch perfect vocals from Olvera, studio quality sound from his bandmates, messages of activism and a puro pinche party were elements that made up Maná's stellar show. “Que chingón terminar en Anaheim” (How fucking awesome to end in Anaheim) Olvera said to a cheering audience.

“Corazón Espinado” (minus Carlos Santana), “La Prisión” and “Labios Compartidos” played  before the band switched their tone to advocate for environmental issues such as climate change with “Donde Jugarán Los Niños?” which saw the entire band, except for Olvera, put on ominous green gas masks.

Mark Goffeney, a master guitarist who plays with only his toes, joined the band for an instrumental jam. An epic guitar solo by Sergio Vallín was met by an equally epic drum solo by Alex “el Animal” González who chugged down a Chivas beer immediately after intensely drumming for 15 minutes straight to large approval by the lively crowd.

“Vivir sin Aire” followed up the solos which lit up the Honda Center with swaying lighters, cell-phone flashlights and slow-dancing couples, holding and kissing each other—another common theme with every slow Maná song that was played.

While the Latino Power tour celebrated the international Latino community, Olvera made a point to welcome other nationalities too. “Saludos (cheers) a Latinos, Saludos a Mexicanos, Saludos a Americanos…gringos, guerros…We welcome all people to our music—saludos cabrones!” Olvera shouted as he proceeded to drink a beige liquid that he said sure as hell wasn't “chamomile tea.”

Olvera then offered more words of encouragement to the overwhelmingly Latino crowd and encouraged people to vote in two years for midterm congressional elections. “Soon we'll have a Latino governor (likely a reference to Antonio Villaraigosa's recent announcement to run for governor of California) and a Latino president.” The crowd cheered as Olvera stated his predictions for Latinos becoming even more of a political force to be reckoned with in the United States.

As quickly as Olvera directed the show to politics he directed it back to romance, “This one is dedicated to las chicas who treat us like shit,” he said before the band broke into “Mariposa Traicionera.”

“Como Te Deseo”, “Me Vale” (during which the crowd started chanting “Ah wevo!” with Olvera's direction), “El Reloj Cucú”, “Eres Mi Religion” and “No Ha Parado de Llover” were all part of a set that focused on Maná's greatest hits. “Se Me Olvidó Otra Vez” was also covered in a tribute to the late great Juan Gabriel.

A smaller make-shift stage that sort of looked like a W.W.E ring was erected at the opposite side of the original stage to give the other half of the stadium a better view of the Mexican legends. A lucky young woman was brought up on stage to be serenaded by Maná as they played “Bendita tu Luz.” Olvera danced with the gal with a beer in hand.

Maná then walked through the middle floor of the stadium to get back to the original stage, greeting and hi-fiving their fans along the way—like the people's band that they are.

A cover of “Get Up, Stand Up” by Bob Marley & The Wailers was played with “Latinos for your rights” occasionally replacing the song's original lyrics. Flags from every Latin American country were displaced on the Honda Center's big screens as Olvera said, “We are living in a historic moment in this country,” he then added that the country was founded on immigrants, “this country is for everyone. Maná is completely against violence and racism….y el que no respeta, chinga su madre!” A roaring audience met the band's uplifting words with a sea of lighters and cell-phone screens.

“Rayando el sol” and “Clavado en un bar” were part of the band's encore that wrapped up the 2-hour show. Gonzales started tossing out autographed equipment and pairs of his drumsticks to the crowd, guitarist Sergio Vallín, and bassist Juan Calleros threw out their picks to giddy fans as well.

And with that, the Latino Power tour came to an end and delivered a much-needed boost of energy and determination to Latinos not only in Anaheim but in every single city across the United States that Maná visited. Now that la raza has been revived through good ol' rock n' roll, the only thing left to do is to continue living and fighting. Adelante cabrones!

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