Last Thursday, July 14, the Washington Metro area was visited by one of the most important and successful bands in Spanish rock history, Maná. The sold-out Patriot Center was transformed into an assembly of Latin American countries. Flags from numerous countries were proudly waved, all the attending –particularly the women- were dressed out to the nines and ready for a night of delight and enjoyment.
The show began to the tunes of the Dominican singer/songwriter, Vicente Garcia and his band. Como Has Logrado, Agualluvia, and Mi Balcón were his musical offerings to a warm receiving crowd at the venue.
A massive stage and mesh screen covered the setup and functioned as a surface on which stars, hearts, and clouds were projected on, all while the Mexican quartet made their way to the stage to the sounds of Lluvia al Corazón. Much to everyone’s surprise, the next two songs were golden classics for any Maná fan. Oye Mi Amor and De Pies a Cabeza brought everyone to their feet cheering and belting wholeheartedly to the tune of these two songs.
The show progressed and somehow the energy within the band, particularly lead singer Fher Olvera, seemed to dwindle. Maybe it was the high expectations I had for this show, maybe it was my level of fanaticism noticing things not obvious to the normal attendee, or maybe it was just me seeing things, but it seemed as though the boys were running low on steam and the first half of the show was more of a dressed rehearsal than the actual live performance. Plagued with technical difficulties at times, it was obvious that their frustration was also taking a toll on the performance.
Regardless, they marched on and offered a rather varied selection of songs and screen projections including a rising platform that elevated drummer Alex “El Animal” Gonzalez, up almost ten feet in the air. For me, the call to arms came to the tune of Latinoamérica. All of us who took our flags to the show stood and proudly sang for our people, for our struggles and for our nations.
The second half of the show got a second wind during the acoustic performance relocated to the second stage at the back of the venue. This portion revamped everyone’s energy and it truly became a giant intimate sing along.
Upon their return to the mane stage they sang Como Te Deseo, Dejame Entrar and Clavado En Un Bar with which they left the stage to a roaring crowd. Labios Compartidos and En El Muelle de San Blas were their departing songs to the 10,000 present on Thursday night.