Mana @StaplesCenter — Los Angeles

25 06 2011

There aren’t many bands that I would hop on an airplane for. I can name, maybe two. But only one for sure. Now, that was only a statement until this week when I met it a reality. Today’s post is being brought to you from a hotel room in Carson, California. And it because of said band:

Yup. When Mana announced their tour dates, my heart was set on trying to cover their concert. Now, that thought took a bit of a blow when they announced that they weren’t coming to the Bay Area — not only were they not coming to the Bay Area, they were forced to schedule four (yes, FOUR) shows at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. I mean, they had no other choice — tickets for that first show sold out a handful of minutes from when they were announced. And so did the second show. And the third show. And yes, the fourth show. That’s 20,000 seats a night, for four nights, each sold out within minutes of tickets being released. When you can do that, what need is there to go anywhere else? Really?

So, if we were going to be able to watch, enjoy and write about Mana, we would have to travel … so, I guess we traveled.

And so, after a several weeks of planning, we were to attend and cover the show. I have to say, if for reason the Journalism Gods decided that traveling from city to city covering artist after artist is what they want me to do, then I would do it in a heartbeat. Here’s a bit of the review I filed for my publication:

Mana’s start to tour great, but not perfect
By Julio Lara, Daily Journal Staff

LOS ANGELES — The feat itself is something iconic — four straight nights at the Staples Center in Los Angeles sold out mere hours after tickets went on sale. That’s 80,000 seats, gone. Just like that.

Only one Latin American band has the power to pull off such a monstrous achievement, so for that reason alone, Mana should be applauded and worshipped for the Rock en Español gods that they are.

But then there’s the actual part that involves performing to 20,000 fans a night after being absent from the tour scene for more than three years, promoting new material that has received mixed reviews, while not looking like aging rock stars. If Mana were to pull that off, a standing ovation would be in order.

Reviewing this show was tough — I’m a big fan of this band and I have been to a lot of their shows — so I have a very good idea of what makes a Mana show a “Mana!!!” show. Maybe because I was working and not fully engaged in it did I get a, sort of weird vibe from it. But I do stand by my observation that the second half of the show salvaged the concert. I would have loved to hear more of their newest album (they only did four songs!!). I’ll have more on the concert in an upcoming post.

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