Mana @StaplesCenter — Playlist glance

25 06 2011

Mana played to the sold-out Staples Center for two hours, before coming out for the encore that consisted of two songs. They then took their final bow, said goodbye to the L.A crowd and began getting ready for another trio of shows this week. All-in-all, the show consisted of 22 songs. Below are some thoughts that I wrote down as they went through their set.

• Lluvia Al Corazon — This choice was not a surprise, given the commercial success of “Drama Y Luz,” why NOT start with probably the best song on the album. Fher performed this behind a curtain the entire time, which was sort of weird. It’s been my experience that Mana likes to come out with something more upbeat to start the show.

• Oye Mi Amor — Enough said. This rendition was a bit different. The band remixed it a bit, slower tempo, which took some of the punch away from it. At the end Fher says “esto se poner cabron!” To which I wrote, “hopefully.”  One thing you’ll hear me say a lot during the this analysis is, PEOPLE, PUT THE CAMERAS DOWN! We’re all guilty of wanting to take a picture or two, but seriously, a concert isn’t a recording session. You’re there to dance and enjoy the show. Now, it’s way too easy to capture video on your phone, camera. And there is something seriously wrong with a Mana show if there are more people playing director than dancing their asses off. It’s pretty annoying.

• Eres Mi Religion — First legitimate magic moment of the night. 20,000 people singing a terrific song as one. Definitely a highlight of the night.

• Rayando El Sol — Prayed for this one to be played on the flight over, and got my wish. Another fantabulous moment.

• Espejo — I wrote in the review that, for me, this is where the show got interesting. Mainly, how would the crowd respond to Mana’s newest material? The song, and the album for matter, was a bold statement by the band — a move that forced me to remove the Rock en Español label from them … they’ll have to settle for the title of best band of all time. Espejo was played with a 10-piece string orchestra on stage, which added depth and overall awesomeness to the song. But the crowd did not respond well. They all sat down. Some took a snack break. Others bathroom breaks. Thumbs down, major thumbs down to the L.A crowd.

• Sor Maria — The orchestra stayed for this song, which is one of my favorites from the new album. Again, it’s different than what fans are used to, and for that, it was a risky move by Mana. But hell, you’re there to present new material. If you don’t, you’ll always be playing the same thing over and over again and there would be no reason to see another show. The lyrics to this song are phenomenal.

• Paloma — Truly emotional moment in the concert. This song was written by Fher for his mother who passed away as the band was preparing to head back into the studio to record “Drama Y Luz.” Fher is a professional and held his composure throughout, but you can head the emotion in his through during a couple of the lyrics.

• Bendita La Luz — Sergio can play a mean guitar. For a second there, I allowed myself to hope that Juan Luis Guerra would pop out and sing his portion of the song. Disappointed as I was, it was a solid rendition.

• Latinoamerica — Hello, Mr. Animal. Thanks for coming to play and sing. Much appreciated. Alex’s energy is unmatched. I loved the visuals during this song. The slideshow of flags along with lyrics was great. And for those that don’t know the song (because it’s new), it like, karaoke.

• Corazon Espinado — Another song I was hoping they would play. But seriously, PUT THE CAMERAS DOWN! Gosh, that’s so annoying. There were more people recording than dancing. It’s during Corazon Espinado that I wrote that the L.A crowd, to me, lacked that true punch. Maybe it’s me being a homer, but the crowds in the Bay Area are 6.5 times better, at the very least. Maybe they were just trying to work themselves back slowly from that lull in the show (which they themselves created by not responding well to the Drama Y Luz songs). I’ve been a lot of Mana concerts, and for some reason, this one felt a little different at this point.

Me Vale — Leave it to El Animal to turn the show around. This song had been missing from their set list as of late, and to hear it again, it was like a bucket of cold water. The man is a true rock star. I’m jealous.

• (Animal Drum Solo) — a whole eight or nine minutes of it. Awesome, beginning to end. The highlight of the solo was when, elevated on a revolving drum stage, Alex reaches into a secret compartment inside one of his DW toms and pulls out a Corona, shugs a bit of it, then put it back into hiding. LOL.

• Donde Jugaran Los Niños (acoustic) — With the crowd fixated on Alex and his long solo, Fher and Sergio snuck out and popped up on a smaller stage near the back of the floor. This appearance came after a video monologue by Fher which all but gave away that they’d be performing Donde Jugaran. But, the cool thing? It was just Fher, Sergio and a guitar. I’ve never heard it this way before and it was awesome.

• Se Me Olvido Otra Vez (acoustic) — Mana played this song for their “Unplugged” concert in Miami. Now they bust it out during concerts. But this time it was just Fher, Sergio and a guitar. It gave it a “cantina” feel.

• Si No Te Hubieras Ido (acoustic) — Fher asked Alex and Juan to join him on stage after Se Me Olvido … and the quartet played this single from their “Arde El Cielo” live album. Of the 23 songs played in the concert, this rendition was in my Top-3 favorite songs of the night. The crowd stopped recording and started to feel the music. It was great.

• Vivir Sin Aire (Acoustic) — It wouldn’t be a Mana concert without their patented “female serenade.” After scoping the crowd for a beautiful lady, Fher brought up a young lady, Veronica from Lincoln Heights, and the entire crowd sang Vivir Sin Aire. There is something unreal about this song. No matter how many times you hear it, you can’t help but sing along to it a pecho abierto (as they say in Mexico).

• Como Te Deseo — By the end of the acoustic set, the tide had turned. And from this point on, there was an entirely different feel to the show. Mana climbed down the acoustic stage and walked along the side of the crowd toward the main stage as a prepared instrumental played over the speakers. Clearly it was for Come Te Deseo, which was delightful for me given that I had never this song live.

• De Piez A Cabeza — My favorite song of the night. I’ve ALWAYS wanted to hear this song live. First time was on Thursday. Totally absolutely unequivocally awesome.

• Dejame Entrar — Dejame Entrar was the lead song during Mana’s last tour. I guess they had success with it because they’ve kept it as part of their playlist. I say it’s a good move.

• Clavado En Un Bar — Would not be a Mana concert without this song. Usually, it means the set is winding down, and I was right. Fher busted out the trademark Mexican flag and gave his Latino empowerment speech. The crowd was doing so well, but as soon as Fher reached for that flag, the CAMERAS CAME OUT AGAIN. Urgghhh. Grrrr. Anyway, no need to get all worked up after a good show. Lights went out and the “OTRA OTRA OTRA” “CULERO CULERO CULERO” chants began. I took a guess as to what songs would be in the encore. I knew Muelle De San Blas for sure, and thought they’d do their latest single, “Amor Clandestino.” I got one of two right.

• Labios Compartidos (encore) — A couple of months ago, Mana performed on some award show and fans voted for their favorite song which the band would perform during the show. Labios Compartidos won. I didn’t know this song was that popular. But apparently it is. When they came out to this song, I thought for sure they’d do three songs for their encore. I mean, they had only done four songs from their new album! But I was wrong, because as soon as they finished with Labios, the most awesome riff of all time began and it was time for …

• El Muelle De San Blas (encore) — There is no better song in the Mana repertoire to finish a show with than Muelle De San Blas. That’s it. Show over. Drive home safe. And happy.

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8 responses

2 07 2011
Larry Sloven

Thanks for the recap. I too came down from the Bay Area for the Friday night show and was thrilled as always. The first time I saw Mana I drove from the Bay Area to San Diego in February 2007–it stunned me what an incredible live act this is. Then two shows in Oakland in September 2007 were equally great (and just about identical set lists). The show at Staples on Friday featured many of the classics but worked in new great and interesting ones. The thing that strikes me about all these shows is that there is a sense of bonding of the band with the audience and within the audience itself…and thousands of people walk out with smiles.

My wife agreed with your annoyance about the cameras. It doesn’t bother me–I was one of the guilty parties (although I didnt shoot the whole show), but I have videos of three full songs that are wonderful memories for me.

17 07 2011
Emily Peters Wolfe

We just saw them at the Patriot Center in Fairfax, VA. We bolted with the last song feeling that there would be no encore. I came across your blog today hoping to see if there was. AMEN on the camera comment. The guys next to us watched the entire concert via his iPhone. I was surprised that the play list was not the same for all the venues. Hmm??? Thanks for sharing your recount. ~Emily

22 07 2011
Evelyn

Just saw the concert in Chicago, IL….. And seriously whith the camera phones geez! Anyway the whole night I kept feeling like something was missing …..I think its just that their BayArea concerts are way better the crowed is more in to it or something…idk….. Anyway I’m looking forward to seeing them in the bay …. Anyone know when they will be there?

22 07 2011
julitolara

Hey Evelyn, thanks for reading. Yeah, if I were to guess, and this is only a guess, I think Mana will be in the Bay Area at year’s end. If you consider they’ll be making a swing through Europe first, they’ll probably head south to South America, then scoot left to Central America and Mexico THEN maybe back up to the U.S.
I’m thinking it’ll be October or November … that is, if they don’t take a break somewhere in the middle of that.

24 07 2011
valo

who knows the song that plays after mana left.. It’s an english song . I think it’s the beatles.. Not sure..

24 07 2011
julitolara

Not completely sure, but I remember correctly it’s “All You Need Is Love,” by the Beatles.

18 04 2012
gaby

So you are allowed to take cameras into the staples center for a mana performance? I’m asking because I will go see them on the 25th, and I would like to take a couple of pictures to keep as memory but if not then I won’t even bother.

18 04 2012
julitolara

Gaby,
I think that depends on the kind of camera you’re talking about. Big cameras for sure aren’t allowed. But that I remember and have seen, people have their small cameras out to take photos. And if your camera is in your phone, there is no way they won’t let you inside without it. What isn’t allowed are recording devices of any kind. Which, is stupid, considering that an iPhone is exactly that. Have fun at the show!!

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