Maná — OAKLAND REVIEW (2012)

30 04 2012

The hardest part about writing a review for a band you happen to love is to be objective. And believe me, if the show would have sucked, I’d be the first to say so. But I’ve seen my fair share of Maná shows to know when it just falls by the waist side. Friday’s show in Oakland did not. It was great … which then posed a different difficulty as a writer. I’ll let the beginning of the review explain (photos are from Maná’s Facebook page).

Maná is stronger than ever
By Julio Lara, Daily Journal Staff

To properly judge a Maná concert is to run into a giant wall of repetitive — in a career that has lasted more than 25 years, every single word imaginable to describe how epic and genius the quartet from Jalisco Mexico is has been exhausted.

For a writer, one that has experienced his fair share of Maná concerts, this can be a huge problem – unfortunately, the thesaurus only lists ten or so different ways to say “awesome.” 

Friday’s show at the Oracle Arena in Oakland only further adds to this dilemma. Of the 24-song set that lasted a little more than two hours, five of them were off of “Drama y Luz,” their newest No. 1 album, and thus, longtime Maná fans were probably getting their first taste of these renditions live. Such has been the success of their latest project, one that took home five Billboard Music Awards last Thursday, that in order to avoid sounding repetitive, perhaps it’s a decent idea to focus on those and write a good overview of the show.

But the truth is, a review like that would miss the point entirely because Maná’s magic lies in a God-given gift to make the old feel new —  in having you re-live those moments in your life when their songs served as your personal background music. The band didn’t pull any new punches for their show in Oakland. Frankly, if you’ve heard “Oye Mi Amor” or “Me Vale” once, you’ve heard them a thousand times. 

And yet somehow, Maná still (after thousands and thousand of live shows) has the power to make you feel what you felt after your first kiss, your first heartbreak, your first encounter with the idea of true love. 

What other band in Latin music can do that?

The answer to that is: Not many.

It’s here that I should give KUDOS to the Oakland crowd. You guys were sensational. I mean, there was your fair share of directors that decided to record the entire show with their iPhones (thank you, Steve Jobs, you single-handedly ruined live music for all of us), but then again, I can’t totally complain, it’s because of you guys that we got moments like this:

I wrote in the review that Maná’s rendition of “Si No Te Hubieras Ido” was one of the most magical moments I’ve ever witnessed at a live concert. And I wasn’t kidding. It was simply amazing. Maná had many of those types of moments, which is odd for a band that tours as much as they do. When they go on tour, they go HARD. I couldn’t help but feel that this was the band at their best — in a sense that, if we were to see them again, Father Time will take his effect and, it just won’t ever be the same. Here’s your playlist for the night. 2 hours and 20 minutes worth of show.

We’ll be at it again in September. I can’t wait.

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