Go Tejano Day feat. Duelo, La Original Banda El Limon, Mariachi Invitational Finalists RodeoHouston, Reliant Stadium March 11, 2012
The rain didn't dampen the mariachi spirit last night. Check out our slideshow from Go Tejano Day.
I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Tejano is dead. But that doesn't mean we can't all have a good time. That was the mentality of the 74,588 who purchased tickets to Sunday night's show at Reliant Stadium. Yes folks, that is the all-time attendance record at RodeoHouston.
Duelo was the headliner of the night, performing for the third time at the annual Go Tejano Day. The band from the border town of Roma, Texas specializes in the popular conjunto style of Norteño music, incorporating the traditional 12-string guitar called the bajo sexto, as well as a virtuoso accordion.
The name "Duelo" means "pain," and this band translates their experiences of love and heartbreak into gripping ballads and boot-scooting rancheras that prompted their fans to sing along, hold their date close, and scream in appreciation. I even saw a few macho vaqueros throw caution to the wind and start dancing with their tejanita in the aisles.
Lead singer Oscar Ivan Treviño was allowed to showcase his sincere voice with hits such as "Vuela Muy Alto" and "Sentimientos De Carton". He slowed things down with "Te Odio Y Te Amo", singing about how only a woman can simultaneously provoke both love and hate from their man. Duelo's most popular song "Necesito Mas De Ti" was presented to a joyous applause and sing-a-long.
They ended their set with "Ya Me Voy", a song that bids a loving farewell to a lost love, and in this case, the loving fans.
La Original Banda El Limón de Salvador Lizárraga served as the openers on this rainy afternoon at the rodeo. Not to be confused with La Arrolladora Banda El Limón who played last year (although the announcer sure did), this banda is lead by singers Luis Antonio Lizárraga and Lorenzo Méndez.
They are from the town of El Limón de los Peraza in state of Sinaloa, Mex.. Think of them as a marching band with cowboy boots, rhinestone jackets, and fanfares that will pierce your eardrums.
A cacophony of trumpets, clarinets, and trombones were all precisely melded together into crisp songs underlined with a tuba bass line. The banda swayed and danced with a vigorous energy that filled the arena with smiles from the fans bouncing in their seats. They played a remixed rendition of the fun song "El Mariachi Loco," then dropped a medley of classics such as "El Rey", "Cielito Lindo", and "El Sinaloense."
Yes, their show is as fun as it looks/sounds.
During the intermission of the headliners, two mariachi bands competed in the finals of the annual Mariachi Invitational. This contest attracts mariachi bands from all over the state to perform anonymously in hopes to win first place and be considered the year's best mariachi band.
Mariachi No. 1 presented songs by composers Juan Gabriel and Jose Alfredo Jimenez, with "No Vale La Pena" and "Si Nos Dejan", respectively. Mariachi No. 2 followed with a powerful rendition of "Aca Entre Nos" by Vicente Fernadez, a song that won over the crowd and ensured their victory in the contest. They were revealed to be Mariachi Aztlan from Edinburg, Tex.
Norteño music? Check. Musica de banda? Check. Mariachi locos? Check.
Missing in action.
Personal Bias:: Como Mexico, no hay dos!
The Crowd: Record Breaking
Random Notebook Dump: I invited my dad to come with me on this assignment. He has an iPhone (while I'm stuck with T-No-Service), and took a photo of the arena from the press box to send to my sister in Phoenix. The old man had a nice time. He works hard. He deserves it.
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Pointy Boot Report: Sadly, none to be found. Bummer, I know! I looked, I promise!