Save a performance at last year's Latin Grammys, Mexican rock superstars Café Tacuba finally made their way back to Houston after a two-year absence with Grammy-winning tunes from their most recent album, Sino, and the light show to match. The band's show at the sold-out House of Blues Tuesday night was jam-packed with new songs and the classics. "They played every song I wanted to hear. Non-stop," said longtime fan Angie Moreno. "They took me through the wonderful journey that was growing up with their music," chimed in Lizbeth Ortiz, the local artist whose painting was the image of the 2008 Latin Grammys, where Tacuba was nominated in a record six categories.
That's saying a lot, considering the band is celebrating 20 years of making music together. The band has been a successful underground movement, refusing to sign contracts that would limit their ability to compose their own sound. They have said their durability comes from the freedom each has to contribute their own songs, knowing the work may sound totally different after they work on it together. And their fans, ranging from pre-teen to middle-aged, are an illustration of the band's success.
Tacuba played more of their mellow tunes in the first hour of the show. That was enough to keep even the fans in the second floor balcony standing, but the second set was when they stepped it up and set La Casa de Blues on fire.
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Emmanuel del Real Díaz, composer of "Las Flores" and "La Ingrata," started out the set with "Eres." Lead singer Rubén Isaac Albarrán Ortega, didn't slow down in the second half either, dancing all over the stage the entire show.
By the time the rest of the band joined for the dance routine from their widely-known video for "Dajate Caer," the entire first floor was a mosh pit - crowd-surfing and all. Ortega teased the crowd with "Quieres bailar?" ("Do you want to dance?" in English), before starting into the last song of the night, "Chica Banda," and bringing up a female member from the audience to dance on stage with him.
"They're auditory sunshine. They know how to work the crowd. They feed off the crowd's energy and the crowd feeds off theirs," said another fan, Karla Aguilar, after the show.
The only drawback to the concert was the $17.50 Aftermath paid for a 24-ounce Miller Lite and 12-ounce Shiner.