There's a Reason Go Tejano Day Keeps Breaking Rodeo Attendance Records

Los Huracanes del Norte opened up Go Tejano Day in front of 75,505 fans.EXPAND
Los Huracanes del Norte opened up Go Tejano Day in front of 75,505 fans.
photos by Marco Torres

Go Tejano Day Feat. Los Huracanes del Norte, Banda Los Recoditos 
NRG Stadium
March 13, 2016

"Todos somos amigos!" proclaimed Heraclio "Rocky" García, director of the norteño group Los Huracanes Del Norte, who opened up a lively afternoon of music and tradition at RodeoHouston on Sunday. Sure, it was most likely just a reflection of the good energy that filled the stadium, but considering the country's current political climate, his call for unity could also serve as a reminder that together we can all overcome hate, violence and greed.

But enough with the dramatics. Go Tejano Day was once again about loud and brassy tempos, amores and pachangas, and the crowd — another RodeoHouston all-time attendance record at 75,508 strong — was treated to a variety of fun tracks that elicited smiles across the board. Los Huracanes began the night with "El Gato de Chihuahua," a song about two brothers running from the law. Of course, the shouts of "Echalé Mi Chuy!" and "Bonito Mi Chapete!" caused cheers as the accordion players ran their fingers at lightning speed across their instruments.

José Luis 'El Chapete' rocks the accordion.EXPAND
José Luis 'El Chapete' rocks the accordion.

The song "Mi Complemento" was a change of pace, making all the vaqueros hug their damas tighter, and the tears flow into the cervezas. The night finished with one of the most popular norteño tracks in recent history: "Nomas Por Tu Culpa." When the chorus hit, the whole stadium rocked in unison and shook the roof. I will never not be amazed at the power of the accordion and a bajo sexto.

During the intermission, the Annual Go Tejano Mariachi Invitational finals saw two excellent groups in competition. The first was Houston's own Mariachi Imperial de America. This young and diverse crew made the finals for the second year in a row, an already amazing accomplishment considering the fierce competition they encountered from the other mariachi bands from across the state.

By the luck of the draw, they once again were chosen to perform first. They played a stellar version of "Juan Colorado," followed by the Jose Alfredo Jimenez classic "Caminos de Guanajuato." The short-timed set ended with "Caminos de Michoacán" and the standard "Mexico Lindo y Querido." It was a very strong set, although it seems like the crowd may also have used the intermission to go to the concession stands because the applause was not as loud as it should have been.

The second group was San Antonio's Mariachi Azteca de America, which ultimately won the contest with a more traditional sound and set, and the help of performing second.

Mariachi Imperial de America once again made the finals of the Annual Go Tejano Mariachi Invitational.EXPAND
Mariachi Imperial de America once again made the finals of the Annual Go Tejano Mariachi Invitational.

The night's second headliner was Banda Los Recoditos, from the state of Sinaloa. The energy and drive of this group was evident from opener "Ando Bien Pedo," a track that talks about drinking and having fun, but always longing for the love of a beautiful women. Many people are turned off by the campy nature of banda, with the bouncy tuba background and loud brass sounds, but that is exactly why I love the genre. It doesn't try to be something sophisticated or proper, but is all about fun music and high spirits. "Pistearé" is possibly the group's most popular track, once again using alcohol to cure the troubles of love and drown out the hurt. "Mi Ultimo Deseo" was also a hit.

Banda Los Recoditos.EXPAND
Banda Los Recoditos.

Another year without Tejano music, and still, that's okay. Go Tejano is not about Tejano music, it's about the vaquero way of life, which is and will always be alive and well.

But really, though...when are we gonna get that Selena hologram at Go Tejano Day?!

When he's not roaming around the city in search of tacos and graffiti, Marco points his camera lens toward the vibrant Houston music scene and beyond. Follow his adventures on Instagram at @MarcoFromHouston.

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