Classic Rock Corner

Los Lonely Boys and Los Lobos Jam Out at Revention Music Center

No laser beams, just pure rock 'n roll.
No laser beams, just pure rock 'n roll. Photo by Marco Torres

Los Lonely Boys, Los Lobos
Revention Music Center
January 24, 2019

There wasn't a laser in sight last night onstage at Revention Music Center. No CO2 canons or massive video screens, no mosh pits, and definitely nobody "getting lit" or "raging". This wasn't that kind of party.

This show was a return to the classics, puro rock 'n roll, with Los Lobos and Los Lonely Boys jammin' out almost like we were in a backyard somewhere celebrating a birthday. It was the guitar turned up to 11, the smooth bass notes rumbling deep and the drums pumping rhythm into your soul.

From the barrios of East Los Angeles, Los Lobos have been playing a mix of traditional Mexican folk songs and heartfelt rock 'n roll for more than four decades. They are one of the premier rock music bands of our time, absolute legends of American music.

click to enlarge The legends showed off their mastery. - PHOTO BY MARCO TORRES
The legends showed off their mastery.
Photo by Marco Torres
They began the evening with a trio of classic Mexican folk songs, complete with the guitarrón and the vihuela to add authenticity. It was evident that they are masters at their craft, strumming those chords with purpose and passion, their voices full of soul, knowledge, and heartbreak.

Many know the band from their work on the classic Ritchie Valens biopic film La Bamba (1987). They indulged their fans by playing a few songs from the soundtrack, including the title track as well as "Come On Let's Go!".

The highlight of the night was the track "Sabor A Mi", a romantic bolero that was adopted as a lowrider cruising classic by Chicanos everywhere. Its a beautiful love song that is covered to perfection by Los Lobos. A true treat to hear this one live.

After a short intermission, Los Lonely Boys took the stage to a rousing applause. The three brothers: Henry, Jojo, and Ringo, are rock 'n roll to the bone.

The brothers call their music "Texican" rock 'n roll, a mix of tough, no nonsense guitar riffs with smooth love songs such as "Crazy Dream" and "Heaven".

click to enlarge Texican at its finest. - PHOTO BY MARCO TORRES
Texican at its finest.
Photo by Marco Torres
"This is the part of the show where we play the beginning of songs that everybody knows" declared Henry about halfway through the show. He certainly delivered on that promise, playing "La Grange" by ZZ Top, "Billie Jean" by Michael Jackson, and even "Preso Sin Delito" by Ruben Naranjo. A true mix of what Tejanos grew up listening to, songs in Spanish and in English, living on the edge of both worlds, creating an identity that represents respect, inclusion, loyalty and love.

David Hidalgo, Cesar Rosas, and Steve Berlin of Los Lobos joined in on the jam session after a few songs, where they played both "Texas Flood" and "Pride And Joy" by Stevie Ray Vaughn, a cover of "Oh Darling!" by The Beatles, and ending with the Lonely Boys Texican Swing track "Friday Night".

Los Lonely Boys took some time to thank Los Lobos for "paving the way for all Chicano musicians", and made damn sure to play with their whole heart as tribute to their heroes.
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When he's not roaming around the city in search of tacos and graffiti, Houston Press contributor Marco points his camera lens toward the vibrant Houston music scene and beyond.