It all seemed very dream-like: a band from East Los Angeles, playing rock and roll classics and Mexican corridos, inside of a 150-year-old barn in The Woodlands, all while I ate my dinner. Yet I wasn't dreaming, I was just at the Dosey Doe (25911 I-45 North). The intimate dining and music hall made this feel less like a concert and more like a wedding reception that I had just crashed. It was my first time visiting this venue, but surely hope it won't be my last.
Like many others, I first heard of Los Lobos on the soundtrack for La Bamba. I practically wore out that cassette tape on my walkman as a kid, equally absorbing the magic of Ritchie Valens and Los Lobos with each sitting. The first time I saw them live was back in 1998 when they co-headlined a show with Carlos Santana, also in The Woodlands. Seeing David Hidalgo and Cesar Rosas go toe to toe with my guitar hero cemented them in my mind as "bad-ass rockeros."
They made their way onto the stage to a ferocious applause that made Hidalgo joke "Jeez guys, at least wait until we play a song." And the night continued this way, with the band interacting with fans, everyone rocking and laughing, cheering and singing.
They opened with "One Time, One Night" from the 1987 album By The Light Of The Moon, then took us through a journey that included pieces from all over their voluminous catalogue. "I hope we aren't too loud for y'all" asked Hidalgo. No sir, not one bit.
The band is more than 30 years old, which is forever in the music industry, but they still play with a vigor and a youthfulness that rivals any other band in the business. Every note was forceful yet smooth, like an drop top Chevy Impala cruising the streets on a Sunday evening.
When they dialed up Valens' "Come On Let's Go," I was transported to my cousin's garage as he showed me the first electric guitar I had ever seen or heard in person. They took a break from the electric stuff to dazzle us with their acoustic jams from La Pistola y El Corazon, and other traditional rancheras such as "Volver, Volver."
Of course the night ended with "La Bamba," and they encored with "Guantanamera."
How will the wolf survive? Just fine, thanks.
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Personal Bias: I'm a huge fan of Mexican jam bands from East L.A.
The Crowd: Gringos and Chicanos, loving every minute of the show.
Overheard in the crowd: Viva Los Lobos!
Random Notebook Dump: The tickets might seem pricey ($93, $123, $153), but that includes a 3-course meal and a drink. Buying a ticket at another venue plus food plus drinks will run you about the same. Good deal for a special night, IMHO.