Los Tigres Del Norte
March 10, 2019
Family can be a beautiful thing. They lift you up when you are down, give you affection when you need it the most, and tell you the truth even when you'd prefer the opposite. The Hernandez family from San Jose, California are led by brothers Jorge and Hernan, who have been singing the truth about Mexico and Mexican-Americans for almost five decades.
In that time, their band Los Tigres Del Norte have become one of the most iconic groups to ever perform, telling the realities of Mexican life, showcasing both the beauty of the people as well as the broken system that we all live in.
The evening began with a loud roar, followed by the notes from one of their earliest hits entitled "La Banda del Carro Rojo" (the gang with the red car). It seems that Mexico isn't all about the beach and margaritas and tacos (although that does sound amazing right about now), but also about drugs, corruption, and betrayal on both sides of the law.
As immigrants themselves, Los Tigres also sing about the realities of the immigration process and the eternal struggle to achieve the American Dream. Their second song of the night was "La Jaula de Oro", translated as "the golden cage", which is a metaphor for the way of life many immigrants are forced to endure while living and working in their home away from home.
The night transitioned from corridos (storytelling balads) to cumbias, and eventually to love songs, each received with appreciation and loud cheers by the record crowd of 75,586. Hit songs such as "Somos Mas Americanos", "Jefe De Jefes", and "La Puerta Negra" sounded especially loud with much of the stadium singing along.
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Their physical voices may have sounded a bit tired and somewhat off key, but the message of Los Tigres Del Norte sounded loud and clear.
As always, the finals of the annual Mariachi Invitational contest sponsored by the Go Tejano Committee were held prior to the rodeo headliners. Two anonymous groups battled head to head with traditional songs from Juan Gabriel, Vicente Fernandez, and Jose Alfredo Jimenez. But it was a song by Los Tucanes De Tijuana that led Group #2 to the eventual victory. With the help of a lively accordion player and a charismatic lead singer, the mariachi played and danced to "La Chona", securing the loudest cheers from the crowd, sealing the victory for this year's first place trophy.
"¡Y La Chona se mueve!"