Go Tejano Day feat. Siggno and Banda El Recodo
Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo
March 19, 2017
"Ummmm...It's not Tejano Day anymore, homie!"
Those were the words I read on a Facebook thread Sunday morning before making my way to NRG Stadium. Every year, I hear the same thing. A sentiment of disapproval because Rodeo Houston no longer books bands that play Tejano Music for its annual Go Tejano Day.
And every year, I respond with a variation of the following:
They may not play Tejano music any more, but it definitely is still Go Tejano Day. The "Tejano" in this usage refers to the vaqueros and the vaquero lifestyle of Texas. Plus, the Go Tejano Committee funds thousands of scholarships for Houston students to attend college. So regardless of your feelings concerning the entertainment, it's still one of the highlights of Rodeo season that is consistently attended by over 70,000 fans each year.
In fact, yesterday's Go Tejano Day broke another record with 75,557 in announced paid attendance. The crowd was just as loud as or louder than when the Texans win a playoff game. That makes this day every year one of the best and most energetic shows of rodeo season.
First up to the stage was Grupo Siggno. Technically, they are classified as a conjunto band, but not many other groups of this sort wear mascara and look like members of Metallica. In fact, their latest album holds a much more appropriate name: Rockteño. Lead singer Jesse Turner uses his soothing vocals to shake the crowd back and forth, accompanied by the virtuoso playing he produces on his trusty accordion.
The night began with the cover of reggaeton artist Nicky Jam's smash hit "El Perdon," which sounds almost perfect with bajo sexto and accordion. "Te estaba buscando! Por las calles gritando!" sang Turner with palpable emotion. The realness of his words is what wins over many Siggno fans; you really feel the heartbreak the band pushes out.
Tears in his eyes, Turner sang in support of his son Jacob, who suffered severe brain damage in a car crash last year. Songs like "Yo Te Esperare," "Mejor Dimelo" and "Mama" brought on some powerful emotions.
The Annual Mariachi Invitational Finals took place during the intermission. Group #1 began with a strong a cappella version of a traditional Mexican folk song, followed by two outstanding versions of the Vicente Fernandez classics "Aca Entre Nos" and "No Me Se Rajar."
Group #2 offered a more symphonic and melodic sound, aided by a harpist and an excellent guittarón player; the unison vocals were especially strong and operatic. As always, the crowd picked the winner by applause, and Group #2, revealed to be Mariachi Jalisciense out of Dallas, was declared the winner.
The crowd roared when Banda El Recodo made their way to the stage on extra-large golf carts. One of the most successful and longest-running bandas in Mexico's history, the group began strong with "El Sinaloense." Once those trumpets fire up, it wakes up your eardrums and shoots fire into your blood. Then the tubas and drums chime in to get those boots going at hyper-speed. Definitely fun, loud and awesome.
The most interesting part of the night was when the group played the banda version of "Deep In the Heart of Texas." It was very well executed, and in Spanish no less! The crowd failed to do the traditional "clap, clap, clap, clap," but it was still a great gesture on El Recodo's part.
My favorite track of the night was a slower ballad called "Te Presumo," a lovely love song that softens the hard shell of even the most macho hombre.
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