Los Lobos | 10.16.08

loslobos.jpegLos Lobos entertains, period.




Harrah’s Voodoo Lounge, St. Louis


I remember the first time I was introduced to the music of Los Lobos. It was 1987 and La Bamba had just been released in theatres. At the age of six, I didn’t understand the social implications of that movie or how that moment would come to be one of my most cherished memories but the one thing I did know was I loved their music. With six out of the twelve songs on the soundtrack, Los Lobos became famous for their rendition of Ritchie Valens’ music. It’s been over 20 years, and with several albums and soundtracks under their belt since then, Los Lobos is still going strong.

When I heard Los Lobos was going to be playing at the Voodoo Lounge at Harrah’s Casino, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see them live. The night began with a couple slow-tempo rock songs and quickly stepped it up with “Luz De Me Vida” off their Good Morning Aztlán album. After that explosion of sound, band member David Hidalgo teased the audience with his comment, “Can you all hear us alright?” In reality, from the first note played, the venue’s sound system was picking up Hidalgo’s screaming guitar over the rest of the band; of which seemed to slowly fade away till finally bearable throughout the night. Surprisingly, with an overwhelming majority of Caucasian fans packing the Lounge to see the band, the crowd responded more favorably to the Tex-Mex and Cumbia music played during the set. Unfortunately, there were a few idiots in the back rows yelling out what could be described as ignorant and stereotypical catcalls; other than that, the Lounge was the perfect venue for the band.

Other songs that made their appearance were “Ay Te Dejo En San Antonio,” “Come On Let’s Go,” “Kiko and the Lavender Moon,” “Volver Volver,” “Mas Y Mas,” “Cumbia Raza,” and “Good Morning Aztlán.” Somewhere amongst the mix of the night Los Lobos performed “How Will the Wolf Survive?” a track from their 1984 album by the same name. Listening to the song, I couldn’t help but take a look at the irony of it all and realize just how long these wolves have survived. In an age where bands are lucky enough to have a couple years of success they’ve had more than a couple decades – a miraculous achievement. While the band opens a lot more for other bands these days, you’ll want to make sure to seize the opportunity anytime they are touring alone. Only during their own tour do they get the chance to play the older music as well as the Spanish Tex-Mex/Cumbia they are famous for.

All memories aside, Los Lobos entertains, period. Their set at the Voodoo Lounge was intimate and conversational; something that I suspect was probably lacking at previous pavilion gigs. The set was a nice mix of their entire discography with a combination of both English rock and Spanish Cumbia. Without a doubt, one of the best concerts I’ve seen in a while |Jennifer Manjarez

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