Maná delivers, connects with fans with Latino Power Tour

Luis Gonzalez, Correspondent

They came out a little late Wednesday night, but once Maná hit the stage it was worth the wait. For a little over two hours, the Spanish pop-rock band from Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, connected with a nearly sold-out Don Haskins Center through their biggest hits and a message of peace, love and political involvement with their Latino Power Tour.
Fans of the multiple Grammy Award-winning band spent most of the concert on their feet as Fher, Alex, Juan and Sergio played the songs that have made them one of the most influential Latin American bands of the last 30 years.
After a lengthy delay, Maná started the night off with songs “Manda una Senal,” “Oye Mi Amor,” “Corazon Espinado” and “Labios Compartidos,” before making their first social statement of the night. Maná is known for its social awareness and political involvement.
Before interpreting “En Donde Jugaran los Ninos,” or where will the children play, lead singer Fher Olvera spoke to the audience about the importance of taking care of the environment. He criticized those politicians who refuse to accept global warming and went on to sing about the dangerous consequences of mistreating the earth, while his fellow bandmates wore fluorescent green gas masks.
Once the message was delivered, Maná kept the focus on the audience by inviting a fan on stage to sing “Mi Verdad,” a song they recorded alongside Shakira.
Throughout the concert every member of Mana was highlighted. As the leader of the band, Fher was always center stage, but the other three all had their moments in the spotlight as well.
Guitarist Sergio Ballín had solos in multiple songs in which he was able to deviate from the band’s pop rock sound and provide a more metallic flavor. Drummer Alex Gonzalez sang one of Mana’s signature songs in “Me Vale,” and followed it up with a drum solo that lasted at least 10 minutes. The platform on which the drum set was located turned so that he could face every side of the stage, and it rose in the air to the fans’ delight.
True to the bassist stereotypes, bassist Juan Calleros merely stood on stage and played his instrument.
In perhaps the most intimate part of the concert, Maná went into medley mode playing acoustic renditions of songs such as “Vivir Sin Aire,” “Te Llore un Rio” and the late Juan Gabriel’s “Se Me Olvido Otra Vez.” With each song, Fher provided a little story to go with it, about why or how the songs were written or recorded. Once again a fan got to go on stage and interact with the band.
Before Maná “closed” its show, it was time for their biggest message of the night. Fher encouraged everybody in attendance to exercise the power to vote, while showing love and cultivating peace as Maná sang the words “Get up, stand up, Latinos for your rights.”
Maná left the stage, but no one in the audience was fooled. Staying in their seats, fans pulled out their cell phones and, as they called for an encore, they lit up the Don Haskins Center.
Fher, Alex, Sergio and Juan came back out to play what may be their biggest hit in “Rayando el Sol,” followed by “Clavado en un Bar.”
Even after they were done playing, Maná stuck around for a few extra minutes to walk around the stage, wave, slap hands and thank all those in attendance, capping off a night in which four of Latin America’s biggest stars made every effort to connect with every single one of their fans.
Luis Gonzalez may be reached at [email protected]