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Maná addresses the border, politics during El Paso concert

Alejandra Molina
Maná’s lead singer Fernando Olvera greets the crowd at the Don Haskins Center Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019.

Maná took the spotlight this past Wednesday, Sept. 11 at the UTEP Don Haskins Center. The concert tour made its way across Texas to the Sun City for its fifth stop after kicking off the “Rayando el Sol” tour in Laredo, Texas Aug. 31  

From Guadalajara, Mexico, Maná formed in 1986 with just four members including lead vocalist and guitarist Fher Olvera, Sergio Vallín on electric guitar, Alex González on drums and Juan Calleros on bass guitar. Now, 33 successful years later, the band released the tour dates for their 2019 tour which pays tribute to their classic song Rayando el Sol” from their 1990 album Falta Amor. 

The Don Haskins Center opened its doors at 7 p.m. and long lines began to form as fans waited to have their tickets scanned. Fans from Las Cruces, New Mexico, Ciudad Juárez, Mexicoand other surrounding areas made their way to El Paso for the show.  

The multi-Grammy award winning Latin rock band has already performed in the city during its “Latino Power” tour back in 2016 when it aimed to unite and inspire Latino communities during the 2016 U.S. election. The band is known for its overt political engagement and its members do not hesitate to speak out on their personal beliefs. The band’s music typically sends messages of awareness and inspiration to their listeners 

There’s nothing wrong with artists not speaking up, and it’s their right (whether) to get involved or not. But in my personal opinion, I wish they would, whether it be for political, social or philosophical reasons,” the band said during a 2015 interview with Billboard.  

Maná began to perform at around 8:30 p.m. as the arena went completely dark and a blue haze filled the stage. The projector screens slid out during their opening song “Cómo te deseo.” Olvera wore a black T-shirt from their official merchandise collection that read, “Todos somos Dreamers” (We are all Dreamers) and later on during the concert switched to a black tank top that read “We are all equal.”  

During the show, the lead singer addressed the audience about the political issue of the border wall and how it divides the country.  

Vivimos en tiempos difícilespero así pasa en la vida. Después de la tormenta viene la calmacalmacalma. Y ustedes usen su power para decidir, para votar por quien apoya su comunidad.” (We are living in difficult times but that happens in life, wait for the calmness after the storm. Use your power to decide and to vote for those who supports your community).  

Olvera then added, “Que vivan los Dreamerstambién,” (Long live the Dreamers, too) before performing the next song. 

The band performed various hits from their early studio albums, such as Hechicera,” “Dame una señal,” and “Oye mi amor,” to which they added a “Mexican Reggae” beat. During the middle of the performance, the projection screens came down once again and the stage went completely dark. The band began to perform, “Dónde Jugarán los Niños,” which Maná essentially wrote to raise awareness on the effects of pollution, climate change and extinction. The screens rolled up, revealing an inflatable elephant along with a background projection of the jungle.  

Towards the end of the song, the jungle hologram catches on fire, referencing the disastrous Amazon fires in Brazil. Olvera used a fire extinguisher prop and began running around stage extinguishing” the fire. The lead singer then spoke to the audience once again and said, “Mother Earth doesn’t belong to us, we belong to it, therefore we need to care for it.”  

Maná continued to perform hits like, “Vivir sin Aire” “Tú eres mi religión,” and Labios Compartidos. Olvera also invited a guest from the audience on stage whom they gave a bouquet of flowers to. The lucky fan sat on a couch as they performed “El reloj Cucú.” The concert then concluded with “Mariposa Traicionera” and their critically acclaimed single “Rayando el Sol.”  

The band will continue touring the U.S. until Nov. 30, ending the tour in Oakland, CaliforniaFans will have a second chance this year to catch the band on Nov. 6 again at the Don Haskins Center.  

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Maná addresses the border, politics during El Paso concert