June 18, 2007

The rodeo and Los Tigres del Norte up in Manassas was a good time.

The rodeo was not, unfortunately, a Mexican rodeo as I had anticipated. It was a regular rodeo, but fun since it was so small scale. The ring was tiny. They were riding big longhorns, it was kind of amateur hour but enjoyable. The bands played while the rodeo was going on, sometimes pausing and sometimes not. I couldn't get any decent pictures of the rodeo.

The Banda Macho played pretty solid banda music. They would play a corrido banda style and then usually a cumbia. People liked both equally well. There were something liked 13 members of the band. Throughout the show they handed out signed cowboy hats. They were a very tight band. They were dressed like lunatics, with green and orange fringed outfits with tan codpieces and high boots. It is completely insane what passes in Mexican bands:

The crowd was huge, many thousands of people, tons of kids of course, everybody very well dressed. Virtually nobody wore shorts despite the fact that it was very hot and humid. The general look was exotic skin boots with matching belt, and some sort of fancy shirts. Cowboy hats, of course. Next time I most definitely will be sporting my caiman boots (imitation).

(I was careful taking pictures of people because I didn't really want to get my ass kicked. That's Los Tigres playing in the background. There were no limits on recording devices or cameras. Pero, no armas).

Los Tigres del Norte played on a very large stage surrounded by their buses and semi trucks. This picture is taken at eye level pretty far back. You can see that there was no problem seeing over everybody, even with their cowboy hats on. One advantage of being a tall gringo.

They were also incredibly tight and played one song after the other. Two of them switch instruments constantly. The one brother on the far right played guitar, accordion, or saxophone interchangeably, sometimes in the same song. The band is really driven by vocals and drums and bass, the accordion left to fills. They were dressed something like a black and white version of Stryper, kind of military style. They have the weirdist, most nasal style of singing. What went over big with the audience was the politics of the songs, which are about immigrants, poor workers, and the like. The show was was enjoyable, although this is not a style that is my favorite.

The lead singer, Jorge Hernandez, tends to sing with one or both fingers pointing up, like Il Duce. It was an impressive sight.

Next month at the rodeo: Los Huracanes del Norte, los meros, meros, meros de la Musica Norteno!

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