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Mana Concert Report Alejandra Ivanez
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Attending a concert is always fun but when it is your first time going to see a band or artist that you really like it makes the experience more exciting and unforgettable. On August 25, 2012 I went to see a Spanish rock band called Mana at the Staples Center in Los Angeles . Their combination of rock and roll with Latin and Caribbean rhythms, such as salsa, reggae and calypso kept thousands of people, including myself, singing and dancing the whole night.
Current group members from left are: Juan Calleros with the bass guitar, Fher Olver with lead vocals, acoustic guitar, and composer, Alex Gonzalez with the drums, back-up vocals and composer, and Sergio Vallin with the electric guitar. At the concert other live members played the keyboards, piano , flute, rhythm guitar, and percussions.
Mana was one of the first major Latin bands to successfully bring rock in Spanish to a wide audience. Mana's origins date back to mid 1970 to a band called Sombrero Verde from Guadalajara Mexico. The band included Fher Olver and Juan Calleros, both present members of Mana, and three other young men. The band started out playing covers from groups like The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. Sombrero Verde released two albums that were not successful but became known as one of the first groups to compose their own songs in Spanish in the genre of rock, despiting the fact that rock in Spanish was not yet a trend.
In 1986 Fher Olvera decided to regroup with the addition of Cuban-Colombian drummer, Alex Gonzalez. The regrouping of the band inspired group members to adapt the name Mana for its meaning, positive energy.In 1995 Mana added electric guitarist Sergio Vallin, who added a different sound on the bands recordings. Mana dissatisfied with the record lables they signed with decided to take production of all their music in their own hands. Overall, Mana released more than 21 albums including nine studio albums
Their first album was self-titled (1987) and became an important part of the musical movement called Rock en Tu Idioma( Rock in your language).This helped open doors for rock music written in Spanish.
Their other album Donde Jugaran Los Ninos? ( Where will the children play) contained eight singles ( ex. Oye Mi Amor, Te deseo) that became Mana's signature singles and topped the charts of more than half if not all Spanish -speaking countires. It made Mana the first spanish rock band to sale more than 500,000 albums in the U.S. The album also began the globilization of Mana with their first promotional tour in more than 17 countries. Over the course Mana has won numerous awards, including Grammy awards . On Spetember 2012 the group members had their handprints inducted on Guitar's Center Rockwall joining legendery stars such as B.B King and Carlos Santana.
mana oye mi amor
The day of the concert soccer team Mexico won against USA. That day thousands of people at the concert were wearing Mexico's soccer jersey and screaming Viva Mexico. Mana's stage presence has always been very enegetic. Thus, being from Mexico they were extremely content with the teams triumph and did a pretty good job showing it through their character and music that night.
Mana's content was inevitable when they performed "Latino America" written by Alex and sang by himself along with Fher. The song was very powering as it promoted something that Mana promotes, unity and fight against discrimination, especially towards Hispanics. Mana stated that in order to be strong as a race Hispanics have to stop discriminating against one another and better yet help each other. With stage lights going crazy and the slideshow of flags from different countries it made the performance more empowering.
Things got more enthusiastic when Mana performed "Clavado en un bar" , one of their many famous singles that gave them much fame. The song was written by Fher and performed by Fher himself . Everyone was singing in harmony as if there was a rehearsal to the song before the concert. I heard many say that it was an incredible moment and I agree. Thus, when Fher brought out the Mexican flag and gave his Latino empowerment speech people began to whistle, jump, raise their hands in the air showing their pride in being Latino.
Another song that was important to the performance was "Donde Jugaran Los Ninos?"written and sang by Fher. Mana has always had a concern about the enviorment. So concerned that they have a foundation called Selva Negra designed to help clean the enviorment . The song is about how the Earth has become very contaminated and will worsen if we the people do not do nothing about it. Mana not only writes about love and having a good time but also brings awareness about today's issues .
The apparel of the group members was very lay back they all were wearing jeans of dark color and shirts of plain color nothing over the top or extravagant. Thus, their stage presence was not lay back it was outgoing and energetic. Fher who is the band leader kept the audience entertained by running around the stage, and dancing. Yet, Alex ,also known as "El Animal", energy went unmatched that night. After Mana performed two songs that were accompanied by a 10-piece orchestra the crowed died down. Enter El Animal who revived the crowd with "Me Vale" written and sang by Alex himself. Afterwards he performed a nine minute drum solo, with speed and technique, that re-energized everyone in the arena.Juan and Sergio's stage presence was more relaxed but the way they played the guitar was a different story.
Mana: Me vale
Overall, I enjoyed the performance. It was my first time actually seeing them life. What helped me truly enjoy the performance even more was paying close attention to the lyrics .Doing so helped me understand the meaning of the songs. If I ever get another chance to go see them I will definitley do so.
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