La Mafia, Grupo Control, Palomo

Music Showcase

La Mafia's Oscar de la Rosa
La Mafia's Oscar de la Rosa (Photo By Todd V. Wolfson)

La Mafia, Grupo Control, Palomo

Town Lake, Thursday 14 For those of you new to things Tejano, let me fill you in on what makes a good Tex-Mex/Tejano music event. First, if it's free, orale, pack up the kids, your abuela, the wife, and your tio, who probably says he's too tired from work, but goes along because hey, it's free. Then there's the music. It should make everyone, from gramma to your tired uncle and all the kids, keep time with their heads. Then the nalgas get going, then there's that fuck-it moment when everyone's dancing, happy and sweaty and singing and maybe drinking too much beer. The concert at auditorium shores Thursday night had many of these elements. Grupo Control from northern Mexico did a marvelous job of getting the crowd pumped with their traditional-leaning tunes, heavy on the accordion, playing mostly cumbias -- rhythms you'd have to be dead to not move to. Chants of "otra, otra" brought them back to the stage, but alas, it was time to move on. Next was Palomo, who stopped in the middle of their third tune and walked off stage. An announcer said they would return, but they didn't. Too bad. When Houston-based La Mafia hit the stage, the die-hard fans went gooey-eyed. Opening with a pair of soft, boy-band sounding tunes, they seemed intent on lulling the audience to sleep. Lead singer Oscar de la Rosa's voice can balm the most jaded critic, but the plushy songs were something of a letdown following Control's earlier heat. La Mafia got the pulse running when they sang their hit, "Push Push," but following that, the tunes were similar, sending this listener into a trancelike state. La Mafia is a popular band, but hey, where was the party? I think it left on the bus with Grupo Control.

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