The Mavericks The Granada Theater, Dallas Saturday, July 19, 2014
Rarely does a band get back together and return to anything close to the form it once had. But judging by their performance Saturday night at the Granada Theater, the Mavericks are the exception to the rule. Since reforming in 2012 (after an 8 year hiatus), the Mavericks have made one terrific album (2013's In Time) and continue to be an outstanding live act.
Playing to a sold-out venue, singer Raul Malo and the rest of this 8-piece juggernaut played two hours of quality Americana that literally had fans dancing in and out of the aisles. Malo and guitarist Eddie Perez actually seemed a bit taken aback by the crowd's adulation. The band responded by throwing in some unexpected tunes into the set list.
Ernest Tubb's "Waltz Across Texas" was a nice addition that conveniently divided the lengthy performance while at the same time playing tribute to one of state's most legendary songwriters.
"Waltz" also provided a nice respite from a nine-song barrage of fast tempos that started off the show. Beginning with "Tell Me Why," the Mavericks plowed through such hits and fan favorites as "The Things You Said to Me," "Back in Your Arms Again" and "Lies." Considering that most in the crowd (and in the band) were in their late 40s and 50s, the energy by both the Mavericks and their fans was exceptional. Indeed, the band seemed to feed off this energy and each song gained in intensity as the night continued.
When the Mavericks dipped into Malo's solo work and performed "Sinners and Saints," the response was just short of deafening. And what's really special about the Mavericks: they do not play easily digestible music. What they do play is a fascinating amalgamation of country, rock, soul and Tejano music. Most bands are not able to incorporate such disparate styles, but the Mavericks do so with apparent ease. Songs like "All Over Again" and "Pretend" sounded like the late great Doug Sahm singing Al Green.
By evening's end, both band and crowd seemed very satisfied and not a little exhausted. Many in the crowd had probably not done that much aerobic exercise in several years. Another interesting aspect was the male/female ratio of the crowd. Split almost perfectly between the two sexes, the audience featured many couples out for a night of good food and good music. I can't speak for their restaurant of choice, but I can say for certain that those in attendance got to hear some terrific music.
Here's hoping that the Mavericks never do something as stupid as break up again.