Last Night: Go Tejano Day 2013 at Reliant Stadium

photos by Marco Torres
Rolando Marroquin, lead singer of Los Invasores de Nuevo Leon
Go Tejano Day feat. Julion Alvarez, Los Invasores De Nuevo Leon, Mariachi Invitational Finalists
Reliant Stadium
March 10, 2013

I've said it once or twice, but I will say it again, and continue to do so until I am proven wrong. Tejano music is dead, at least at RodeoHouston. In its place is banda music and norteño/conjunto.

But as much as I miss my beloved Tejano, the Mexicano in me won't let me disregard the accordion-laced, tuba-filled sounds that overtake Reliant Stadium every year. As long as these bands attract a record number of paid attendees (75,305 this year), and as long as Tejano remains in its dormant coma, the formula will most likely remain for many rodeos to come.

Sunday's opening act was Los Invasores de Nuevo Leon, a band that formed in 1978 in northern Mexico's lovely city of Monterrey, which is like Houston's sister city due to the commerce, culture and population that flow between the two. Los Invasores are one of the many traditional groups that define the norteño sound, which utilizes the accordion and bajo sexto (a 12-string guitar) to formulate songs of love, heartbreak and adventure.

Many of the songs are corridos, a popular form of musical expression that consists of a narrative in poetic and storytelling form. They are also masters of cumbias and rancheras.

The crowd cheered as the first few familiar notes of "Playa Sola" rang out from the revolving stage. The song of loneliness and nature is not your typical love song, as the singer serenades the stars while alone in a canoe, but the feelings that it induces in the listener are one of the reasons Los Invasores is such a popular band. Pop in an Invasores CD, fire up the carnitas and sip on cerveza in the backyard, and all is good in the world.

Just as many norteño bands do, this one also has a hype man who keeps the mood lively between songs and introduces the set list. "Se la saben?!" he yelled, asking the audience if they knew the next song, "Mi Casa Nueva." Of course everyone knew it, and they let the band hear it. I will never tire of hearing more than 75,000 voices sing in unision. Other classics the Invasores performed were "Eslabon Por Eslabon" and "A Mi Que Me Quedo," and "Aguanta Corazon."

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Robert Medlin
Robert Medlin

So now Tejano's bigger than Bruno Mars AND Elvis?? :O

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