UPDATED: Go Tejano Day at Reliant Stadium, 3/16/2014
UPDATED (Monday, 4:30 p.m.): Actually this year's Go Tejano attendance fell short of last year's record by less than 100 people. Still a lot of folks.
Photos by Marco Torres Grupo Pesado made their third RodeoHouston appearance Sunday evening.
Go Tejano Day, feat. Pesado and Banda MS
March 16, 2014
"Tejano is dead...at least at RodeoHouston".
The above statement is true, but RodeoHouston still managed to sell
a record 75,224 tickets to Sunday's annual Go Tejano Day at Reliant Stadium. And boy, it sure did feel like every one of those ticketholders showed up to see Grupo Pesado and La Banda MS deliver their impassioned sonidos for their adoring fans.
Go Tejano Day traditionally attracts among the largest crowds in the rodeo's season, if not the largest, and at least five previous editions can still be found in the Top 20 all-time attendance days.
Banda music is lively and loud, normally featuring a brilliant horn section, tuba, large bass drum and a few clarinets. The music is both simple in its composition and complex in its delivery -- imagine the amount of practice it takes a normal-sized band to sync up and play as a team. It takes time and patience for sure. Now imagine if your band has 16 members.
All sixteen members of La Banda MS de Sergio Lizarraga wore matching purple outfits as they played and danced onstage.
That's what we get with La Banda Sinaloense MS de Sergio Lizarraga, or simply Banda MS. The group was formed in 2003 in the Pacific state of Sinaloa, specifically in the city of Mazatlán. Their style of music is called Duranguense, which runs at a faster tempo than traditional banda music, yet still shares roots with Norteño.
They kicked off with the classic "El Sinalonse," which is pretty much the standard banda song that every group learns and perfects. The blaring of the horns, the vocal fortitude of the lyrics, and the bang-bang-banging of the drums instantly elevates heart rates and causes boots to shuffle.
Banda MS did showcase two slower tracks that had the ladies singing along at the top of their lungs, "Mi Olvido" and "Mi Razon de Ser." These songs spotlight the softer side of banda, where the melody is sweet and the love is at times too much to ignore.
In between the two headliners, the finals of the Annual Go Tejano Mariachi Invitational were held on a side stage on the arena floor. These groups compete as random-numbered competitors, so as to avoid any prejudice depending on the name or city of origin. The competition was tough, but the winning group was McAllen's Mariachi Las Mariposas, who triumphed with traditional renditions of "De Que Manera Te Olvido" and "Hermoso Cariño." The runners-up were Dallas' Mariachi Michoacan.
The winner of the annual Go Tejano Mariachi Invitational was Mariachi Las Mariposas from McAllen, Texas.
Review continues on the next page.