Saturday, August 25, 2012

Los Tigres Del Norte - At the Morocco Shrine Auditorium, Jacksonville, FL.

I went to Los Tigres del Norte show last night. They opened up their show by walking out one by one as they played La Banda Del Carro Rojo. They “rocked” the house like the superstars they are, and they were super classy. It was easy to notice the groups genuine love for their fans. They were generous with their time and audience interaction. Their show was lengthy, and they played all the songs the audience wanted to hear. 3/4ths of the way into the show they took requests from the audience on everything from napkins, cowboy hats, bandanas, and even on cellphones handed to them, and they’d hand them back.  

It seemed Los Tigres Del Norte took note of who their audience was mostly comprised of, and their situations. I looked around and noticed all the indigenous facial structures, and how happy everyone was to be there. The band verbally never let the audience forget how they, and the audience are the “same” people, people of humble beginnings, and how honored they were to have them spend their hard earned money to come see one of their most beloved and legendary bands. There was a lot of love in the room!

The bands most controversial song themes are about drug trafficking (What’s become known as ‘Narco-corridos’). Not that they “promote” it, but simply tell stories about it, and supply people with no “voice” and who've been affected by it, with a voice. Like in the song “Contrabando y Traicion” (Contraband and Treason), where a woman Camelia, and a man named Emilio drive a car into the U.S. whose wheels are full of Marijuana. The song ends with Emilio telling Camelia that with her part of the money she can make a new life for herself, but Calmelia kills Emilio, takes the money and is never heard of again. The cops arrive at the scene only to find an unidentified dead man, and a gun laying on the ground next to him, with no back-story to tell. It’s themes like this that supply a voice for people whose loved ones mysteriously disappear, or have taken huge risks for a “better life”.

Several of their musical themes also include stories of the immigrant experience in the U.S. with songs about social injustice for the immigrant, honor, pride and the working man's struggle to achieve something better in-life for himself and his family. And, of course there are plenty of love songs. 

A very brief history of the band: The band started off in Mexico, the sons of a farming family. Their father was injured, and was no longer able to work. So, the five brothers took their grandparents instruments and started making money by playing music. One of their first gigs was playing for inmates at a prison, and they played in local cantinas. Remarkably the youngest brother in the group at the time was only fourteen years old.  

One of their latest recording/filming projects is named Los Tigres Del Norte & Friends, in which many other popular artists join them on stage.

Contrabando Y Traicion - MTV-Unplugged:

Their official website:

A playlist of Los Tigres Del Norte music:
Los Tigres Del Norte by G. Flores (Healtone) on Grooveshark

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