Hardly a Mexican band has such a contrasting status inside and outside their country as Maná. The pop rock band has traveled the world performing at massive concerts and has a loyal fan base in the United States, but in its country of origin it tends to divide opinions and had not performed live in the capital for years.
In the United States, the band came to play at the White House and holds the record for the largest number of concerts on the same tour at The Forum in Los Angeles, with seven in a single year. The group also holds the record for the largest number of concerts in the same tour at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, also with seven presentations. Such is the love they receive from Los Angeles that this year they began La Residencia in March, a series of concerts at The Forum, which added their most recent performances in October.
However, in Mexico, after the explosion of their music in the 1990s, their perception has mutated to the point of leading a good number of the population to not be so convinced of them, either by going against it, by considering them too pop to be rock or for simple ignorance of his career.
On Saturday night, the 12th, they arrived at the Foro Sol in Mexico City with their México Lindo y Querido tour, bringing together 60,000 attendees who chanted their songs, including hits like “Vivir sin aire”, “Oye mi amor” and “ At the San Blás pier”, thus dispelling doubts about the affection they have for their own land.
“Finally we arrived here, to the Aztec heart of our country, the great Mexico City and for us it is a huge, huge emotion, bigger than this Foro Sol, the emotion we have to play in our country and meet again”, he said vocalist Fher Olvera.
They also sang “Rayando el sol”, “Shared lips”, “Nailed in a bar”, “From head to toe”, “I’m worth it”, “El reloj cucú” and “Mariposa treacherous”, the latter was dedicated by Olvera to the chilangas, as the residents of Mexico City are colloquially called: “Those horny seductresses who like to go from flower to flower, that’s how men fall in love with them.”
Maná had previously performed with Carlos Santana at the Foro Sol in 1999. Another of Maná’s famous recitals in Mexico is the 2001 United for Peace Concert with Jaguars at the Azteca Stadium, which then had a capacity for about 100,000 attendees. And more recently, in 2015, they had a series of concerts at the Arena Ciudad de México that receives 22,000.
Maná, whose name means positive energy in Polynesian, was formed in 1986 in Guadalajara, in the western state of Jalisco. The band, made up of Olvera, drummer Alex González, guitarist Sergio Vallín and bassist Juan Calleros, has sold more than 40 million records, including albums such as their MTV “Unplugged”, “Cama incendiada”, “Sueños líquidos” and “Where will the children play?”. Maná has been recognized with four Grammy Awards and seven Latin Grammy Awards.
In 2016, they unveiled their star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, becoming the first Mexican rock band with a plaque on the famous walk. In 2018, it also became the first group to be honored as Person of the Year by the Latin Recording Academy, the organization that awards the Latin Grammys. Also in 2018 he received the Billboard Latin Music Award for lifetime achievement and in 2021 the Icon Award at the Billboard Latin Music Awards, awards in which he has been recognized more than twenty times for his musical releases.
The group has popular collaborations with artists such as Santana, Pablo Alborán, Nicky Jam and Alejandro Fernández.
Throughout her career, Maná has carried out environmental activism through her Selva Negra Ecological Foundation created in 1996 and has also promoted the Latino Vote in the United States and Latin America.
At the concert, Maná dedicated his song “Where will the children play?” to raise awareness about the urgency of action against climate change. A giant elephant puppet and images of forest fires appeared during the song.
“The concern to take care of our mother earth, the only one we have, there is no planet B, there is no plan for anyone else than to be here and assume the consequences if we do not do things well,” Olvera said. “I want to dedicate this song to all the little ones who live and who are future generations, our successors.”
The band said they were documenting the concert so they could share it with the world. They also had a section of “palomazo” (informal gig) in which they sang from a platform placed towards the back of the track area of the forum where they also invited fans to get on with them to sing “You are my religion.” On the platform they also sang “Se me olvidó otra vez” by Juan Gabriel.
Olvera also took a moment to remember the people who died during the pandemic.
“It is a huge celebration for us to be here. This concert is a celebration of life”, said the vocalist. “We are still alive after a great tragedy, an event that passed us by, many of our close people, family, friends went to heaven… so for us it is a celebration to be here, a celebration of love and life”.