Behind a veil-thin curtain, the glow illuminating Maná lead singer Fher Olvera's upper torso Thursday night (June 23) in Los Angeles helped bring to light a soulful rendition of the band's latest hit, "Lluvia al Corazón." It also confirmed that the most popular Spanish-language rock band on Earth has still got it after 20 years.
For its four-night, sold-out run the Staples Center, Maná -- Olvera, drummer Alex Gonzalez, guitarist Sergio Vallin and bassist Juan Diego Calleras -- arrived with new material from its first studio album in five years and packed its two-hour set with the hits that have made the Mexican band a tried-and-true favorite.
Olvera paid homage to his homeland with a nearly five-foot Mexican flag he planted onstage. As an eruption of screams and applause filled the arena, the band went on to bring fans to their feet with classics such as "Oye Mi Amor," "Eres Mi Religion," and "Mariposa Traicionera."
Video: Mana performs "Mariposa Traicionera" in Los Angeles
The tour's upcoming stops include shows in Houston, Miami, Chicago and several cities in Spain, but this multi-night run at Staples made it especially apparent that Maná's own journey parallels that of its predominantly Latino fanbase. As the band's music -- rich with themes ranging from the romantic to the socio-politically conscious -- has garnered accolades and a devout following, so has its audience made major cultural and political strides in the U.S.
Maná's most recent success is the result of "Drama y Luz," its eighth studio album released in April. The set has placed the group atop Billboard's Top Latin Albums chart for a ninth week, the longest run at No. 1 of the year thus far. But even more significant that its sales success is the band's journey, which began with a dream in Guadalajara many years ago and has grown into something much bigger. As it proved over the last four nights, Maná continues to have a tight grip on music that inspires multitudes to get up, sway and dance into the night.