Julión Álvarez is making history with his Mis Ídolos, Hoy Mis Amigos tour in the United States by becoming the first norteño act to embark on an ambitious 22-date arena trek, which kicked off in California this weekend with shows in San Jose and Los Angeles.
With a mind-set of “give the people what they want,” the chart-topping artist says his arena tour was long overdue but understood why no one had wanted to take the gamble. “To be honest, it’s a big risk,” the “Terrenal” singer told Billboard just minutes before jumping onstage at The Forum in L.A. “Last year when we first did a couple of arenas and showcased in places we had never visited, we saw that there was a bigger risk and fear of being criticized because of the stigma that comes with this genre. But seeing that it had never been done, we decided to go for it. Plus, we saw that there was a demand for our concerts.”
He added: “I told my brother, who is part of the team, that we needed to go to new places because I hated to see that my paisanos were paying so much to travel to go see our show because we weren’t going to their cities.”
The audience on Saturday’s (July 16) full-house concert in L.A. was a lively crowd that didn’t sit once throughout the more than three-hour concert, during which Julión and his friends Pancho Barraza and El Coyote played back-to-back banda hits. While Julión and El Coyote would duet, Pancho would be sitting on a red couch for his turn to take the stage with Julión, and vice-versa.
Pancho and El Coyote are just two of the long list of “idols, now friends” that Julión collaborated with on his new album, which debuted at No. 1 on Billboard‘s Top Latin Albums chart and pays tribute to music from Sinaloa. Which of his idols is missing on the album? “Joan Sebastian,” tells us Julión. “We were already in talks to do the collab but nothing ever materialized since he passed away.”
Next stops in his tour include Houston, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Atlanta and New York, among others.