Jaguares @ The Rainbow Ballroom, Fresno CA 09/18/08
I don’t know what the hell I was thinking. I attended my first Jaguares show in 2001. That show was mediocre at best. I wrongly assumed that this 2008 show would be better. So Jaguares were touring in support of a new CD, ’45.’ The group’s return brought a naïve hope that the material would be strong and would usher in a rejuvenated sound for Jaguares. But no. That CD was also mediocre. I had hoped the show would be stellar, and would make up for the mediocre album. But no. It was also rather shitty. Ok, so maybe I’m being too hard on the show…but it seemed fairly shitty at the time.
I got to the Rainbow Ballroom in Fresno with time to spare. It’s a grand old venue located in a less than desireable area of the city. Other great acts have graced this stage: AFI, Alejandra Guzman, Morrissey, etc. so it had a decent reputation and it was a high traffic venue for quality acts. I had high hopes for this show…it was going to be great, the band would be in fine form and the set would be triumphant and riveting. Unfortunately, the best part of the night was having a few expensive beers and hanging out with two friends from work. There was no opener, and the set was lackluster and heavy with material from ’45.’ While I have a fondness for this group (moreso a fondness for Caifanes), the set was dull and unremarkable. The new material was immediate and raw sounding, but it wasn’t very memorable. And the bulk of Jaguares’ older songs were represented as well during this set, however the momentum of the show didn’t improve. Those songs can be described as bluesy, low key latin rock. Caifanes songs appeared sporadically during the set, some with altered arrangements. On this tour, Hernandez (vocals) would be joined by long time collaborators Alfonso Andre on drums and Cesar “El Vampiro” Lopez on guitar. Marco Renteria was a newcomer to the group, having played bass on the ’45’ CD and on this tour. And finally, and probably the best part of the performance itself, was seeing ex-Caifanes member Diego Herrera onstage handling keyboards and saxophone. Herrera left Caifanes after the Rompiendo El Silencio Tour in 1992. His return to the stage was beyond belief. 3/5 of Caifanes were on stage and it was very cool, the closest thing to a reunion we may ever get (fast foward to my 2012 Caifanes review).
I’ve blocked most of this show from memory. The band played very well as they usually do. Saul strained at times but I think his voice was stronger than it was in 2001. However the momentum of the show suffered because of odd song selections. I give credit to the band for not relying on its past to make a strong show. However their past can’t be denied, and unfortunately the newer material cannot stand next to the Caifanes material. The basic set was as follows, but I’m certain there are errors with the order and song selection.
Entre tus Jardines
Mátenme Porque me Muero
Detrás de los Cerros
Los Dioses Ocultos
Viajando en el Tiempo
Detrás de Ti
Te lo Pido por Favor
La Célula que Explota
No Dejes Que…
The following shots were taken by fan GustavoRojo. Thanks for the pics!