reunited (for the most part) after a nine-year hiatus, and touring in
support of their first album since 2003, produced a raucous, joyful
noise that had the packed house bouncing with appreciation.
delivered a flawless, 26-song, 140-minute set built substantially
around their new record, In Time, but sprinkled with
favorites from their 22-year recording history.
Raul Malo, his impeccable Roy Orbison tenor intact, made it look like
they'd never left. With original rhythm guitarist (and
former bassist) Robert Reynolds at his left flank and original drummer
Paul Deakin behind him, Malo had the crowd at 'hello'. The
quintet, fortified with four additional touring Mavericks on horns and
accordion, opened with Back in Your Arms Again and
didn't let up until a barmaid interrupted to deliver tequila shots all
around. Then it was right back to work.
The set pulled
equally from In Time and the band's earlier work,
including most notably 1994's What a Crying Shame.
highlight was Born to Be Blue, which featured Malo
trading off with Michael Guerra's vigorous accordion. But the
Mavericks continued to one-up themselves with soaring takes on There
Goes My Heart, Somethin' Stupid, the 1967
Nancy Sinatra/Frank Sinatra hit they covered on 1995's Music
for All Occasions, and perhaps the night's best song, What
a Crying Shame. Keyboardist Jerry Dale McFadden was a
lively presence throughout.
Eddie Perez, who some might have initially
mistaken for a leaner Jack White, added an electric richness to As
Long as There's Loving Tonight, with Malo contributing some
articulate fretwork of his own.
occupied his time during the Mavericks' long recess with six solo
albums, stepped out midway through for a tender acoustic
mini-set. That gave way to a mash-up that describes the Mavericks
as well as any words might - the Cuban standard Guantanamera,
morphing into the Isley Brothers/Beatles hit Twist and Shout.
substantial encore began with 1995's Here Comes the Rain
and closed with the only song the band could have possibly closed with
in the House of Buck: All You Ever Do Is Bring Me Down,
a rollicking accordion-driven freight train of a tune that Buck's own
aunt once mistook for proof of his comeback. And, in a
not-insignificant way, it was.
represented the Mavericks' first appearance in Bakersfield since 1999
(although Malo passed through twice in the interim). After
the concert Malo declared that this isn't a one-off thing.
Price, Californian Editorial Page Editor.
Bakersfield Californian, March 29, 2013