Two music legends –Austin City Limits and Los Lobos – celebrated 40th Monday evening at ACL Live. A large crowd turned up for the taping despite the unusually cold spring weather, and many were able to warm themselves up quick once the Grammy-award winning band took the stage by dancing.
Austin City Limits Producer Terry Lickona kicked off the night by saying how stunned he is that the show is still going strong after 40 years. He then introduced the band, playing the Austin City Limits stage for the fifth time.
The five members of Los Lobos, along with a drummer and a percussionist, graced the stage for over two hours, singing both English and Spanish favorites. The occasional grito always received a cheer in response from the crowd, and when the band commanded the audience to cumbia, they really got moving.
We got to see the fun side of Los Lobos, the sensitive side, and the perfectionist side. Late in the set, they played tribute to conjunto star Flaco Jiménez – who had just undergone back surgery – by performing his song “Ay Te Dejo en San Antonio.” When they weren’t happy with the first take, they did it again, and then again; third time was the charm. Fortunately, the crowd was as enthusiastic every time as if it was the first.
The East Los Angeles natives also played their ’80s song “Set Me Free (Rosa Lee),” which appears on their 2013 live album, Disconnected in New York City. The one song the rock and roll veterans did not play was their cover of Richie Valens’ “La Bamba,” which personally left me a little disappointed since that is how I first discovered the band. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining; I had a great time!
After a couple of encore songs, the band left the stage, but not before thanking the crowd with a huge “Gracias!”
For people who were not able to get tickets to the taping, Austin City Limits live streamed the show on its YouTube page. The broadcast episode will air on PBS Stations later this fall.