The Mavericks - Bowery Ballroom - 2/25/13

Categories: Last Night

[Note: The Mavericks also play City Winery tonight at 10:30 p.m.]

Better Than: Pretty much all country music from the last decade.

Last night Miami country band The Mavericks played a sold-out, two-and-a-half-hour show at the Bowery Ballroom. It was a triumphant return to form on the eve of their first studio album in 10 years (In Time, out today).

Now for some context. Who are The Mavericks, and why does this metalhead care about them? In a word or three, The Mavericks are cool as shit. In the mid-90s, right before country music started becoming indistinguishable from pop music and mainstream rock with a twang, The Mavericks emerged with something few of their peers had: understated, ultra-modern style. Their look and their music were simple: neo-50s rock 'n' roll with Latin and Cajun spices (think Ritchie Valens). And they were killer live. Their records sold by the millions and won awards, including a Grammy in 1995. But after 2003, they split up and all but disappeared, save for some solo records by lead singer Raul Malo.

All this is to say that last night there were some very happy fans thrilled to see these guys reunited. The crowd was mostly middle-aged, but that didn't stop the smell of ganja from wafting through the air at the top of the set. (Who'da thunk?)

The band is officially a five-piece, but there were nine guys onstage. Additional Mavericks included a virtuosic two-piece horn section, an upright bass, and an accordion. (If ever accordion solos could be deemed "siiiiick," this would be that time.) Notably, there was not a single cowboy hat onstage. There was a top hat, a Western-looking fedora, an actual fedora, and a beret. Like I said: style.

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