As the skies opened up on day eight of the Great New York State Fair, it didn’t deter anyone from taking a seat at Chevy Court awaiting the two-o’clock show that would feature one of the areas favorite bands, The Mavericks. People put on their ponchos, opened their umbrellas and patiently awaited the sunshine they knew was on its way from Miami. It had been three years since they last played the Syracuse Jazz Festival, and the impression it had left on the crowd was evident; they could care less that it was pouring rain. In fact, nor did I. With an umbrella in one hand, and my camera tucked neatly underneath protected from the elements, I too awaited this charismatic band to take the stage.
Celebrating 30 years together, the two original members Raul Malo and Paul Deakin, and long time members Jerry Dale McFadden and Eddie Perez were joined on stage by a full ensemble immediately kicking it into gear with favorite, “Back In Your Arms Again.” From the moment they took the stage, their eclectic mix of country, latin and rock and roll produced a signature sound that stops you in your tracks and demands your attention.
You’re locked in a trance. Your feet begin to move, your shoulders sway and your head begins to bob along with the beat Paul is laying down. Before you know it, Raul Malo’s sultry sound has you in his spell and you can’t help but dance along with Jerry as he plays his keyboards, or Eddie as he sways with his guitar. It’s inevitable. You can’t fight it.
Playing favorites such as “All Night Long” and “All You Ever Do Is Bring Me Down,” The Mavericks mixed up the set with covers of Bruce Springsteen’s “Hungry Heart” and their newest release of John Anderson’s “Swingin.” Before you knew it, the set was over and all the rain had been chased away by these southern gentlemen. Perhaps it was the mash-up of “All Night Long” and “Let the Sun Shine In” that chased away the clouds. Or perhaps it’s just the sunshine they bring to Syracuse each time they play. Whatever their magic is, Syracuse couldn’t get enough and they once again brightened our day.
Setlist: Back In Your Arms Again, All Night Long / Let the Sun Shine In, Summertime (When I’m With You), Pretend, Easy As It Seems, Dance In The Moonlight, Loving You, Hungry Heart (Bruce Springsteen), As Long As There’s Loving Tonight.
Encore: Swingin’ (John Anderson), Come Unto Me, All You Ever Do Is Bring Me Down.