The Mavericks bring their distinctive brand of Americana to the North East of England.

The Grammy award winning, multi-platinum outfit arrives at the Sage Gateshead for an exclusive headline show as part of a whistle-stop UK tour; their only other performance being at the world famous Glastonbury Festival. Subsequently, anticipation is high and a packed out crowd gathers to give The Mavericks a warm welcome for their first concert on Tyneside since 2013.

Following a nine-year hiatus, the group returned to the fray in 2012 with a revised lineup consisting of founding members Raul Malo (vocals) and Paul Deakin (Drums) alongside longstanding keyboard player Jerry Dale McFadden and guitarist Eddie Perez. Subsequently, The Mavericks released their incredible ninth studio album Brand New Day in March this year.

With a career spanning in excessive of 25 years, tonight’s marathon show takes a retrospective look back on that whole time, although the focus is on the group’s post-reunion material from the last three albums In Time, Mono and Brand New Day.

From the top of the show, the band belts their way through a quadruple of back to back tracks from their new album including an emphatic rendition of the title track “Brand New Day” and the ever so funky sounding “Easy as it Seems” before proceeding with “Damned (If You Do)” and “I Think of You”.

Assuming his position behind the Steinway piano centre stage, front man Raul Malo slows down the proceedings with a stunning rendition of “Goodnight Waltz”, which is enough to make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.

The multifaceted Malo seems to be humbled to play such a grand piano this evening and takes full advantage of the opportunity with one further new track “Ride With Me”. He jokes with the audience that the band doesn’t always get to play a Steinway and that he doesn’t deserve it, but nor does keyboard player Jerry Dale McFadden, much to the audience’s amusement.

Tonight, The Mavericks perform the lion’s share of their latest offering with as many as seven tracks from Brand New Day featuring in their set. Despite this, there is still room for old favourites and the occasional cover including their take on Bruce Springsteen’s “All That Heaven Will Allow”, “Every Little Thing About You” from Raul Malo’s 2001 solo album Today and the title track from their 1992 sophomore album From Hell To Paradise.

The band gels so well together and have great stage chemistry. Raul Malo’s powerful voice fills the room, and throughout the whole show, he makes his vocal performance seem effortless. The group’s immaculately dressed guitarist Eddie Perez has both skill and flare in abundance; Jerry Dale McFadden donning his white suit and fedora passionately grapples with both piano and keys whilst also often found dancing side stage or engaging the audience up front. Meanwhile, Paul Deakin on drums, who is accompanied by a four-piece ensemble at the rear of the stage, drives the prominent Tex Mex rhythm which The Mavericks have become renowned for.

The group closes out their main set with their hit single “Dance The Night Away” and immediately the whole room is up on their feet, the fans hang on every word and are left wanting more.

Raul Malo returns to the stage and delivers a beautiful rendition of “La Sitiera”, which is sung in Spanish. Being of Cuban-American descent Malo informs the audience that this is a song which his grandfather used to play. Furthermore, The Mavericks also recently recorded a documentary in Cuba which will hopefully air in the UK in the not too distant future.

The night is brought to a close with a triple whammy of up-tempo Latin numbers which get the audience moving including “All Night Long”, “Dance In The Moonlight” which features some fancy fretwork from Perez and fan favourite “All You Ever Do Is Bring Me Down”.

In an all-seater theatre it’s a constant battle for an artist to get the fans up on their feet, but during the latter stages of tonight’s concert, the Sage Gateshead encountered one of the liveliest audiences ever to witness a show in this room. There is an almost carnival atmosphere, with feverish dancing in the aisles.

Tonight’s show is packed full of infectious feel good numbers, which you can’t help but be swept away by. The fiery music of The Mavericks transports the Tyneside faithful to more tropical climes; the group’s new material equally holds its own alongside their greatest hits of the 90s.

The Mavericks
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Event Date: 15-June-2017

About The Author

Adam Kennedy is an experienced music photographer based in northeast England. He has been shooting concerts for several years, predominantly with the band Vintage Trouble. In 2013, he was one of their tour photographers, covering the UK and Ireland tour including the headline shows and as opening act for The Who. As an accomplished concert photographer, Adam's work has been featured in print such as, Classic Rock Blues Magazine, Guitarist Magazine, Blues in Britain magazine, broadcast on the MDA Telethon on ABC Television in the US, used in billboard advertising for Renaissance Hotels in the US, and featured online via music blogs such as Uber Rock and Guitar Planet. He is also the official photographer at Newcastle Rock and Blues Club.

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