It’s always a bold move to open a show with your biggest hit single, but tonight it’s a gamble that The Mavericks are prepared to take. And it certainly pays off with the Sage Gateshead crowd most certainly ready to “Dance The Night Away“.

With an Aztec style banner covering the rear wall of the stage emblazoned with a giant 30, the crowd are under no illusion of the significance of The Mavericks milestone anniversary. Subsequently, without a new studio album to promote this evening’s show features largely a greatest hits set, and what better way to start than with their smash hit itself.

It’s been two years since the Mavericks last appeared in this very room, and it goes without saying that the group are always a welcome addition to the Sage Gateshead’s concert calendar. This current flying visit to the North East is sandwiched between high profile appearances at Black Deer Festival and Glastonbury this coming weekend.

This afternoon the North East was battered with heavy storms, and as such the Latin tinged sounds of The Mavericks are the perfect remedy for today’s inclement weather. Songs such as “Summertime (When I’m With You)“ certainly helps to reinforce that sentiment, whilst simultaneously showcasing the breadth of their musical pallet with its ska-infused melody.

For the next 90 minutes, the Tyneside audience is transported to warmer climes as this genre-defying eight-piece ensemble turn up the heat with their Tex/Mex songbook. The band’s distinctive Latin infused rhythms are el caliente for sure.

It goes without saying that dancing in the aisles ensues pretty much from the off as The Mavericks takes the crowd through the likes of “There Goes My Heart”, “Back In Your Arms Again“ and “All Night Long“.

The band gels so well together and have great stage chemistry. Raul Malo’s powerful voice fills the room throughout the whole show. The group’s immaculately dressed guitarist Eddie Perez has both skill and flare in abundance.

Jerry Dale McFadden donning his 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 Mariachi band at the rear of the stage, drives the prominent Tex Mex rhythm which The Mavericks have become renowned for.

A pair of beautiful ballads including The Mavericks take on Roy Orbison’s “Blue Bayou“ and Rodgers and Hart’s timeless classic “Blue Moon“ slows down the proceedings mid-set. But this change in pace is only momentarily, as the group switch gears with ease as they up the tempo with the incredibly infectious “Every Little Thing About You“. The latter of which being one of the many highlights of the band’s career-spanning set.

The swinging sounds of “As Long As There’s Loving Tonight“, and a joyous and uplifting airing of “Dance In The Moonlight“ results in fans spilling into the aisles to fully embrace the almost carnival atmosphere in the room.

As The Mavericks hurtle towards the finish line they close out their main set with “What A Cryin’ Shame“, leaving their fans stamping their feet for more. The whole room up on their feet for a two-song encore as The Mavericks bring the show to its explosive conclusion with the anthemic “All You Ever Do Is Bring Me Down“.

With a career spanning 30 years, the Grammy award-winning, multi-platinum outfit are still going strong and showing no signs of slowing down.

The Mavericks
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Event Date: 24-June-2019

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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