The Mavericks Rock NYCB at Westbury
NYCB Theatre at Westbury
December 16, 2021
Article by Mike Perciaccante
On Thursday, December 16th, The Mavericks brought its En Español World Tour to Long Island’s cozy NYCB Theater at Westbury. The Grammy-award winning band (featuring Raúl Malo on vocals and guitar; Eddie Perez on guitar and background vocals; Jerry Dale McFadden on keyboards and vocals; Lorenzo Molina on trumpet, percussion and background vocals; Ed Friedland on upright and electric bass; Julio Diaz on trumpet and percussion; Max Abrams on saxophone; Percy Cardona on accordion and Paul Deakin on drums) delivers a musical mélange that seamlessly blends many genres, including, but certainly not limited to Tex-Mex, rock, punk, country, alternative, Latin, and rockabilly. The Mavericks recently celebrated the 30th Anniversary of their self-titled debut album which was released in 1990 on the Cross Three label. Since that time there have been a few personnel changes with Malo and Deakin as the only members to appear on each of the group’s releases. Other long-time band members are McFadden (who danced and juked all night behind his keyboards) who signed on in 1994 and Perez who joined in 2003.
At shortly after 8pm, The Mavericks took the steep walk down the ramp from the intimate venue’s dressing rooms toward the soon-to-be revolving stage. Before a single note was played, the band’s faithful fans were on their feet providing their heroes with a standing ovation. Once the fans settled-in, Malo waved to the crowd and launched into a fantastic version of “Back In Your Arms.” The entirety of Miami-based band’s performance was simply electrifying. Each song was met with thunderous applause, whistles and cheers. Quite a few received standing ovations. The band was extremely tight, working together to create a sound that can only be described as Mavericks Music. The interplay between the band members was a joyous sight to behold. Audience members spent the evening smiling, dancing, singing along and making requests. One woman in the 3rd row stood for the majority of the show singing every note, cheering at the top of her lungs, whistling and producing undulating Indian war whoops and shrieks that sounded as though they came from a classic western film.
Highlights from the stellar performance included: “All Night Long,” “Every Little Thing,” “What a Crying Shame,” “Dance In The Moonlight,” the mid-concert Spanish language trio of songs (“La Sitera,” “Suspero Azul” and “Sabor a Mi”), “Stories We Could Tell,” “Oh What a Thrill,” “Don’t Bring Me Down” and an amazing cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “All That Heaven Will Allow.”
The interaction between the band--especially by Perez (who posed for pictures while playing and got the crowd even more excited) and by Cardona (who made it a point to step out from behind his microphone and play to both sides of the revolving stage)--and the audience was both fun and heartwarming. Each band member had opportunities to solo and, as such, shine providing the audience with additional opportunities to stand and cheer.
The concert and its delivery of the band’s musical canon was special. Malo’s voice was rich and smooth, Perez’s playing was taut and tasty, Deakin delivered a strong and steady backbeat and McFadden was resplendent wearing a natty orange and white checkerboard suit and fedora combo (that not many folks could pull-off) while playing up a storm on his keyboard. Abrams, Cardona, Diaz, Friedland and Molina helped propel and drive the material forward. While the storied venue’s ancient stage slowly spun, these five line-danced behind their microphones. Each of them also shined when it came time for them to step to the forefront and deliver their powerful and impassioned solos.
The concert was fantastic, loose, fun and perfectly paced. The band's energy level was quite high. The performances were stunning and awe-inspiring. After over 30 years, The Mavericks can still bring it. The Mavericks played for over two hours bringing their fans pure joy and happiness while sending them to a musical heaven that only this band can provide.
Photos by Christine Connallon