It’s been a almost two years since The Mavericks have released their 2015 album Mono, and they did plenty of touring behind that. Now the band is about to release their first ever (can you believe it?!) live album, so their tour this time around is something of a greatest hits run. Billed as the Endless Summer Tour, The Mavericks’ current jaunt is a celebration of All Night Live Volume 1, set for release October 14 via their newly formed Mono Mundo Recordings. On Saturday, September 10th, Raul Malo and co. brought that jaunt through Portland for a show at the Roseland.
Despite a surprisingly small turnout, at least on the floor of the venue, The Mavericks gave the audience a fully energized two-hour set. For the most part, their setlist reflected the track layout of the upcoming live album. This was greeted with open ears and smiles by the crowd, as it’s more or less a collection of greatest hits spanning the band’s nearly thirty year career. With Raul Malo’s silky smooth vocals that haven’t aged a bit leading the charge, songs like the tango-tinged “All Night Long”, the boogie-woogie shuffle of “The Stories We Tell”, and the brassy romp of “What You Do To Me” all kept the Portland crowd gleefully dancing. What The Mavericks have always done well is seamlessly fuse together influences that can jump from a Tex Mex feast of blues and Tejano into an array of Latin styles. Onstage, their timeless songs were catapulted into an electrifying realm with the guitar prowess of Eddie Perez – who was all smiles – and the radiating jubilance of the always flamboyant Jerry Dale McFadden.
There were also the more swooning, tender moments to the night with songs like the longtime favorite “Back In Your Arms” again and the slow “Pardon Me”. Even with the strength of The Mavericks’ catalogue, it was two covers that truly elevated the set. The first was a mesmerizing rendition of Neil Young’s “Harvest Moon”, which the band breathed new life into with moving, orchestrated instrumentals and Raul Malo’s chill-inducing croon. The song is featured on the live album but was nonetheless a welcome treat. However, the real surprise came at the tail end of the night with their sprawling take on Pink Floyd’s stoner classic “Us and Them”. After playing the song, Malo joked that they couldn’t resist playing it in Portland where weed is legal.
Given the fact that The Mavericks are such a joyful, dynamic live act, it’s a bit surprising that it has taken them all these years to release a proper live album. Sure, there have been personnel changes, break-ups and side projects, but for those lucky enough to catch Saturday’s show in Portland, it was clear that a Mavericks live record is long overdue. Regardless of the album, with so much material under their belts, it feels like the right point in time for The Mavericks to be giving fans a tour loaded with favorites.