WEB EXTRA: A tale of two worlds: Los Lobos and Taj Mahal to take over the State Theater

If you’ve ever wondered what it sounded like when two worlds collided, this weekend at the State Theater should be quite interesting.

Los Lobos are coming to town to howl at the moon with some help from an old friend, Taj Mahal. In their over thirty years of music, Los Lobos’ sound has matured, becoming increasingly “traditional” as of late. Their 2007 tour has been dubbed the “Acoustic En Vivo” tour, and will consist of traditional folkloric songs from all over Latin America. The new style seems a little bit forced for the pseudo jam band, but it certainly sounds authentic. This newfound passion for “authentic” Tejano and norte?o tunes juxtaposed with opener Taj Mahal’s traditional American Folk-rock style will certainly be something to hear.

To GW students, both acts will have something to prove: staying power. Taj Mahal became famous by playing near “the Pond” at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst in the late 60s and early 70s. The artist who based his image, and subsequently his legend, on college-aged listeners, will get the chance to prove he still has the stuff to capture the minds of young listeners this weekend.

As for Los Lobos, their three decades of albums have clearly illustrated their tenacity as a group. In fact, Rolling Stone Magazine has said that “no other band has stayed on top of its game as long as Los Lobos,” with the exception of U2. However, they have struggled to reclaim the mainstream heights they saw with their 1987 cover of Richie Valens classic “La Bamba.” In the twenty-years since, the band has been the recipient of much critical acclaim and niche success, but the college-aged demographic has largely evaded them.

Taj Mahal will be opening like clockwork, doing exactly what it is that made him a legend. And while Los Lobos might not be pulling out all the stops with their gritty, jam-based Tex-Mex sound that they made their name with twenty years ago, the State Theater will be witness to a very special night of authentic music from both artists.

Taj Mahal will be opening for Los Lobos this Friday, March 9 at the State Theater in Falls Church, Va. Tickets are $49.

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