Less than three months after filling the mammoth Pond Arena in Anaheim, los Jaguares, the most popular Mexican rock band north of the border, returned to the Southland for two special House of Blues gigs.

Less than three months after filling the mammoth Pond Arena in Anaheim, los Jaguares, the most popular Mexican rock band north of the border, returned to the Southland for two special House of Blues gigs.

At the first show, on Sunday night, the quintet treated the over-packed club to an explosive two-hour-plus performance that confirmed the Grammy-nominated group’s awesome live skills, especially those of captivating singer-guitarist Saul Fernandez.

Formed by the charismatic, bronze-haired Hernandez in 1995 out of the ashes of the late, great Rock en Espanol band Caifanes, Mexico City’s Jaguares plays mostly straight ahead hard rock with plenty of Police, U2, Led Zeppelin and Eagles references for a familiar and easily digestible arena rock sound that was occasionally supplemented at the House of Blues with lilting Spanish guitar.

But it was Hernandez’s soaring vocals, composed of passionate lyrics that focus on social injustice, mystical visions and traditional Mexican values, that most affected the gladdened assemblage. The near-hysterical fans sang loudly and proudly all the words to all 23 of the evening’s songs, many taken from Jaguares’ 1999 half-live, half studio double-CD “Bajo el Azul de tu Misterio” (BMG Latin).

Male-led mosh pits spun wildly on the overheated dance floor during such rousing rockers as “Dime Jaguar” and the anthemic old Caifanes hit “No Dejes Que…,” while numerous muchachos could be seen in a state of near collapse during the towering ballads and love songs. Many young ladies tried, mostly in vain, to climb on stage and embrace Hernandez.

Jaguares play the L.A. House of Blues again on April 19 and the Sin City House of Blues on April 21.

Jaguares

(HOUSE OF BLUES; 1,000 CAPACITY; $ 30)

Production

Presented in-house. Reviewed April 16, 2000; also schedule to perform April 19.

With

Band: Saul Hernandez, Sabo Romo, Cesar Lopez, Jarris Margalli, Alfonso Andre.
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