On the first three dates of this year’s almost-annual Revolucion tour, which bowed in 1994, the bill looked especially intriguing, presenting an unlikely pairing of Morrissey, the forever lonely and mopey former singer from the Smiths, and Jaguares, the Bon Jovi of Mexican rock bands, led by the charismatic Saul Hernandez. Opening night at the Pond could be termed a certain success, as only nosebleed seats were available for sale at showtime, and the mixed crowd of alt-rockers who paid to see Moz and young couples on Friday-night Jaguares dates each seemed impressed by the other act.
Morrissey worked particularly hard to win over converts; many of his songs include distinct references to Mexico, which went over very well with the aud. His 80-minute set featured numerous hits from his solo career plus a surprise reading of the Smiths’ signature song “There Is a Light That Never Goes Out,” which combines melancholy music and psychotic lyrics.
Rodriguez, bassist and studio co-producer Alfonso Andre and the rest of Jaguares can always be counted on for rock-solid live performances, and indeed their 90 minutes were full of the magical moments that make the group so wildly popular at home.
The musicianship was top-notch; songs included the concert staple “Dime Jaguar,” the excellent opener “Cuando las Sangre,” at least one old Cafaines (Jaguares’ previous incarnation) favorite, and the band’s new reading of Juan Gabriel’s “Te Lo Pido Por Favor,” the latter offered during a well-earned two-song encore.