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article imageLive Review: 8 Segundos in San Juan del Rio, Queretaro Special

By Adrian Peel     Dec 20, 2015 in Music
San Juan Del R - The "band of the moment," as far as country music in Mexico is concerned, played their penultimate gig of the year at the Super Bull Rodeo in central Mexico.
In terms of visiting places in their vast native land that they've never been to before, 2015 has been a series of firsts for the revered and respected country outfit. Ixmiquilpan, Tlatlauquitepec, Tantoyuca, Leon, San Luis de la Paz and now San Juan del Rio are just a few of the cities, towns and villages scattered all over the country fortunate enough to have experienced their exhilarating live show for the very first time.
December 19 marked the third occasion in four months that this talented group from Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, who have been causing quite a stir south of the border over the last few years - and who have also toured the United States - played in the state of Queretaro. Tonight's venue is the Lienzo Charro Salvador Gomez Centeno, a small stadium in the centre of San Juan used for rodeos and other cowboy-related activities.
Having arrived late, I wasn't able to witness all the events of the rodeo (I missed my favourite, the barrel racing), but caught some bull riding, a bit of comedy and a dance competition while quietly wondering what time the band were going to take to the stage.
8 Segundos live on stage  19/12/2015.
8 Segundos live on stage, 19/12/2015.
At around 9.35 P.M., René, Alex, Javier and Jaime kicked off what turned out to be another electrifying performance with "No Me Digas," the opening track from their 2012 album of the same name, although it took the technical people a little while to get the sound right.
Sound problems sorted, it was followed by "Guitarras y Cadillacs," a version of Dwight Yoakam's "Guitars, Cadillacs." Both were warmly received by the expectant crowd, who seemed determined not to let the plummeting temperatures ruin their enjoyment.
Other highlights early on included "Vaquero de Calidad," "Que Casualidad," "8 Segundos" and "Frente a Las Botas de Un Vaquero," all taken from their superb debut album, 8 Segundos Musica Country.
8 Segundos are also known for their covers of American country classics and some of the most rewarding moments in that department, apart from the Dwight Yoakam number already mentioned, were "Esta Carcel" ("Folsom Prison Blues"), "Chattahoochie," "El Diablo Bajo a Georgia" ("The Devil Went Down to Georgia") and the always welcome "Amarillo Mañana" ("Amarillo by Morning").
Their signature song is "No Era Un Vaquero," an homage to the cowboy lifestyle that also tips the hat to Caballo Dorado, the first Mexican country act to achieve major success. It got the fans enthusiastically singing along, with popular vocalist and fiddle player, Alex Olivas, clearly in his element,
In between songs, his brother, bandleader, co-lead vocalist and guitarist, René Olivas, addressed the fans in his usual lighthearted manner, introducing the other members, explaining the reasoning behind the name '8 Segundos' (a bull rider is required to stay on the animal for at least eight seconds in order to receive a score), encouraging audience participation and speaking of his affection for his home state.
At one point, about halfway through, he spotted yours truly in the crowd and kindly dedicated the beautiful "Esa Noche" to me, my wife and our two friends who had accompanied us.
A handful of very familiar tunes - "Ford '79," "En Mi Ranchito," "El Rey" and "El Tren y Tu" - then came in quick succession. Where do these guys get their energy from?!
The encore consisted of "Mama No Dejes Que Tu Hijo Sea Un Vaquero" ("Mamas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys"), "Bebiendo y Llorando Su Adios" ("Drinkin' My Baby Goodbye") and one of their best loved originals, "3 Barriles," performed for the second time tonight and dedicated to the female barrel racers present.
8 Segundos are a great band, but don't just take my word for it. Ask some of the artists with whom they've shared a stage - Kenny Rogers, Garth Brooks, Rick Treviño, Johnny Lee, etc. - and if you don't get to see them in 2015, do not despair. They'll be back next year taking their music to more places than ever before.
8 Segundos' music can be downloaded using Google Play.
A new single, "Vaquero Arrepentido," will be out in February.
For more information on one of the finest country acts in Mexico, visit their official website or their official Facebook page.
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