Tonight, in Los Angeles, a band will break the record for most-ever sold out shows at the Staples Center... Nope, it's not U2 or the Rolling Stones – it's a band called Maná.
Josh Kun, director of The Popular Music Project at USC Annenberg's The Norman Lear Center says Maná is one of top selling pop-rock bands from the Latin music world. The band is from Mexico and has been around since the mid-1980s.
Kun says their music style is comparable to that of classic English new-wave rockers The Police.
“Stylistically that’s what they’ve been going for, at least vocally. I think you can really hear that,” he says, “In their earlier records they toyed a lot with kind of light versions of reggae and ska, much in the same way.”
Maná’s 11th consecutive sold-out concert is impressive quantitatively speaking – no other band in the Latin music world has been able to accomplish that in that arena. But Kun says other big-time Latin acts have been selling out concerts across the Southland and other major venues throughout the U.S. for years now.
The second highest grossing concert in the history of the L.A. Memorial Coliseum was “in 2006. [It was] RBD, a kind of teen pop group from Mexico,” says Kun, “ who sold out the coliseum.” The Rolling Stones still hold the record for the number of sold-out shows there. Madonna and U2 come in third and fourth.
Maná has never had trouble booking large venues in the Southland, unlike other 90s Latin alt rock bands who weren't as flush with cash, says Kun. They've also played in very small venues, even parks.
Kun points outs, however, that parks remain equally as important today for big Latin acts as they were in the past. “On the Norteño front and the Banda front, concerts still happen at parks,” Kun said, “at Whittier Narrows Park every year, for example, major Banda shows happen.”