There was no better way for San Antonio to close out a month of celebration for Mexico than with Alejandro Fernandez. The Mexican crooner made a stop on his Amor Y Patria Tour at the newly-renamed Frost Bank Center on Saturday, Sept. 30.
It was a family affair as his son, Alex Fernandez, joined him as special guest: serving as opening act and later singing alongside his father. In one of the most emotive moments of the night, he serenaded his father with ‘El Tiempo No Perdona.’ Alejandro started getting teary-eyed as his son sang lines such as “De niño, yo le dije a Dios que quería ser grande pa’ ser como tú.”
The father-son duo also took on ‘Mujeres Divinas’ by the legendary Vicente Fernandez – the father of Alejandro and grandfather of Alex – who passed away two years ago. Alejandro would later also do a three-song homage to his father with ‘De Que Manera Te Olvido,’ ‘El Rey,’ and ‘Volver, Volver.’
“San Antonio is a very special city for me,” Alejandro said. “My family and I had to move out of the country [Mexico] when we were going through some things and this city was the one. We lived here for four years. And in a way, I started my artistic career here. I sang for the first time when I was five years old on Raul Velasco’s show here in San Antonio.”
In 1976, Fernandez appeared on Siempre En Domingo which was hosted by Velasco. It was a special episode that was being filmed in San Antonio. Alejandro made his singing debut performing ‘Alejandra,’ but forgot the lyrics due to nerves. Vicente stepped in to help him finish off the song.
Since then, Alejandro has cultivated a legendary career of his own, which was on full display on Saturday night. Everything from his love ballads like ‘Abrazame’ to his more pop-fused songs like ‘Canta Corazon’ had the audience in awe. The passion in his voice, which rebounded with the audience singing along, was palpable to the ear.
And there’s something to be said about Latin shows. Audiences are simply not the same. They lend their voices to the entire live experience as much as the artist, which in turn creates spine-tingling moments. That was the case when Alejandro belted out ‘Como Quien Pierde Una Estrella,’ with the music being lowered at the start of each chorus to let the thousands in attendance shine.
Alejandro has been performing for nearly 30 years now. He has found ways to reinvent while still staying true to his roots. He performed his version of Natanael Cano’s ‘Amor Tumbado,’ which fuses his mariachi stylings with a corrido-meets-hip-hop sound. It’s a very interesting but fresh offering. He also did his Grupo Firme collab ‘Felicidades’ which sees him push aside the mariachi and embrace the banda genre. Another way he kept things new and exciting was by giving some of his own songs a twist: for instance, ‘Tantita Pena’ had a hint of cumbia.
Not to stray too far from what makes him El Potrillo, Fernandez took fans down memory lane with nostalgic hits such as ‘Matalas’ and ‘Nube Viajera.’ He also paid tribute to the pioneer of ranchera music, Jose Alfredo Jimenez, with a medley of songs he composed like ‘Ella,’ ‘Si Nos Dejan,’ and ‘Serenata Huasteca.’ His 30+ song setlist also included covers of Joan Sebastian’s ‘Estuve’ and ‘Eso Y Mas.’
The Amor Y Patria Tour is truly a love letter to not only mariachi, but all regional Mexican music. And at the same time, it celebrates the career of one of the greatest Mexican vocalists to ever do it.
Alejandro Fernandez continues his Live Nation-produced tour with dates in Houston, Chicago, Toronto, New York, Los Angeles, and many more. See the full list at AlejandroFernandez.com.