Latin legend Pepe Aguilar & familia saddle up in Sacramento

It was another hot August night in beautiful Sacramento, as Pepe Aguilar continued his Jaripeo Sin Fronteras Tour. Thousands of fans lined up at the Golden One Center on Friday night; there were many families who wore cowboy hats, pointy boots, traditional Mexican dresses and cowboy-style jeans.

The outside of the arena looked like a Super Bowl event. 

As fans walked inside, there were long lines for the Aguilar family’s merchandise. Everyone was speaking Spanish. The middle of the arena was very interesting, as the whole floor was dirt. On one side of the floor, there were bulls restrained by a few people holding onto the doors; on the other side of the floor, there was a two level stage with many chairs. The Jaripeo Sin Fronteras (translated to Rodeo Without Borders) Tour included many members of the Aguilar family, such as the children of Pepe, Ángela and Leonardo Aguilar. The tour also included Pepe’s brother Antonio Aguilar Hijo, Banda Azul Tequila and Mariachi Zacatecano. 

As fans were getting their food and drinks, the production design team set up a large cactus in the middle of the dirt floor. The cactus was over 20 feet tall and looked very real. When the intermission music stopped and the lights turned off, the fans started to cheer, knowing it was the start of the show. 

Three Mayan dancers appeared and danced around the cactus — all lights on them. They told a story about Mayan ancestors and traditions in leathery outfits and feathered headdresses, complete with leather boots. The colors of their outfits were red and green — the colors of the Mexico flag. Fans were very engaged with this, as many of them sat silent and recorded on their phones. After the Mayan dancers left the floor, the cactus was dismantled and put away.

The next act was a big theme of the night — people singing on horses! 

Leonardo Aguilar rode his horse to the floor and waved to the fans. At the same time, Banda Azul Tequila and Mariachi Zacatecano played on the stage. There were many musicians that played different instruments, including the trumpet, guitar, drums, violin and accordion. There were over 20 musicians onstage doing their thing. Moments later, Leonardo took out his microphone and started to sing. As he was singing, his horse was dancing and moving to the rhythm of the music. The horse was also moving to the right to face the crowd. I have never seen a horse walk sideways before and it was amazing. He sang his hits, including “Nadie Es Eterno”, “Tu Mendigo Recuerdo” and “El Cominzo Del Final”. Fans cheered and roared for Leonardo as he rode off the floor.

After a few minutes of intermission, Antonio Aguilar Hijo rode his horse out on the floor next. Many fans were whistling, clapping and gave him a huge welcome. Just like Leonardo, Antonio sang on his sideways dancing horse, including hits like “El Corrido de Lamberto Quintero” and Camino de Aguascalientes”. Towards the end of his set, he rode his horse to the side of the floor and was poured tequila in a cup. He told the crowd that it was a pleasure performing at the Golden One Center, as it was his first time Sacramento. The crowd roared as he raised his cup for a cheers, prompting many fans to hold their cocktails and beers up to cheers him back. Everyone yelled, “Salud!” 

After another 10 minutes of intermission, Ángela Aguilar rode her horse on the floor, wearing a beautiful black dress with flowers. The cheers from the fans were very loud as she road around and waved to everyone. She sang her first song on the horse and then got off to continue singing. In the middle of the floor, there was a small three-level stage in which she walked onto to continue her mesmerizing set, with songs like “Cachito De Mi Vida”, “La Malagueña” and “La Llorona”. Her voice is one of the most beautiful singing voices I’ve ever heard live… her vocal range is out of this world! She wanted to get the crowd in a dancing mood, so she sang Selena’s “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom”, which got everyone up and having a great time.

It was a very unique concert, because in between singing sets, there was still a lot of entertainment going on.

The intermissions were very fun and had circus-like acts, including charrería competitions (which are competitions with entertainers swinging large ropes around their body). There was also plenty of bull-riding. Some riders lasted over 10 seconds, while others fell off immediately. Everyone knew what they were doing during the dangerous stunts.

When Pepe Aguilar rode his horse on the floor, the fans went nuts! Everyone rose to their feet and screamed as loud as they could. There were so many people with smiles on their faces, as well as taking out their phones to record the Mexican icon. Pepe sang a few songs on his horse, moving from side to side. He sang his hits “Por Una Mujer Bonita”, “Por Mujeres Como Tu” and “Me Vas A Extranar”. All of the fans were singing the lyrics and it was enjoyable to hear. In the middle of his set, Pepe told a story about the relationship Ronald Reagan had with his father, Antonio Aguilar. Back in the 1970s, Mexican artists were not allowed to perform rodeo shows in America, yet Antonio Aguilar was apt to change his mind by inviting him personally to witness a show live. After Reagan attended Antonio‘s show, Regan told him he really enjoyed it. When Reagan became president in 1981, he invited Antonio to the White House. This story is very important to the Aguilar family, because it was the beginning of Antonio’s legacy in America and Mexico. His family became the first Latin American artists to be able to perform rodeo shows in America. 

This wasn’t just a concert or a show, it was an experience that we will not forget. What an amazing event… we can’t wait for what’s next in store for the Aguilar family!

Photography by Arik Ruiz

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