Renowned Mexican-American singer Pepe Aguilar graced the Seattle (Kent Showare) area on Saturday, November 25th, and played to an enthusiastic crowd of mariachi and ranchera music lovers. Aguilar is the son of iconic Mexican singer Antonio Aguilar and music and film star Flor Silvestre. This had been the third time I had seen Aguilar, with the last being in 2019 with his amazing “Sin Fronteras” (Without Borders) tour. At the last show, I also had the opportunity to meet his wife along with Angela and Leonardo Aguilar (two of his children). Both children have also made names for themselves in the music industry adding more star power to The Aguilar Dynasty, along with cousin and singer Majo Aguilar.
For Pepe Aguilar, he never disappoints in his live shows. Saturday’s show was no different as he put on an artistic display of traditional Mexican culture. At nearly 6’5, Aguilar holds a commanding presence on stage with his strong and melodic vocals. He wore a traditional black charro outfit and held a sombrero most of the night while he romanced the audience. Backed by a superb mariachi ensemble, band, accordion player, and two supporting singers, the night was filled with iconic songs from his repertoire including the opening number “Por Una Mujer Bonita” as well as classics “Hermoso Carino,” and a heartfelt tribute to Juan Gabriel with the emotional “Costumbres” (Traditions). One of Juan Gabriel’s best songs ever to be composed, the song talks of missing someone you dearly love with hopes of them coming back, a tearjerker for sure.
On the big screen, Aguilar had beautiful video displays of horses, and vintage art reminiscent of the golden age of Mexican cinema which accompanied his vocals immensely with their visual distinction. Aguilar also interacted with the crowd throughout the night often narrating between songs, which was more than I anticipated. Besides that, I did love the intimate personal feel he gave to us fans and the tribute he gave to his father. On-screen, a grand photo of Antonio Aguilar appeared while Pepe belted out “Albur De Amor.” Photos of his mother starlet Flor Silvestre also appeared on screen and Aguilar even mentioned that it had been exactly 3 years since she passed on November 25th, 2020. She had been 90 years old, and the tribute reminded me of my own musician grandfather who passed in 2020 just as well, 5 months after my grandmother ironically. One of the last songs I actually listened to with my grandfather had been “Me Falta Valor” by Aguilar which I was hoping he would sing. Nonetheless every song performed through the night was absolutely gorgeous and emotional. Ranchera music just has a way of tapping into your emotions and make you feel the lyrics through love, grief, sadness, and even happiness.
What made the night for me though and all the more special was I was in attendance with my parents and sister, which is a rarity. I know my mom felt emotional too as the music reminded her so much of her own parents, especially her dad who took her to see Antonio Aguilar at the Freeman Coliseum in the 1970s in San Antonio. My dad also never attends concerts these days, and he made a rare outing for this one and sang along to a few tunes through the night.
I was also really excited to hear a few favorites of mine such as “Me Vas a Extranar”, (You’re Going to Miss Me), as I absolutely love this song! I was a bit disappointed that he didn’t sing the whole tune but instead incorporated it into a medley, but I guess I was happy to even hear half of the song. I also loved his performance of “Por Amarte,” a gorgeous ballad regarding a lost love. Pepe has such an amazing voice, and with Vicente Fernandez no longer with us, I consider him the current King of Ranchera and Mariachi music. Aguilar has also done an outstanding job of preserving his family’s legacy. I do hope to see his rodeo show once again, and highly recommend attending one of his concerts as you will be amazed by the beauty of his voice and interpretation of traditional Mexican culture. Besides a few obnoxious concertgoers near me and the freezing temp outside, I thoroughly enjoyed myself and left feeling a sense of pride for my cultural heritage. Puro Zacatecas!
Catch Pepe Aguilar on tour, and visit his official website for upcoming tour dates.