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Banda, Corridos & Covers: Gabito Ballesteros Delivers Eclectic Set at Tecate Pa’l Norte 2024

In a span of thee hours, the Oasis Bacardí stage at Tecate Pa’l Norte 2024 was host to three very different artists on Saturday (March 30): Yng Lvcas (reggaeton), Humbe (pop) and Gabito Ballesteros (corridos tumbados).

Ballesteros, who took the stage at 9:15 p.m., honored the stage’s eclectic taste by delivering a genre-spanning, 50-minute set that included classic banda hits, his corridos-turned-anthems and covers of pop-rock songs, including “Me Voy” by Julieta Venegas and Maná’s “Clavado en un Bar.”

Before taking the stage, a video played on the screen with footage of the 24-year-old singer-songwriter as a kid singing with a mariachi. The video chronicled Ballesteros’ hustle, starting from when he was young and singing in a church choir to today, leading forces in the música mexicana scene alongside artists like Peso Pluma, Natanael Cano and Junior H, all with whom he’s collaborated.

He kicked off with “El Muchacho Alegre,” a banda gem that got everyone dancing. He also performed another banda classic, “El Sinaloense,” igniting a zapateado showdown with festivalgoers dancing up a storm.

Clad in all black, dark sunglasses and thick silver chains around his neck, Ballesteros was accompanied by a troupe of musicians that played trumpets, clarinets, tubas, requintos, an accordion, a tololoche and drums, which allowed Ballesteros to go from banda to corridos throughout his set. When it came to performing corridos, he delivered the hits, from “Lady Gaga” to “LOU LOU” (a fan favorite that called for an encore), “El Tsurito” and “El Boss,” his latest song with Natanael Cano.

Que chingones son, los amo (you’re amazing, I love you),” he said, acknowledging the massive crowd that gathered to watch him play.

He also performed “A Puro Dolor” — a cover of Son by Four’s hit, which he released as a single last year — and Venegas’ “Me Voy,” revealing that it’s a song that will be included on his upcoming album.

He surprised fans by singing his version of Maná’s “Clavado en un Bar.” “It’s the first time we sing this live,” he shared. “Let’s see how it sounds.” The cover inspired a sing-along among fans who seemed to approve his take on the ’90s song.

Day two of the festival also featured sets by Anitta, Danna Paola, Thirty Seconds to Mars, Louis Tomlinson, and Blink-182, the main stage closing act.

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