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Los Lobos fans rock the night away

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LOS LOBOS, in concert at the Red Butte Garden amphitheater, Saturday, July 21; one performance only.

The fiesta ended too soon.

That's what the sold-out audience of Los Lobos fans thought as they filed out of the Red Butte Garden gates Saturday night. Although the sun had just set, the little band from East Los Angeles had been on the stage for two hours.

Los Lobos — vocalist/guitarist Dave Hildago, guitarist Cesar Rosas, bassist Conrad Lozano, drummer Louie Perez and saxophonist Steve Berlin — brought a little Tex Mex, rockabilly, rock, folk, jam-band and Tejano tunes to the outdoor venue.

The band kicked off its set with the boogie-based "Let's Say Goodnight" and slid into the Latin-rooted "Maricela."

Extended versions of the laid-back "Kiko and the Lavender Moon" and "Dream in Blue," which was highlighted by Berlin's moody sax solo, gave audience members an excuse to dance and celebrate life.

The rockabilly "Evangeline" and the contagious rhythms of "A Matter of Time" rocked before "Down by the River." The Tex Mex polka "Anselma" and the heart-breaking "Volver, Volver" came next.

The show-capper came during "I Got Loaded." Los Lobos paid tribute to the late Jerry Garcia with a medley of tunes associated with the Grateful Dead — "Turn on Your Lovelight," Buddy Holly's "Not Fade Away" and "Bertha."

But the tribute didn't stop there. When the band launched into the No. 1 charting remake of Ritchie Valens' "La Bamba," the audience went wild. During that extended jam, Rosas and Hidalgo led the band into the Grateful Dead version of the Young Rascals' "Good Lovin'."

The encore was filled with nods to Latin music. The traditional "Guantanamera" and Tito Puente's "Oye Como Va," which was also a classic-rock hit by Santana, were cranked out as the band threw in shots of Santana's own "Soul Sacrifice."

And when the final note rang out, the audience cheered for more.

E-MAIL: siwasaki@desnews.com