Los Lobos, Tampa Bay Caribbean Carnival, Vinoy Park

It was an odd booking to start with: a band of Mexican-Americans from East L.A. playing a Caribbean festival in Florida in June. When Los Lobos took the stage, there was a large riser in front of it with a ramp leading to the ground. A few songs into the set, a couple of intrepid women jumped onto the platform and began to shake it, much to the appreciation of the small but enthusiastic crowd. More people joined them, and then more, and more. In short order, the riser was jammed with dancing folks — men, women, children, babies on shoulders. Los Lobos, whose days playing in front of a dance floor are well behind them, loved it. Most of the guys wore non-stop ear-to-ear grins. Their song selection picked up the theme: extremely danceable. The group even played “La Bamba,” a rare thing during their concerts. To top it all off, Los Lobos let some folks on stage during their encores — but women, only women.

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