Mexican rock band Maná announced an unprecedented and ambitious residency at the LA Forum that will have them playing monthly shows at the Los Angeles venue, making it the only venue and only city where fans will be able to see the top-selling Latin rock band perform in 2022.
The significance of the residency goes well beyond Latin music and is the most ambitious for the Forum in nearly a decade.
“Maná’s presence within Los Angeles and their live history at the Forum is immense, amongst any genre,” Geni Lincoln, GM/SVP of booking for the Forum, tells Billboard. “Being able to conceive a pinnacle experience of this nature, in both the Forum’s as well as the band’s history, is beyond anything we have done since our 2014 renovation, and far outside the realm of what we normally see being produced at the Forum.”
Maná, the top-selling and top-touring Latin rock act in the world, already holds a rarefied position in both the history of Los Angeles and the Forum. In 2019, the group broke the record (held by Kanye West and the Eagles) as the first and only act to sell out seven dates at the Forum as part of a single tour since the venue’s reopening in 2014.
This time, the group is taking things many steps further.
“We aren’t playing anywhere else until people stop buying tickets,” Maná frontman Fher Olvera tells Billboard in an exclusive interview ahead of the announcement. “And those tickets fly. They have wings. And we get very upset with reselling, so we’re going to keep prices accessible to all. We want to be democratic in every sense of the word.”
“Democratic” doesn’t mean modest, though. Olvera says Maná is going all out with the performances, moving 80 tons of equipment for each show, inviting guest artists to each performance and curating different set lists to provide different listening experiences every night.
“Saturday’s set list will be different from Friday’s — not totally because there are hits we have to play. But we will be playing different songs,” adds Olvera.
Produced by Live Nation, tickets to the run of shows go on sale Nov. 19 on Ticketmaster for four dates — March 18 and 19, and April 22 and 23 — with new weekends added every month on a rolling basis until fans literally stop buying.
While such a plan might appear risky, it’s a very calculated risk.
“At the Forum, we had been hoping we would welcome an experience like the Billy Joel residency in New York,” says Lincoln. “We had an amazing experience with Maná during our shows in 2019 and a special working relationship with artist management, Jason Garner, and the promoter, Jared Braverman, where we began to build on what could be the next extraordinary experience for the fans as well as the band. We all wanted something that would be a real stand out.”
Likewise, both the venue and the city of Los Angeles held a special place for the band.
“Los Angeles has been like our second home,” said Olvera. “We call it the house of rock. And we like the Forum very much. It has privileged acoustics and no bounce, and it’s not too big or too small.”
The timing also worked for the band, which, unlike many other Latin acts, held back on restarting its touring, even as it recorded a new album and began rehearsals.
“We’ve been doing this 30 years, so to suddenly stop [due to the pandemic] isn’t easy,” said Olvera. “But I kept saying, ‘Don’t worry. We’re going to put together a great show. It’s not about getting there first, but knowing how to get there.’”
Aiming for 2022 also allows fans from Mexico and other Latin countries where touring has not yet kicked off properly to plan their trips to Los Angeles.
In the meantime, fans can get their Maná fix with a new version of “Mariposa traicionera,” alongside Alejandro Fernandez, that will be out this week.
“It’s a good tapatío partnership,” said Olvera, referring to the fact that both Fernandez and the band hail from Guadalajara. “Sergio Vallín [Maná’s virtuoso guitarist] made a new arrangement in the same vein, adding mariachi elements to the accordion. It’s gonna be good.”