Fresno Beehive

Intocable closes out The Big Fresno Fair with well-paced set of Norteño hits

Intocable performs at the Paul Paul Theater, Sunday, Oct. 16 for the final night of The Big Fresno Fair.
Intocable performs at the Paul Paul Theater, Sunday, Oct. 16 for the final night of The Big Fresno Fair. The Fresno Bee

Intocable seemed to have an unending selection of songs to pull from during its hour-and-forty-five minute set at the Paul Paul Theater on the final evening of The Big Fresno Fair.

Partly, that’s because the influential Tejano band has been playing since the mid-1990s and has 20 albums to their name – including “Highway,” which was released in July. Partly it was the band’s well-paced set list, tight transitions between songs and use of musical interludes that had the crowd cheering (progressively louder) for each new tune. Even at the end, when singer Ricardo Muñoz called the show with a quick “es todo,” it wasn’t quite clear the really show was over. The band played on as he thanked the crowd.

“Gracias. Thank you. Thank you. Gracias.”

Intocables gets much of its sound from the its vocal harmonies and the innovative interplay between the band’s two bajo sexto players, but Muñoz was the star of the show. That’s both as singer and as the band’s accordion player.

Highlights of the set: “Culpable Fui (Culpable Soy)” and “Aire.”

Earlier in the evening, Lupillo Rivera took the stage for a quick set of corridos.

Backed by a seven-piece band that included a particularly awesome tuba player, the singer was met with random shouts from a crowd that was eager to hear the Grammy winner’s voice – even if they weren’t on their feet showing it. For his part, Rivera more than obliged, his rich voice vibrating through the stands. At one point, he belted out several lines, sans microphone, as if to prove still reach the crowd without amplification. It totally worked.

Stay observations:

▪ Thought it ended up being a clear, almost cold October night, it almost rained. There were drops during Rivera’s set. He kept singing, even as crew came to cover the equipment behind him in tarps.

▪ While this was a Spanish-only show, Rivera had a few English asides. Remembering his first times playing in Fresno, he said, “That was a long time ago.” He also mentioned “friends with benefits.”

▪ Intocable used the on-stage video screen to lead the crowd through a massive sing along. It took a few tries to get the timing right, though I think the band was playing some kind of joke on the fans.

▪ Per my buddy ‏@nonewasthewiser on Twitter: “Always trust that the Mexican bands at the Fair are typically more famous than the English acts.”