The Mavericks’ guitarist Eddie Perez teased a cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love” as a nod to Robert Plant, who would follow the group Saturday on the Samsung Galaxy Stage. That became a verse of “La Bamba,” then the Mavericks’ own “Dance in the Moonlight.”
That sort of playfulness characterized the band’s exuberant set of Latin-inflected rock and country at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.
The reunited Mavericks are celebrating 25 years together this year, and they played with passionate commitment that suggested they know why they’re playing together. Singer Raul Malo was dramatic throughout, and keyboard player Jerry Dale McFadden danced whenever his part didn’t require two hands.
With 20 or so minutes left in their set, the band puzzled the audience when they stepped offstage, effectively marking the end of the set and the start of an encore.
All was forgiven when they returned with a surprising cover of their Miami compatriots K.C. and the Sunshine Band’s “Boogie Shoes” and closed with a rave-up version of “All You Ever Do Is Bring Me Down.”
They finished five minutes early, but no one seemed to be complaining.