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Vicente Fernandez says ‘adios’ at Staples, ‘hola’ to Gibson

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Like old generals, elderly Mexican pop idols never die, they just fade away. Unless they’re Vicente Fernandez, in which case they just seem to go on and on forever.

Fernandez is currently staging what he has called his farewell tour (Gira del Adios), after being treated for cancer in recent years. After concluding his present tour, Fernandez has vowed to limit himself to the recording studio and stay off the road.

Well, don’t necessarily believe it. The great ranchera troubadour made his first-ever appearance over the weekend at Staples Center, and according to Sergio Burstein, a reviewer for our sister Spanish-language newspaper Hoy, “Chente,” a.k.a. the king of ranchera, was in typically robust form and gave little indication that he was ready to hang up his sombrero anytime soon.

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“It is obvious that this gentleman deserves all the applause and all the acclamations that can be lavished on him,” Burstein wrote in Spanish. “We cannot really know if he is thinking of abandoning all his appearances and dedicating himself solely to recording, as he has said; but what we do know is that, in keeping with his promise, he will leave behind in the minds of his followers the image of an artist who finds himself at the pinnacle of his career in a physical and vocal state absolutely impressive for his 72 years of age, although he continues to drink and smoke.”

If you’re among Chente’s adoring masses who couldn’t make it to Staples, fear not: He’s booked to perform three shows, April 26-28, at Gibson Amphitheatre, Universal CityWalk, a venue where he has appeared so many times he’s practically its unofficial artist-in-residence.

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