Latin performers continue Mexican Independence concert tradition

Gabriel Iglesias can fool the calendar. But you know Mexican Independence Day is near when you see the names of other weekend performers who get top billing on the Strip only once a year.

Iglesias, the stand-up comedy star of this summer’s “The Fluffy Movie” noted earlier this year he was among the Mexican Independence Day niche performers seven years ago. “I like that. I appreciate that. I paid some dues in Vegas to get to the point where I can come in four times a year.”

The comedian returns to The Mirage for three 10 p.m. shows Friday through Sunday. Tickets are $64.84-$75.84; call 702-792-7777.

But some of these annual visitors were well into this annual Las Vegas tradition when the 38-year-old Iglesias was just a lad.

Luis Miguel was just 22 himself when he first played the original Caesars Palace showroom in 1992. Now he is back for three nights in the Colosseum at Caesars Palace, at 9 p.m. Friday through Sunday. Tickets are $95-$275; call 888-929-7849.

Who would win a ladies’ man showdown between Miguel and Marc Anthony? In Las Vegas they can duel with their box office grosses. Anthony, now officially divorced from Jennifer Lopez, sings across the street from Miguel on Saturday at The Axis in Planet Hollywood Resort. Tickets for the 9:30 p.m. concert are $99-$300; call 800-745-3000.

Marco Antonio Solis was well into his romantic balladeer era by the time he and Iglesias shared that 2007 holiday. This year, Solis sings at 9 p.m. Friday inside The Axis at Planet Hollywood Resort. Tickets are $75-$225; call 800-745-3000.

“There should be more promotions in Spanish, not only in September,” Pepe Aguilar said of the extended holiday week back in 2006. “But for (me) as an entertainer, as an act that represents money and numbers, it’s good to be here in September. It’s good to play Vegas any time of the year, but September is cool.

“I just see a good place to play, a nice venue, a great city, a nice challenge and good money,” he said.

Mission accomplished again this year, with Aguilar back for an 8 p.m. Friday show at the Palms. Tickets are $63-$163; call 702-944-3200.

Juan Gabriel was arguably the beginning of the whole Vegas party. In 1990, The Mirage put up a boxinglike outdoor structure and faux Mexican village to host him, launching the modern era of celebrations. He is back to sing at 8 p.m. Monday in The Axis at Planet Hollywood Resort. Tickets are $99-$310; call 800-745-3000.

Alejandro Fernandez can ask his father, ranchera singing legend Vicente Fernandez, what it was like when Las Vegas first started acknowledging Mexican Independence Day with big-name entertainment. The younger Fernandez keeps the tradition going with a Sunday arena concert in the MGM Grand Garden. Tickets are $74.10-$241.70; call 800-745-3000.

Speaking of the MGM Grand Garden, a certain event there on Saturday — the Floyd Mayweather-Marcos Maidana rematch — is part of the Mexican Independence tradition, too.

Event-status boxing cards — preferably with one of the fighters from Latin America, such as the Argentine Maidana — have been part of the weekend since at least 1992, when fight fans packed the Thomas &Mack Center for Julio Cesar Chavez versus Hector Camacho.

Contact reporter Mike Weatherford at mweatherford@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0288.

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