Los Bukis_Las Vegas

REVIEW: Los Bukis Are a Timeless Act & Las Vegas Knows It

Photo by Eduardo Cardoza.

Los Bukis are not slowing down. The prominent Mexican group kicked off its Las Vegas Residency last Fri. (May 3) at the Dolby Live at Park MGM in Las Vegas, NV. The opening night was not only full of nostalgia, but was also a testament to why they’re the first Mexican grupero ensemble to go from being part of multi-group bailes to headlining a Vegas residency.

Throughout the two-hour set list, over 5,000 Bukimanía spectators gathered to experience a new type of Las Vegas residency. While people typically go to Sin City to party, this residency calls for a more wholesome experience: a multi-generational family celebration. Fans ranging from 30 to 60 years old were treated to the band’s nostalgic classic hits, an entertaining show that proved why they’re a timeless act, and hope for what could be an opening for future all-Spanish language residencies.

The new residency show was entertaining from start to finish. During the band’s first song, the stage’s backdrop showcased videos and photos of the band’s upbringing. Younger versions of the members, now in their 60s, struck a nostalgic chord with audience members who once saw the band in multiple-group bailes and now are experiencing historical moments as the first Spanish-language group to have a residency in Sin City.

During the show, the giant stage screens showed the fans in the audience, including older couples, daughters who brought their mothers, and overall loved ones enjoying the band’s set list, which included hits like “Y Ahora Te Vas,” “Chilquilla Bonita,” and “Mi Mayor Necesidad.” Other classics performed were the rhythmic track “Morenita,” the heartfelt ballad “Te Amo Mamá,” and arguably their most famous song, “Tu Cárcel.” And yes, the older millennial and Gen X crowd had their Facebook Lives on to show their comadres and compadres the historic moment they were experiencing during a casual Friday night.

Though the band took a break for 25 years (1996 to 2021), their fanbase appears as loyal as ever. More often than not, older groups struggle to move tickets – but that wasn’t Los Bukis’ case. In fact, their fans welcomed them back with open arms based on the amount of shows they keep selling out. From making history in 2022 as the most attended Latine music stadium tour in U.S. history to now taking on a Las Vegas residency, the appetite for a timeless act like Los Bukis is apparent. They’ve proven there’s a paying audience for iconic romantic groups that primarily use their stage charisma and instruments to keep their fans’ attention – no flying palm tree island needed.

Bassist Eusebio Cortez, also known as “El Chivo,” showed off his signature robotic moves, adding a unique touch to the performance. Keyboardist José “Pepe” Guadarrama was also a showstopper, demonstrating his saxophone skills during “Quiéreme.” However, the group’s frontman, Marco Antonio Solís, took the group’s artistry to the next level by playing multiple instruments, swapping his guitar for percussions seamlessly throughout the 22-track setlist.

Like many others in the audience, my father, Antonio Hernandez, was blown away by the performance. “He’s a showman!” he exclaimed as Solís switched instruments. After taking on the review assignment, I brought him along without thinking much about it. It turned out there had been a dormant member of the Bukimanía in my childhood home without me knowing so. My dad last saw Los Bukis live at the Convention Center in Los Angeles, CA, in the early ‘80s. 

Back then, he saw them with more groups in dances, so seeing them now as headliners four decades later meant way more than mere nostalgia — it spoke to the pathway being carved for the next Latine residency. To him, a Vegas resident born in Mexico, witnessing the emblematic group perform at the Strip, a place he’s always referred to as having the “best of everything,” signaled an open door for more artists from our communities. As a music enthusiast and loyal Buki fan, Los Bukis having the first Spanish-language residency “gives Latino bands more value,” in his words, and spotlights other Latine groups that have the drive to push our cultures further. 

Los Bukis have demonstrated that música en español is more than a “boom” or a trend — it’s a Las Vegas attraction and a worthy mainstay in the making.

Now, my dad is no expert, but he makes a valid point. Instead of Vegas being the destination, a residency like Los Bukis’ is the destination, the major attraction in a city known for entertainment. With only night one down, Los Bukis have demonstrated that música en español is more than a “boom” or a trend — it’s a Las Vegas attraction and a worthy mainstay in the making. And while the future remains unclear, we hope whoever comes next continues to show their Latine pride just like Los Bukis’ members flaunt their Mexican roots on stage.

Los Bukis: Las Vegas Residency continues today (May 8).