Mexican rock band Maná sparked an explosion of sound and color in Quito at a massively attended concert on its 2011-2012 tour "Drama y Luz" (Drama and Light), the name of its latest album.

Atahualpa Olympic Stadium in the northern downtown district of the Ecuadorian capital was packed Friday night with some 40,000 fans belting out in unison the songs made famous by the Guadalajara band.

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"Lluvia al Corazon" (Rain on My Heart), the concert's lead-off number, was performed against a white canvas backdrop onto which figures were projected to reflect the lyrics that set the Quito audience on fire.

During most of the songs, lead singer Fher Olvera stalked the giant stage set mounted at the Atahualpa, pouring out his devotion to fans who returned his feelings with all their heart and voices as loud as they could sing.

Melodies old and new made up the Maná repertoire in Quito, and despite the group's 25-year career, it remains one of the most popular in Ecuador for fans of all ages.

Nor did the audience forget that this was the 43rd birthday of Alex "El Animal" González, the histrionic Maná drummer, though he looked the same as ever, hyperactively committed to entertaining his fans. Fher dedicated to him the Mexican birthday song "Las Mañanitas" (Morning Song), and the audience sang along.

"Thank you, Quito," Alex said, adding that this will be "one of the most unforgettable" birthdays of his life.

The guitar of Sergio Vallín was also accompanied in his solos by cries from the audience, who then got up and danced to the beat of Juan Calleros' amazing bass.

"Dejame Entrar" (Let Me In), "Amor Clandestino" (Secret Love), "De Pies a Cabeza" (From Head to Toe), "El Espejo" (The Mirror) and "Vuela Libre Paloma" (Dove, Fly Free), dedicated by Fher to his mother, shook Atahualpa Olympic Stadium to its foundations with an outpouring of emotion normally only seen here when the national soccer team takes the field.

The spectators would not stop clapping, yelling and going crazy with excitement to the sounds of "Mariposa Traicionera" (Faithless Butterfly), "Corazon Espinado" (Thorny Heart), "Eres Mi Religion" (You're My Religion), and continuing with such tunes as "Rayando el Sol" (Daybreak), that had people jumping out of their seats.

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"En el Muelle de San Blas" (On the Wharf of San Blas), "Te Llore un Rio" (I Cried You a River) and "Si No Te Hubieras Ido" (If You Hadn't Gone, by Marco Antonio Solis) were some of the other smooth melodies heard at the Quito concert, the group's first of 2012 with the next one on Monday at the Pacific coast city of Guayaquil.

"Oye Mi Amor" (Listen My Love) brought the concert to an emotional grand finale at midnight in Quito. The rock band left the stage with Fher waving the flags of Ecuador and Mexico.

Maná will continue its South American tour with appearances in Colombia and Venezuela in March, after which it goes to the United States.

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