“They’re like the Mexican Beatles,” says Edgar Ramírez, waving a tri-color bandana and sporting a heavy, black felt cowboy hat covered with the signatures of Los Tigres del Norte in calligraphic, silver Sharpie ink. Outside of Disco Rodeo, fans endure freezing temperatures to pay $60 to see these Godfathers of Norteño, but Ramirez won free VIP access on La Ley 96.9 FM’s call-in contest.
Meanwhile, Merch sellers patrol the floor with signable stuff—cowboy hats, photos, T-shirts, stuffed toy baby tigers. “Tigritos,” a border guard once dubbed the four juvenile Hernández brothers when they first came to the U.S. in 1968. Now, 40 years and over 55 albums later, Los Tigres del Norte are acknowledged as the definitive chroniclers of the “American dreams” for Mexican migrants.