There’s an intense heat wave in Southern California, the first one since summer officially kicked off.

Outside the Honda Center in Anaheim, thousands of fans are braving the 90-degree weather while waiting for doors to open for Reik’s sold-out “Panorama 2024 Tour” concert.

The Mexican pop group — which consists of vocalist Jesús Navarro, acoustic guitarist Julio Ramírez and electric guitarist Bibi Marín — is just showing away from wrapping the tour promoting their seventh studio album, “Panorama.”

Inside the arena, the singers are preparing for a special show, one that includes many friends and family in attendance.

“There’s a bit of nerves when we’re touring the new show. “There’s a lot of possibility for chaos and mistakes,” Navarro, stylishly dressed in white slacks, a black shirt and white floor-length blazer, tells ahead of the show.

“But we’ve been around long enough to know that it’s not the end of the world if we screw something up. We know what we’re doing. We’re proud of the album that we put together.”

Released on May 9, “Panorama” sees the pop trio return to the guitar-tinged, soulful pop sound that made them famous. A back to basics, if you will.

After the rise of reggaeton and Mexican regional music, which Reik dabbled in, they decided to return to their roots.

“After all of that, sort of jumping around (genres), we decided that it was time for us to get back to do something that was more personal to the band,” he says. “So we decided to put together a new pop record, but something that sounded current, something that was true to who we are now.”

Ramírez, also in his show-ready white suit, adds, “We knew we wanted to do a pop album, but it couldn’t sound like 2005.”

Two decades of creating pop classics

The year was 2005, the three young musicians from Mexicali, Baja California, released their debut eponymous album. Their first singles “Yo Quisiera,” “Qué Vida La Mía” and “Noviembre Sin Ti” cemented them as the pop group to watch in Latin America. You couldn’t go without hearing their guitar-forward melodic and romantic tunes on the radio (this reporter would know).

Reik would become a staple and be among the top-names in Latin pop music like RBDCamila, Without Flag, Shakira, Thalia and many more during the aughts.

The band continued delivering their soulful sounds on albums like “Sequencia” (2006) and “Un Día Más” (2008), which earned them a Latin Grammy in the best pop album by a duo/group with vocals category.

With the changing landscape of streaming and Latin music having a worldwide impact following the success of Daddy Yankee and Luis Fonsi “Despacito” featuring Justin Bieber, Reik jumped at the chance to experiment with their sound on their 2019 album “Ahora.”

The album did fairly well, landing at No. 2 on Billboard’s Latin Pop Album chart. Their first single from the record, “Me Niego” featuring Ozuna and Wisin, scored the group their first No. 1 song on the Billboard Latin Airplay chart.

“It was a lot of trial and error,” Navarro says. “We are always open to trying out new things. Sometimes they’re successful, sometimes they’re not.”

“What happened to us with urban music,” Navarro continues, “we were there for as long as we felt that we were interested and interesting, and then that was over.”

Reik is celebrating two decades of being a band and a new musical era.Courtesy of Reik

Come 2024 and Reik are still taking risks but experimenting with their pop sound — even adding curse words into the mix, while also adding a nostalgic touch.

For “Panorama,” the trio worked with newcomers and their opening act MiSHNRZ, which consists of artists and producers Ismael Cano Jr. and Matthew Rey. During their first session together they wrote the title track, “Panorama,” an electro-pop, ’80s-sounding song that makes you sway and snap your fingers.

“(We were) like, ‘Oh, yeah! This is gonna work,’” Ramírez recalls. “So we kept on going at it and just trying to be real with ourselves, who we are with our melodies… so it could be honest… And I think it worked out. I mean, at first we got some comments like, ‘Why are you guys cursing in your songs? You never cursed before.’”

Ramírez says it reminded him of when they “did reggaeton for the first time, some people were like, ‘What’s going on with these guys?’ “It’s part of the risk.”

A nod to the past with ‘Roomies’

There are risks and then there are rewards—and happy accidents. Longtime Reik fans will notice a nostalgic throwback sound at the end of “Roomies.” As the song is wrapping up, the last five seconds are the same as their 2005 single “Qué Vida La Mía.”

Ramírez says it just came naturally while in the studio. “Roomies,” he explains, is in the same key and the same tempo as “Qué Vida La Mía,” which was their second single as a band.

“I just remember we were in the studio and I recorded the guitar and Jesús comes up, he was gonna listen to the song for the first time,” Ramírez says. “First it was just the guitar and Jesús immediately does the ‘Ooh-hoo.’”

Marín, sharply dressed in white slacks and contrasting black blazer, notes, “That’s the magic of being in a recording studio.”

The songs perfectly blend one right after the other. And when on stage hours later, eleven fans have cooled down inside the full arena, to their excitement, Reik plays “Roomies” followed by “Qué Vida La Mía.”

Reik’s secret to longevity

During the show, which features portions dedicated to their genre-specific songs, Navarro asks the energized crowd who is attending their first Reik show. Much to their (and my) surprise, more than half of the audience screams. Yet, it appears first-time attendees know the words to almost every song.

“It’s been a great adventure,” Marín says of the last two decades. “All the mistakes we’ve made have got us to where we are right now.”

They all agree that hard work and great communication have been why they happily continue to create together. And in their minds, they’re only just getting started.

If the last 20 years was Vol. 1, Ramírez says “Panorama” is the start of “Volume 2” for Reik. Marín describes this era as Reik’s “most enjoyable,” while “trying something different, something new, going back to basics.”

“We feel super comfortable doing (pop), but at the same time, it’s kind of bold for us to try a different sound — even though we’re being a little cutting edge, I guess, for Reik standards,” Marín says, adding that artistically speaking, “it’s most definitely a very enjoyable era for us because, yes, we feel a lot more comfortable and are a lot more in control of what we’re doing and how we do it. “We’re really enjoying the ride and taking care of every single detail.”

With multiple reinventions over the years, Navarro states that the three of them “are more comfortable with who we are, with what we are, with what we’re not. “It’s a new iteration and a very powerful thing.”