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Woodinville Concert 7/28/13

PostPosted: Mon Jul 29, 2013 11:04 pm
by Jusquin
My sister and I attended the Gipsy Kings Concert yesterday evening at Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery in Woodinville, WA. As usual, the band put on a great show.

The band consisted of Paul, Nicolas, André, Tonino and Mickael. No Canut; no Patchaï; no Paco or Diego; and no flashy shirts -- basic black for all. The usual cast of characters were on support: Pacheco on percussion, "Professor" Paganotti on bass, and the drummer and keyboard player who were with them for the shows in France (sorry, but their names escape me at the moment).

Nicolas and André handled most of the singing, with Paul taking the lead on "A Tu Vera." They did a lot of other familiar favorites -- "Caminando por la Calle," "Un Amor," "La Dona," "Samba Samba," and of course "Djobi Djoba," "Bamboleo" and "Volare." (For these last two, they were joined by Tonino's and Nicolas' sons, who had been sitting on the right edge of the stage for most of the show.) Of their more recent vintage, they did “Caramelo.” Tonino fans should have been happy; he was featured on several numbers, beginning with "Rumba Tech" and ending with "Sabroso." In addition to his singing and instrumental duties, Mickael did Patchaï's "MC" job, repeatedly exhorting the audience to stand and applaud. My favorite of the evening? “Sueño de Noche,” with its exquisite harmonies.

After intermission LOTS of people pushed through to dance in front of the stage, wine bottles and glasses in hand. They came like a tsunami, sweeping people and chairs indifferently before them, completely blocking any view of the band for the people in the front rows, some so unsteady they threatened to slosh wine all over us. A woman nearly kicked me in the face trying to climb over a chair, and a man nearly took my sister’s eye out with a chair leg. Neither apologized; in fact, both glared at us as if we had no right to be sitting exactly where we were. None of the “ladies” made it onto the stage, but one girl did lift her smaller male dance partner, over his objections, up to sit in front of Tonino.

On a personal note, I had e-mailed Michel, the band’s manager, about another matter back in April, and he had issued an invitation to meet the band. Those few words in French got us treated like visiting royalty! We were told where to go after the show, and when we got there one member of the band’s production team told us he’d been looking for us before the show, but since we had already gone to our seats, he hadn’t been able to find us.

A bosomy blonde in a very tight, very skimpy dress who had been dancing in front of the band all evening (and been studiously ignored) was told point blank that she could not go “at the request of the band, because you are intoxicated and that is forbidden. They don’t want you there.” (First time I’ve ever seen that.) Then we (about a dozen, everyone wearing a tag but us) were led along a wooded path past several pools of water to the Chateau’s Manor House, where the band members were just finishing dinner. My sister doesn’t speak French or Spanish, so she hung back and told me to just go ahead.

I first got to speak with Paul, André and Nicolas, who were sitting together, and a few moments later, Tonino joined us. I told them how much I had enjoyed the concert and thanked them for all the music over the years. There was a huge laugh when I asked about the meaning of a certain word in Caló. André corrected my pronunciation but not one of them would tell me what the word means. Later Nicolas told Michel that I spoke “Français, Español et Caló.” I said, “I don’t speak Caló,” and Nicolas said, “Oh, yes, you do.” (It’s probably a Caló cuss word. Thanks, Canut.) And for those who’ve been wondering, Nicolas clarified that the lyrics to “Viento del Arena” and “Majiwi” are in Arabic, not Caló.

I also spoke at some length with Michel, thanking him for giving me a chance to meet the band. I wanted to ask about Canut and Patchaï but thought it might seem ungracious, so I refrained. I was talking to Mickael when “the Professor” came up behind me and said (in French), “I saw you. You were singing, you were dancing … .” I said, “I always sing when I know the words,” and he answered, “So do I.” Very cute.

I was extremely flattered that both Nicolas and Michel asked if I was French, and both seemed to be surprised when I said no. Michel asked where I had learned French and I told him I'd had a wonderful teacher in high school who had inspired me to appreciate other languages.

Pacheco had been talking to one particular group in Spanish, and so I really didn’t have a chance to talk to him aside from telling him I enjoyed the show.

Nicolas had gone outside to smoke a cigarette, and when we came out a few minutes later he walked over and kissed me goodbye (French fashion, both cheeks). I told him to give my love to the rest of the family and he said he would. Good concert; good memories. Thanks, Gipsy Kings.

Re: Woodinville Concert 7/28/13

PostPosted: Mon Jul 29, 2013 11:38 pm
by Amanda
Hi Jusquin!

Thank you for the description of the concert! How awful the way one woman nearly kicked you in the face and another nearly put your sister's eye out (I guess winery audiences partake too freely of the grape), but thank goodness you got to meet the Gipsy Kings to make up for it. I know you will treasure that experience forever.

They tend to wear more basic black these days. Last year Nicolas was wearing a black T-shirt and black jeans because it was a hot day.

I didn't expect Diego would be there (I heard he has a bad back do he doesn't do the long tours anymore), but it's really unusual for Paco not to be there. Too bad about Canut and Patchai too. I was really hoping to meet them, especially Canut since I write to him via his blog, but at least now I know he won't be there so I won't be disappointed when I get there, and there may be another opportunity in the future.

My concert is five days away now. I got the e-mail today for VIP meet & greet people telling us where to meet, at 5:15 p.m. (concert starts at 8:00) to check in with the VIP coordinator; the sound check will take place shortly after that, then the meet and greet. They say to bring a small digital camera or smartphone for your personal photo with the Gipsy Kings. I don't have either of those but my friend that I'm going with has a smartphone.

Amanda :geek:

Re: Woodinville Concert 7/28/13

PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2013 11:02 am
by Jusquin
Hi, Amanda!

I know you will enjoy your experience with the Gipsy Kings, and I can't wait to hear about it!

When I saw how small the stage at Woodinville is, and noticed that they'd set up only four microphones, I had a feeling that Canut would not be there. I was thinking Patchaï; I wasn't expecting Mickael. I'd been hoping to meet Canut and Patchaï because I'm "friends" with both on Facebook, and I really wanted to say something to Canut about his two solo albums. Another time, perhaps.

All of them are very gracious and charming, and Nicolas especially is very easy to talk to. Tonino seemed a bit shy, but laughed when I told him that one day I'd like to play guitar as well as he does. André likes to crack jokes; he's very funny. Paul was more serious, the "big brother."

Meeting the band after the show (Michel told me he'd have phoned me about the arrangements if I had given him my number!) delayed our leaving the venue so that we didn't have to be trying to get out of the parking lot with all those who had been imbibing a bit too freely! At least the road out is a single lane through the vineyards. I felt sorry for the groundskeepers; the number of wine bottles on the ground was staggering (no pun intended). They search folks on the way in because they don't allow you to bring in outside alcohol, but they must make a mint on what they sell during the show!


Re: Woodinville Concert 7/28/13

PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2013 11:54 am
by musicfan
Jusquin, Thank you so much for sharing your concert and backstage experience. What a wonderful memory! I am planning to attend the Ravina concert, but there are no meet and greet options for that venue. I am hoping they will perform the same songs, since I am very much looking forward to hearing Sueño de Noche.

I saw a recent video where Canut sang "El Amor de un Dia" from one of the albums with Jose Y Los Reyes. It would have also been nice to hear that one live..... maybe someday.

Amanda, enjoy your concert. It might be worth checking out the image quality of the camera you will be using ahead of time. Some perform very poorly in low light conditions (telephone camera's that is) and you may get a better picture quality with a simple disposable film camera. Enjoy the memories!

Many thanks again for sharing!

Re: Woodinville Concert 7/28/13

PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2013 5:18 pm
by Amanda
Hi musicfan,

Thanks for the camera tip. My friend says her iPhone takes really good pictures. Also, it won't really be low light conditions because the meet and greet takes place well before the show, and it's still light at that time at our latitude. ;)

Stay tuned for my review of the meet and greet and the concert! :D

Amanda :geek: