Los Angeles concert, 8/3/13

Gipsy Kings concerts and tours, past, present and future, including concert reviews.

Los Angeles concert, 8/3/13

Postby Amanda » Sun Aug 04, 2013 1:28 am

Hello everyone,

A dream come true! :D

My friend and I got to the Greek Theatre early as per the Meet and Greet instructions to meet the VIP coordinator. He gave us laminated VIP badges and posters (with the same patterned background and the Gipsy Kings logo). These were for the GK to sign later. There weren’t too many Meet and Greet people. One of the people was someone I worked with back in the 1990s and hadn’t seen since! He was there with his family. We all sat in the front row (Pit seats were not put in yet) during the sound check. We saw Paul and Tonino first; Paul sang “A Tu Vera” for the sound check. Then we saw Andre, then Nicolas. Mickael was also there and looked so happy the whole time. The usual members of the backup band were there, including Pacheco and “The Professor.” Andre sang one of the familiar songs for the sound check but I don’t think it was in the concert.

Then we all got up and went around to another part of the Theatre and got in a line to meet the Gipsy Kings. People brought their own cameras or smartphones and a VIP staff person took each person’s picture with the Gipsy Kings. They were all so sweet. I really didn’t know what I would do, I was worried I would bust out crying from the emotion of it all, but I didn’t, I was just so happy. I think seeing them for the sound check helped with this. I introduced myself to Mickael, Tonino, Andre, and Nicolas, and then someone took my picture with me between Andre and Nicolas. Then they signed my poster and VIP badge. I thanked them all, “Gracias,” to Tonino I said “Gracias, Maestro.” I think he liked that. I didn’t get a chance to say or ask them everything I wanted to, even though I had more Spanish prepared. It was all so quick it was like a dream! I was able to say to Nicolas “Je parle français un petit peu seulment” (I only speak a little bit of French) and he responded with a cute Gallic shrug. Paul was off to one side a little; this was true in the photo with my friend too. I felt it was like the “elder brother” pose. I hadn’t talked to him yet; at the end I said to him, “Es un gran sueño para mí conocer a ustedes” (It’s a great dream for me to meet you) and he was really touched, he hugged me and kissed me on the cheek. When my friend posed with them, I told them, “Mi amiga Lynn es una cantante magnífica” (my friend Lynn is a magnificent singer) and they looked very impressed. She really is, I wasn’t just saying that.

I had wanted to ask them if they are really going to have a concert on September 20 in Niagara Falls, New York; that it is showing on Ticketmaster but not on their official website. I had it all rehearsed in Spanish in my mind. But there was just not enough time. (By the way, I e-mailed their American manager and booking agent a couple of days ago about this mystery. If I hear anything I'll let everyone know.)

Then we went out again and waited until we could go in for the concert. (We also got Gipsy Kings T-shirts as part of the package. You can see the different designs on their website; they’re really nice. I got a black one with the crown logo.) The Pit seats had by then been put in. We were in Row AA, center section, right across from Paul. I have been to several Gipsy Kings concerts where I had very good seats, but nothing like this, just a foot or so from the stage. There is really nothing like it! Nicolas sang the first song, “A Ti A Ti,” then Paul sang “A Tu Vera.” Andre did a lot of lead singing, “La Dona” and “La Negra,” among others. They sang the new songs “Samba” and “Caramelo.” Nicolas sang a song that sounded familiar but I don’t think it’s been on a U.S. album release. He also sang “Un Amor,” better than ever. They also sang “Pena Penita” (mostly Nicolas and Andre) with so much more artistry than ever before. Andre and Nicolas also sang a song I didn’t recognize; it will probably be on the new album. They also sang “Djobi Djoba,” “Bamboleo,” and Nicolas sang “Volare” for the encore. Tonino did a lot of wonderful instrumental numbers. He did “Sabroso” (with the usual great improvisations by members of the backup band), but also several new ones which I’m sure will be on the new album. As Jusquin said, Mickael took on the “MC” role. Although Canut, Patchai, and Paco were greatly missed (haven’t seen Diego since 2005), it is great to see the younger generation get involved. They all had so much joy and energy.

There is a blonde woman who I’ve seen every time I’ve seen the GK except for the two times they were at the Grove of Anaheim. She feels she must be the first one up on stage to dance. Years ago, she just did this near the end of the concert, when it is customary; now, she does it or tries to do it near the very beginning of the concert. Last year at the Nokia Theatre she tried to get up there during the first number, but a security guard prevented her. This time, she got up there during the second song, danced across the stage (not very well at all), gesturing to the audience as if we were her public. A security guard got her down. In contrast, later, twice during the concert, there was a beautiful brunette flamenco dancer who was obviously part of the show and was supposed to be there. She wore a simple white sleeveless top and black skirt, black stockings and white flamenco shoes. This was the ninth time I’ve seen the Gipsy Kings, and of all the women who have gotten up on the stage to dance at those concerts, she was the only one who could REALLY dance. She was a true artist. For her, it was about the dance, becoming one with the music, not “it’s all about me.”

Near the end of the concert there were some (probably drunk) people shoving themselves next to me, in space that was supposed to be an aisle, and during the intermission one woman was standing on my long skirt with her spike heel while I was sitting down. I had to say “Excuse me, you’re standing on my dress,” while hitting her leg, about three times. I think she was totally oblivious and just moved away without being aware. My skirt was OK, fortunately. I know this was nothing compared to what Jusquin and his sister went through.

Not only because of meeting them but also because of the concert itself, I enjoyed myself at this Gipsy Kings concert more than any other. Some years I’ve felt a letdown afterwards, because there was all this anticipation then it’s over so quickly. But I don’t have that feeling today; this was a dream come true. I’ve seen them every year since 2005, and this has been the only opportunity in all those years to get Meet and Greet tickets here in the Los Angeles area. Thanks to Jusquin for the tips about being among the first in the online queue to buy tickets, by having the cursor hovering on the “Refresh” button.

Amanda :geek:
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Re: Los Angeles concert, 8/3/13

Postby Jusquin » Sun Aug 04, 2013 12:40 pm

Hi, Amanda!

I'm so happy for you! What a great evening you had!

I totally understand the emotional feeling you had when you met them. That was how I felt as well. (I also was afraid that when I actually got to speak to them, every word of French or Spanish that I ever knew would go right out of my head.) And as many pictures as you have, as many times as you look at the autographs, it will never capture everything that you have in your mind's eye!

The band must meet so many people, but when you're talking to them, they make you feel as though you're the only one in the room -- and that what you're saying actually matters to them. I got the impression that they really do appreciate their fans and are a little awed at the "rock star" treatment even after all these years.

I wonder if the blonde "dancer" at your concert was the same woman who was not allowed to meet the band at Woodinville. From your description, it sounds as though she could be. She told people before the show even began that she danced the samba at every show, and she acted as though we ought to acknowledge her as the star she obviously thought she was. As for the one who was standing on your skirt, that's why I gave up dressing up for outdoor concerts. Jeans and a nice shirt or sweater with my "gipsy" necklace is the way I go.

There is a great professional flamenco dancer who lives in LA and has danced with John Tesh; her name is Arleen Hurtado, and she's an extremely attractive brunette. Wonder if that's who she was. (You could google her and see.)

I've been going through all my GK albums again since I got home ... .

I'm so glad you finally got to meet them!

Jusquin
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Re: Los Angeles concert, 8/3/13

Postby rumbero » Sun Aug 04, 2013 2:22 pm

meet and greet with the gipsy kings is a nice experience. they are just normal, modest people who don't have superstar arrogant manners like a lot of groups have.
rgds

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Re: Los Angeles concert, 8/3/13

Postby Amanda » Sun Aug 04, 2013 3:26 pm

Hi Jusquin,

Thanks! Like your meeting with them, this is a memory I will treasure for the rest of my life. When i walked away from them to let my friend have her picture taken, one of the people in charge, I think it may have even been their manager, said "Are you all right, miss?" I must have looked really dazed. You are right that as many fans as they've met over the years, they make you feel like you're the only one there and what you're saying matters to them. And I know this is not an "act," it is real. You can't fake that kind of sincerity. I've always known that they're kind and down to earth, and so appreciative of their fans, from reading about them and seeing videos, but when you actually meet them you experience this on a deeper level. My friend who went with me was so impressed with their spirit and said how unique it was for such famous musicians. She had never seen the Gipsy Kings before and was so happy to have seen them.

The blonde "dancer" may not have been the same one you saw, but she's definitely the same type. I think you said the one in Woodinville was bosomy? This one is thin and is (like me) "of a certain age." She always wears something white. She also looked like she'd had too much to drink. I spoke for a moment after the show with the burly security guard who had gotten her down from the stage and told him that last year at the Nokia she got up there during the first song. He said "Oh yeah, she's here every year." It's interesting that I've never seen her the two times I've seen the GK at the Grove of Anaheim, which is just an easy one hour drive from L.A., right off the freeway. It's a really nice small venue. Unlike most places, the Pit in the front does not have any chairs, it's standing only. Then there are raised levels with tables and chairs, with a brass railing separating those seats from the Pit. Some tables are dinner tables. I've had the first seat at one of those tables twice, and it's an excellent close view of the Gipsy Kings. But there's no way you could get down to the stage from one of those levels, because of the railing. It is my theory that this blonde, if she cannot both sit comfortably in the first row of the Pit and get up onstage to "dance," does not even want to be there. If this is true then she obviously isn't a true GK fan.

I looked up Arleen Hurtado and she is very attractive, but is not the same dancer as the one we saw last night.

You are smart not to dress up anymore. It certainly would have been awful to have wine or beer sloshed on a nice suit, shirt or tie (or all three) by one of the drunken spectators. I always dress up for the GK concert because it's the highlight of my year, and especially wanted to do it this year, since I was meeting them. I feel like e-mailing the clothing company and complimenting them on the fabric of this skirt, which was none the worse for wear after the spike heel incident.

I'm so grateful for this opportunity to have met the Gipsy Kings. I have to have surgery on Wednesday and it has been scaring the pants off me thinking about the post-op pain and a huge scar, but now I feel so much better because of this wonderful memory. Positive thoughts definitely promote healing. We also have the long-awaited new album to look forward to, in slightly over five weeks! I'm sure I'll be playing it over and over again. By the way, there is a new photo of them on Facebook promoting the album; you may have seen it. They are all there except for Canut. :( Diego looks great. If you save this photo to your computer it makes a great desktop background, defaulting to the "stretch" mode without distortion.

Amanda :geek:
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Re: Los Angeles concert, 8/3/13

Postby Amanda » Sun Aug 04, 2013 3:31 pm

Hi rumbero,

You are right that the Gipsy Kings are normal, modest people who don't have superstar arrogant manners -- yet they are among the most talented musicians of all time! I think it was Nicolas who once said that they are the same people that they've always been, they're not any different because of their fame; the only difference is "now the cops are in front of us instead of behind us."

By the way, welcome to the Forum!

Amanda :geek:
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Re: Los Angeles concert, 8/3/13

Postby Jusquin » Sun Aug 04, 2013 4:23 pm

Hi, Rumbero!

I second Amanda's welcome to the forum!

You are right on with your comment about the Gipsy Kings. As I said, they seem to be very down-to-earth guys who are just happy for the chance to play and sing and have their music appreciated. I'm curious -- have you ever met them?

Jusquin
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Re: Los Angeles concert, 8/3/13

Postby Jusquin » Sun Aug 04, 2013 4:52 pm

Hi, Amanda!

Michel Crupel is quite tall with sort of steel-gray hair. I had to look up at him when I was speaking with him. He's in some of the photos I've seen of the band, usually in the background, although there was one photo I saw with the band at a restaurant in which he is sitting next to Canut.

It was just a guess about Arleen Hurtado. I thought maybe, since she is a great flamenco dancer, lives in LA, and is in some of the Tesh videos, the band might have seen her and invited her to perform with them.

"Our" blonde was wearing a very skimpy, form-fitting sky-blue dress with silver metallic bands running through it. It left nothing to the imagination; in fact, there were a few times when it threatened to creep up just a wee bit too far. I don't know how old she was, but when she removed her sunglasses she definitely looked older than I'd thought she was. Probably not the same woman as "your" blonde.

I'm also a big fan of the Moody Blues, and they, too, have "fans" who are not happy unless they can sit in the first row and stand and dance and make sure that the band sees them. They're quite adamant about not wanting even second-row tickets -- "it's too far back and he won't see me." Seriously?

Best of luck with your impending surgery. I hope all goes well and you recover speedily. Relax in the sun with some nice gipsy flamenco, call up your memories, and I guarantee you'll feel better in no time!

Jusquin
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Re: Los Angeles concert, 8/3/13

Postby rumbero » Mon Aug 05, 2013 3:57 am

jusqin you asked if i have ever met them to be honest and modest yes i am joining them from time to time on concert tours...
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Re: Los Angeles concert, 8/3/13

Postby musicfan » Mon Aug 05, 2013 8:37 am

Amanda,

Thank you so much for sharing your concert. What wonderful experiences.....I am so glad you have such wonderful memories. Enjoy

Also,best wishes for your upcoming surgery.

There is nothing like hearing the GK live. I could relate to sometimes feeling let down after the concert, it seems to pass way to fast.
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Re: Los Angeles concert, 8/3/13

Postby Jusquin » Mon Aug 05, 2013 12:34 pm

Hi, Rumbero!

I thought from the way you spoke about the Gipsy Kings that you had met them. You're lucky to be able to follow their concert tours. Are you a musician yourself, or a longtime fan?

Regards,
Jusquin
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