Harborlights Pavillion, September 10
Just returned from the concert in Boston. Who else from the list was there? Anyway, what is it with kids? I went with my 11 year old son and started out in row 23 (X). During the intermission a friendly elderly usher signalled us to move up to the box seats, which were all empty. Unfortunately, sitting so "exposed" like with 20 feet of space around us kind of killed my mood (and prevented me from snapping another picture). Next, another nice lady moved us up to about row 8 where we were able to see the last two songs, including the encore.
My impression of the overdriven soundmix: The GKs must like it that way! Just like they probably want the girls to dance on the stage! Paul signaled a (admittedly very well trained flamenco dancer with a stone serious face) to come up and dance on the stage during the concert. On the other hand, Canut was all smiles throughout. He must have had a good day or he's looking forward to going home.....
The loudness was painful, unfortunately. Yesterday's concert was reviewed by Paul Robicheau from the Boston Globe and he said "While the Kings' electric backing band seemed too loud in past years, last night's show offered as sublime a sound mix as one could expect for a group with up to eight amplified Spanish guitars, plus drums, percussion, electric bass, and synthesizer". Well, it seems that whenever someone mixes is right one night, someone else tells them to turn it up the next. It was so bad that Nicolas started to sing off key and the guitars went out of sync more than once. What sounds so cool on the CDs turned to mush. Tonino's brilliant play was drowned out so you could only just about make out which song he was playing. He did play Recuerdo Apasionado from Compas which happens to be my favourite. And that was before they turned the knobs (slides?) beyond the pain level.
I had the playlist from Merriweather with me and tried to compare. It was close but not the same. I heard two songs that didn't sound familiar but I haven't really internalized all of the GKs CDs (shame on me) but I know they're not new.
So, they're tearing down the tent now, Harborlights Pavillion is a has-been. It was good to end the season this way. Bit of a cool breeze from the ocean signalled to the GKs and us: It's time to pack it in and return to the home fires. Been a great summer!