U.S. Tour '99
June 12, 1999
Yes, this is probably going to be a sparse review . . .
A good show, although the sound was Slightly uneven during the opening "Ami Wa Wa". Later, it was dead on; from halfway up the center of the general seating I could pick out a cowbell being tapped on in the midst of everything else.
Additional entertainment was provided by a sombrero and inflatable beer can equipped conga line section that was off in the high stage left open seating. A couple of times a whole line of them snaked down from their seats and around the theatre.
Um . . . I enjoyed myself, although I couldn't give you a strum by strum description of All that occurred . . . I was there for the concert more than the review . . .
This show was different from the 11 others we've seen before it. It was definitely the most lively crowd of all. A large crowd, these people were really into it. The GKs responded and seemed to enjoy this show more than others (Las Vegas was also enjoyable to both band and audience, but this was different).
As Hieronymous said, there were many people in sombreros, mini-tamborines with some kind of striker or drumstick, colorful tape joining extensive conga lines, etc. For the frirst time ever, we saw employees of the venue dancing to the music!
Nicolas was not only back, but in top form! They all were.
The biggest suprise was when Patchai's son, Doume joined the band for "Bamboleo" and the encore, "Poro Pompero". I got some photos (will have to find a 1-hour photo place on the way north) of him, Michael and Georges together. The next generation of GKs.
This was a really FUN show and a great way to end our 5-concert swing. We're sad that it's over, but at least Reno wasn't the last one.
I'd like to add that it was REALLY GREAT to meet all the list cousins we have along the way, and equally wonderful to see others once again. To a person, each and every listmember we've met has proved to be instantly likeable. You are one great bunch of people.
>, there were many people in sombreros,
I wondered about this group - obviously representing a Mexican radio station. I couldn't help but wonder what GK thought about the display of red, white, and green colors of the Mexican flag AND the sombreros.
>The biggest suprise was when Patchai's son, Doume joined the band ....
My feeling was that management is paving the way for the "next generation" of their cash cow. (sorry to be so cynical) altho it's been really great to see the progeny perform. Michael, especially, has come a long way since last year. He puts every bit of the energy of his youth into the show as well as talent. His opening vocal display is astounding.
>This was a really FUN show and a great way to end our 5-concert swing.
They jammed on "Salsa de Noche" more than I remember in the other shows and seemed genuinely happier throughout the Berkeley show. At one point Andre started laughing at me when he noticed that I was singing along to Majioui - he looked delighted that I learned the words from the other four shows.
For the Berkeley show, too, all but Canut and the backup band were wearing black concert T's from the Compas tour (the ones that they were selling at each venue). I'd like to know if they had to BUY them or if they were a gift. For the other shows, btw, they all had gorgeous cut-velvet shirts in different colors.
I wound up with, btw, if anyone would like it - Michael's sweaty towel from the Concord show.
On Saturday the songs and lineup were the same, except they didn't play "Mira la Itana Mora". I can't wait to hear "Poro Pompero" on CD! It's great. I wonder if they'll put some of the songs they played last year during their tour... It seems like Michael and Georges are taking greater roles. I was bummed Paul didn't get more attention; he seems very enthusiastic but never gets a solo. He looked at least 30 or 40 pounds lighter (probably gave them to Canut). The crowd was really into it, although I was seating in General Admission so the sound wasn't as loud/clear as I would've hoped. The sound engineers also screwed up while Nicolas was singing "Un Amor". Couldn't have timed it worse...
Overall I was just ecstatic to see that, whoever plans the show, finally realized that they need to let these guys show off. For instance, before Canut sang a long, loud verse, Georges moved his arm to get the audience to quiet down. Also, at one point Tonino was playing lead and Paul, Andre and -I think- Georges were next to each other following him (Salsa de Noche?) and the adrenaline rush was inevitable. And Pacheco got so pumped after his solo that he started jumping up and down. I don't think the GK need to show off to make their music beautiful, but it's just an incredible sight. I hope they keep it up in Houston, where I'll be next week.
PS. Bob, Lauren, it was great to have finally met you. Thanks for all the great work!
Compared to Concord. Berkely was hot, hot hot! The GK were in a party mood dressed in their black tee shirts. So was the crowd. There were mexicans in sombreros, native american's with long brades, and very attactive people of all races. Less formal than any other show. The only one wearing a formal shirt was Canut (of course). The crowd was rowdy. Everyone danced and sang along with the GK and had a good time. A few inflatable beer cans were tossed around.
There were less techies and a younger crowd at this show. The Greek theatre is very beautiful and the sound was great.
A MI WA WA was a great one as was VAMOS A BAILAR.
They also sang stuff from the new album. WHEN IS THIS SUPPOSED TO BE OUT? WHAT IS ITS NAME?
In any case, we are still planning to see GK somewhere in the East Coast at least twice more.
We feel like deadheads, except we are following the Gipsy Kings.
They are trully at their best, live in concert.
James and Carmelita
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