U.S. Tour '99
June 11, 1999
It was a great show last night. The GKs were in top form! The sound was excellent once again. If there's anything that really separates this year's tour from last year's, it's the sound. I'm really grateful, since I'm a real stickler for sound quality.
The Concord Pavilion is hauntingly similar to Desert Sky Pavilion, the venue at which the GKs played in Phoenix on June 2. I'd swear it was designed and built by the same outfit using the same plans.
The crowd was much more "with it" than in Reno. They started clapping as soon as the intro started. I hadn't noticed before (I was always paying attention to something else), but Michael does an excellent vocal thing during the intro.
After the next-to-last song (a new one which reminds one of "Viento del Arena", right after "A Tu Vera"), Nicholas suddenly left the stage. Canut stepped into his spot and Michael into Canut's. Canut then proceeded to sing lead on "Bamboleo"! He had some obvious problems remembering the words. He also sang the encore. Nicholas never returned to the stage, even for bows. This, of course, makes us wonder what's wrong. We'll see if he's back in action today. It's a quick turnaround, with the Berkeley show starting at 4pm today.
Despite concerns about Nicolas, it was something of a treat to see Canut sing "Bamboleo" and the encore. I got some photos, but only with that old-fashioned stuff called "film". I'll have to get it developed.
All in all, one hell of a great show. Today's concert in Berkeley will be our fifth and last for this year (unless we decide we just have to fly out east during the second leg), and our 12th since 1997.
My name is Pat; I am one of the many lurkers on the list. My husband and I attended the concert Friday night in Concord. We had not planned to attend since he is NOT a GK fan (I usually play their music when he is not home) and we have never attended any concert in our entire lives. But 2 days before the show, he suggested we go since Friday was our 33rd wedding anniversary. Best gift I ever received. Must add my praise to that of others; the show was fantastic!
I took my binoculars to the concert and they proved to be a great idea for observing the GK closeup. On the solos, like Montana, they were especially good. Canut's grey streaks showed up dramatically against his dark hair. He did not use his right thumb at all Friday night. He kept a supply of bandages by Dominique's keyboard. He would turn around, use his teeth to peel off the old one, and replace it. At one point after the break, his thumb was all red (I hope it was antiseptic, not blood), but he quickly put on a new bandage.
Michael sang on the chorus of quite a few songs, besides doing the vocal bit on the intro.
On one of the songs near the beginning of the concert, Pacheco was playing bongos with both hands, then stretched out his right leg and ran his toes along a row of hanging chimes. I guess two hands are sometimes just not enough!
I just wanted to tell a little bit about the SF Bay Area concerts last Friday and Saturday. I'm afraid it'll sound boring after all the stories from other members meeting the GK and all, but oh well...
For the Friday concert in Concord we had awesome seats, 7th row, right in the center of the stage. (Bob and Lauren, of course, beat me with 3rd row or so seats? :) ). But the concert would've been outstanding even from the back of the pavilion. The band, song selection and crowd were superb! (Even though it didn't sell out.) The line up was the same as last year: Paul, Andre, Nicolas, Tonino, Patchai, Georges and Canut, with Michael in the back with the Pacheco, Negrito, Gerard and Dominique. It didn't take long for us to get into it, especially with them playing very danceable songs at the beginning (Djobi Djoba was the 3rd, for instance...). In contrast to last year, they didn't have a very long slow-song sequence, so it was much easier to keep the intensity up! They played every song in the picture that Bob sent a few emails back... A tu Vera was probably the best live performance I've seen, period. Man, all those sounds with that intensity and Canut singing his lungs out, plus Negrito and Pacheco going nuts, it had to be seen. On the other hand, they played "Mira la Itana Mora", but it wasn't nearly as good as in '98; I guess the violin player made a big difference then (what happened to her?). The instrumentals that they chose from Compas (Recuerdo Apasionado and Salsa de Noche) were so rich in sound I didn't miss a human voice... On the unexpected, Nicolas left the stage before Bamboleo (didn't come back, as Bob said) and Canut started the song by saying "Amor de Compra y Venta" instead of "Caballo de la Sabana". I think from that moment on, Andre and Paul would lip-sing every verse before Canut actually sang it, so he could be sure.
We are James and Carmelita. Two very dedicated Gipsy Kings fans.
We saw the Gipsy kings twice:
A very good show. A crappy crowd. But Carmen kissed Canut and James shook his hand.
We went to the show and sat in the back area "lawn" to dance. The crowd was older "California" techie types and were just sitting there. A couple even tried to fight with us because we were being rude by dancing to the Gipsy Kings. Just when we were about to enter into a free for all. Security interviend, but wait there is more....
We were like the only people dancing...so it seemed at concord. The tour manager (some very well dressed short gipsy type) came out of nowhere and gave us back stage passes, because he said that we looked like we were having a good time.
We went back to meet the Gipsy Kings. Only Paul and Canut were back there. Carmen decided to kiss Canut...I was content with shaking his hand. She told me he smelled very good.
A very very strange evening indeed. First a fight then getting to meet the GK.
The crowd overall though was more of a sit down crowd full of boring Techie types. I don't think GK will play Concord again. Even the oncore was half hearted. What the hell do we care though...We met the Gipsy Kings!!!!!!!! (Two of them anyways) and a sit down gipsy kings concert beats no gipsy kings concert at all....I hope next time they just play two shows in Berkely.
Back to Tour 99 Main Page