U.S. Tour 2000
August 18, 2000
The Greek Theatre
Well... it was a good concert, specially the second part. The sound was not as good as other years, they were having problems adjusting their microphones, guitars, etc. The boys looked great, I think that Nicolas has lost some pounds (and has short hair).
Bad news: no Negrito, Gerard nor Dominique. The line up: Paul, Andre, Nicolas, Tonino, Paco, Patchai and Canut. The Band: Pacheco, Georges and 3 new young guys who try to do a good job but the difference is too big.
I don't have the list of the songs. Bob and Lauren might be able to post it to the list, there were few new good songs.
Bennardine was almost on tears. She met Pascal and got backstage passes for all of us. I was thrilled with this, I got to meet all of them except Nicolas, Canut and Paco who never came to the place. I never met them before, so I was very happy about it, it was one of my dreams.
I really missed Gerard's bass and Dominique's keyboard and specially Negrito.
At the end and while waiting to go backstage, we met Olga and Bil.
I took a lot of pictures until security came and told me to rewind the film, I said I didn't know how to, so the guy told me to put the camera away and that would do it. I was very obedient... I already took 30 pictures, so I was happy and wasn't gonna argue with the big guy.
We spent sometime backstage, Bennardine got everybody's autographs and pictures. I talked a while with Georges: the new CD should be released in October, they had some problems to fix causing a delay. He said Negrito stayed in France, when I asked about Gerard and Dominique he didn't answer very clearly why they were not there.
It has been a very nice day for me... I met Bennardine, picked Bob and Lauren up at the airport, Gourmet joined us, met Olga and Bil at the end and along with my friend Joanne, we had a very, very nice day, I got home at 1:10am.
Now I have to wait until Sept. 10 and 13 for the Newark and New York concerts... if Georges doesn't throw a paper with my name... he will get me backstage passes for those two concerts and we (my mom and friends) will be so happy to chat with them then.
Well... this is my report... Bennardine, Lauren and Bob will give you their comments as soon as they get home (Saturday afternoon) and for sure they have pictures to be posted. I am not sure when Gourmet will post his comments, hopefully tomorrow... you can remind him to do it.
A few more words about Berkeley --
It was fan-rumbaing-tastic to be there with Benn on her cherry concert experience, to see Laura again, to meet Gour, to see Olga and Bil --and just to see the GK again. Unfortunately, we never did hook up with Jasmyn.
The most remarkable difference was the absence of Negrito, Dominique and Gerard. Pacheco, though, was there----YESSS!! The new backup players gave a different feel to the performance from my point of view. One bonus, I thought, was that the bass player played a stand-up acoustic bass -- one of my favorite instruments. And to see Paco again for the first time in three years was a bonus as well.
They all looked great, as Laura said. One new touch for Canut was the grey streaking pokling thru his hair.
I did manage to sort-of take notes on the playlist:
I was disappointed that they played neither Poropompero nor Majioui from last year. Makes me wonder if this material was cut from the "new" CD that we're anxiously awaiting.
The highlight of backstage, for me, was seeing Canut Amador Reyes -- Pablo's son. He didn't perform on stage -- altho he might at future venues -- but he was there.
more thoughts later I'm sure.................LP
AUGUST 18th, 2000 was a night to remember, a night I'll NEVER forget. Sitting there and waiting for the GKs to come out and everytime the audience went into the an early cheer, my heart would beat superfast:) I LOVE PASCAL. Bob spoted Pascal in the crowd and I was hesitating should I or should I not go up to him. Laura was a good motivator:) so I approached him. I thought he'd say, I'm sorry I don't remember or I don't check my e-mail co's I mailed him for a backstage pass before. BUT I was in for a nice surprise. All I did was, Are u Pascal Imbert? I'm Bennardine from Singapore. THAT was it. He remembered me and before I could open my mouth, he said, "Let me give you a pass". I was 'Really'...'Oh my God'...The he asked how many people I was with and said he'll come over with the passes. I was so excited and with that and the overwhelming thought of the GKs comming out any minute, I was already floating on top of the world.
The GKs finally came out and I was in tears, I couldn't believe it, I was actually at their cocert, LIVE. I had to try and control myself co's my mascara was not waterproof:))) I used that cos I thought it's the BEST way to prevent me from crying but it failed. THANK God it didn't smudge! Anyway, THE GIPSY KINGS were FANTASTIC. I couldn't move at first but after the first couple of songs, I started dancing. Another thing that thrilled me was FANDANGO. When I read the previous reviews, I noticed they never did fandango and that IS my favourite but I never expected them to sing it. Canut and Patchai did it and I'm standing there in disbelief. It was unbelievable. Canut's Montana was AWESOME and I was IMPRESSED with Tonino. He really knows how to mesmerise the audience. Nicholas voice was great and Andre blended with him perfectly. Nicholas does an unusual ending at the end of Canut's Montana and that was beautiful. They also sang a couple of new songs and it was GOOD. So expect the new album to be another hit.
The concert was magnificent, I couldn't tell the diff about the lack of Negrito, Gerard as it was my first time BUT it was a WOW concert. I can't believe I'm actually writing my concert review. This is UNBELIEVABLE.
I went backstage later, Pablo was the first person I met. AND it proved a little disastrous! My PEN! I specially bought a silver and gold pen for autographs and the damn thing wouldn't write! I was so frustrated and a little embarrased. Lauren was a my saviour. She took out her black pen and that saved the day. (PS: STICK to tradiontal pens if you are going backstage:))) The next was Patchai and then when I was approaching Tonino, Pascal saw me and introduced me to him saying I was from Singapore. Tonino looked surprised and so were the others when one of the GKMLers told them that. The best was Georges when Gourmet told him. He kissed my hand, hugged me and asked for the spelling of my name which he wrote on one of my CD covers. The next was Titi and Canut Amador. Then I waited for Canut and Nicholas to come out and they never did. I was a little dissapointed, I can understand Canut co's i've read he doesn't socialise with fans but Nicholas. He is the lead singer and I really wanted to see him. So I approached Titi and Canut A. and asked if they could get Canut Francois to sign my Bolero Cd cover. Titi was funny, he thought I wanted him to sign 'Canut' and I'm like 'No, no'. Canut A understood what I wanted and went to get the signature for me. (PS : I spoke in sign language:)) After awhile David allowed me to go further in to see Nicholas and Canut. I was so excited. They were sitting around and Canut was singing and Pablo was banging the table. I approached Nicholas first and later went over to Canut. He was with Jonna. After signing, I asked her if I could take a pic with Canut and she said Yes. And guess who took this picture??? Pablo:))) There was no one in front of me so I had no choice but to ask him. He obliged. On my way out, I met Pacheco and I got an autograph from him too. He was a little high and when we were posing for a pic, he kissed my cheek! Another guy joined in the pic, not sure who he is, so I'll wait till I see the pictures. WHAT a way to begin my Gipsy Kings' adeventure, I never thought I'll go backstage, I never thought Pascal would remember me...I still sit here and wonder if all this really happened. I got pictires with all the Kings and their sons. When I reached the hotel, I couldn't sleep. It was about 12:30am and I had to be up at 4am. I sat on my bed and looked at all the autographs and tried to convince myself THIS IS REAL. I called my dad and my boyfriend, both were like, 'WOW, I'm happy for you'...Even though deep down inside I wanted to meet them, I never expected it to be on the very first concert. It was a great way to start, now I'll just be happy at watching all their other concerts.
Sorry if this is really a long review but it's EVERYTHING I want to share, and I'm HAPPY at FINALLY seeing them in concert and meeting them face to face.
This is ONE NIGHT I'll NEVER FORGET...
Love you all
Bennardine aka Ze CHIEF
Meeting the GKML members was a BLAST. They are INDEED a friendly and WARM lot. Initially I was nervous co's writing and meeting in person is 2 diff things.
I met Laura, (her friend Joanne), Bob and Lauren, Gourmet (shall I spill his name:))) Nahhhhhhh, THEY WERE WONDERFUL and FUN. It was so easy to talk and joke with them and I was VERY comfortable. I also met Olga and Bil and Olga's daughter. Olga was really nice too. I'm now in Lauren and Bob's home. Hey, does anyone want to know any of their deep dark secrets??? I can do some snooping around whilst they're asleep:)))) Shhhhhhh.
I look forward to meeting more of you in the comming concerts.
Karen : HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY....
The first things I noticed when we entered the Greek Theatre was the acoustic bass (I've never seen Gerard use one in concert before) and a Leslie (large speaker with a rotating horn in a wooden cabinet used with Hammond B-3 organs, and I've never seen Dominique use one in concert). I should have taken these as the clues they were.
When Pascal came out to introduce the band, he said "...with an all-new rhythm section!". Yes, Negrito, Gerard and Dominique had been replaced by three young-looking guys.
The first half of the concert was disappointing, in my opinion. The new backup band seemed to suck, and the new bass and keyboard players were actually reading music off music stands! The sound was mixed badly so the acoustic guitars could hardly be heard and even the vocals didn't stand out as they should have. The second number played was "Galaxia". The one tune I've wanted to see them play since day 1 and, after 13 previous concerts without it, I finally got to see them play it. I could barely hear Tonino's guitar, however, which took the edge off the experience.
The second half of the concert was a VAST improvement. The sound mix had improved dramatically, so now all could be heard quite well. The new backup band actually started to "click" and they finally started to sound like the Gipsy Kings I know and love. Before this, I was really lamenting the absence of Gerard, Dominique and Negrito. I never realized how much they added to the GK's sound until they were gone. I now think they just needed some time to get it all together, this being only the second concert of the current U.S. tour (why haven't we heard anything about the Seattle show yet????).
So it turned out to be a very enjoyable concert overall. Lauren, Laura and Benn have done a good job of describing the rest of the activities, so this is about all I have to add.
The crowd in Berkeley was much livelier than in DC, but the song was much worse. They played pretty much the same songs, but they had Tristessa (which is just AMAZING!) as the first song, and they also played Calaverada(!!!), instead of Majoui. And they also didn't play the new instrumental song in the first half as in DC, but rather another instrumental that was the opening song of the second half in last year's tour. The second half was the same, except I think they played Volare for the encore (I'm not sure b/c I had to leave for a flight. Being stressed about making the flight and not being able to stay just sucked...)