U.S. Tour 2000
August 29, 2000
Chastain Park Amphitheatre
It took the crowd in Georgia forever to warm up. They finally did so mid-way through the 2nd set. They clapped for an encore and we got La Queiro.
I sat with a friend and her husband (who got a last minute ticket) further back, during the 2nd set, as there was much empty space there. There was a man in the aisle in front of me, who seemed to actually enjoy my dancing and was encouraging me. And he finally got up and danced as well, and he was about my speed. So, there was a little connection, or camaraderie, there.
There was one lengthy and fantastic drum solo on one song--I surely do not recall the name of it now. I was just into those drums.
Montana was great.
I met two GK list members. Next year we plan to get a table together in the pit. And they might have even gotten backstage last night as they knew someone.
If you remember from my review last year, Chastain Amphitheater is a perfect venue for outdoor shows. Patrons are allowed to bring in food and drink (including alcohol), and most people set up nice little tables with tablecloths and candles. (the aisles are very wide). Some people tend to dress for a quasi-elegant evening, so people watching is part of the fun.
Afshin called at the last minute to announce he'd found tickets and would meet Pam and I at our seats, but he never found us. I do have his phone and email though. Kathy did meet us before the show. I'd suggested we wear "GK ListMember" signs to help us find each other and of course I left ours at the house. Kathy remembered her sign and I looked over to the end of the aisle to see a woman peering down our row with some little sign on the front of her shirt. I announced myself to her and rose to give her a hug, which I think surprised her a little. Sorry Kathy, I'm a hugger from way back. It also alarms some of my male buddies!
We had really nice weather, but only so-so seats. I wasn't sure I'd have the extra cash for great seats and waited too long before ordering.
Nicholas opened up the first three numbers of the show and his voice is nowhere near the Nicholas of two years ago. He cannot sustain the long powerful notes that made Un Amor such a shiveringly powerful song.
It is also my opinion, and just my perception, but it appears Nicholas's lack of vocal strength is a little dissappointing to the rest of the band. You used to see so much happiness between Paul and Andre on one end, and Canut and Patchai on the other as Nicholas soared. They'd smile and laugh and wink at the crowd. It seemed like the first three numbers the rest of the band was almost wary of being reprimanded for not delivering. I think that also is attributable to their being very much aware of how good Nicholas could sing compared to now. I hope someone can help Nicholas, because his singing was so passionate. I really miss that. Nobody in American music can touch Nicholas in his prime.
Overall, I think the backup musicians are getting in stride. They're not 100% yet, but from the reports I read about the first shows on the west coast, it seems much improvement has been made. Sorry Kathy, but I don't know the song that Marcello did the bongo solo, but it was awesome.
The first song back from the break Canut and Patchai appeared to have a contest to see who could sing a particular song better(I didn't recognize it-Kathy,Afshin?}. They both performed the same song with just Tonino as accompaniment, and each took a turn singing at the same microphone.
Once again Tonino had 10,000 people on their feet and boogeying during Salsa de Noche. The entire second half saw much more enthusiasm from the crowd, probably due to faster song selection.
Nicholas sang very little the second half, but did do the lead on Bamboleo.
I saw fewer flowers this year but more paya bimbas, none of whom could dance a lick, but could probably do well at amateur night at Dirty Dan's. One PB even tried doing a raunchy grind against Paul, that smoldering hottie. I thought it was quasi-funny.
Next year there'll be no fooling around. We have at least 8 people for our table, which will make for merry company. Kathy says she's not bringing anymore newbies. We had a great experience. The newbies we brought last year had been our neighbors and have since moved to the north side of town. They seemed to like last years show, but didn't seem overly impressed. Well, we saw them at this year's show and they brought their own newbies and were excited to see us. There is no known defense against great music.
Baila on GK Listmems!
Dennis Groseclose, Pam King, and Mary Groseclose