U.S. Tour 2000
Washington, D.C. area
September 4, 2000
Labor Day at Wolf Trap: No Georgia, no Ulis. Bummer. But Jeanne Quesenberry at her first concert. I counted on her to get me revved up. Met her and her aunt, Betty, for dinner, then they decided to sit with me (had two no-shows) instead of in the seats they had. My seats were of course lined up with Patchai and Canut. I brought a disposable camera despite the no-pic rule at Wolf Trap, since it had been massively violated at the Alabina concert. Our seats were fifth row (not counting that damn VIP box) tonight, much farther back tomorrow, so I figured it was now or never for pics. I did take some and will e-mail them to Bob if they're at all usable.
Also brought the cover pic from my GK Live CD because when you unfold it there's a blank page next to the cover. Not that I expected to get anyone to sign it. Having read the fabulous backstage stories, Jeanne had e-mailed me asking if there was any chance of her getting backstage. I told her we could try if Efren's daughter was on hand, but not to count on it.
I thought the concert was great. At Wolf Trap, there's no room in front of the stage for dancing and no dancing's allowed in the aisles for obvious safety reasons, so all the dancing takes place in front of or on top of the seats. Even though people stayed seated through the first few songs, whenever Paul or Patchai motioned for people to get up, everyone jumped up immediately -- not just groups here and there as is sometimes the case. I thought the audience, seated or dancing, seemed into the music and the atmosphere was very enjoyable (music-wise, not humidity-wise!). There was a really good welcome to Pascal's intro, which was followed by a short but nice instrumental "introduction," I guess you'd call it, by the backup band. And people really clamored for an encore.
Overall, I didn't notice the backup band except during that intro and the percussion solos during A Tu Vera -- which I for one could do without -- I want to hear the singing and the wall of guitars, and Canut's singing in the "jazzed up" version of the song is much too drowned out throughout -- go back to the simpler version, please!
Nicolas sang more than I expected but, as others have noted, continues to sing less powerfully than a few years ago. However, the sound was good and I was able to hear him fine; he got the usual big crowd response for Un Amor, especially. He did leave the stage for a while and he and Canut (who was sick and looked it) did not come back for the encore. Patchai led that and danced around a bit; Andre said the "buenas noches."
Based on my "notes" (scribbled on a scrap of paper) and "research" i.e. cribbing from Lauren's Berkley playlist, this is what I've got for a playlist. Others there, please fill in/correct!
Efren and daughter Corrine found us immediately after the concert and we met Elena and Carmen and Lydia. Lydia had been two rows directly in front of me, Elena and Carmen directly behind me, which seemed like a wierd coincidence, but maybe not since we were all up front, Canut side. After quick introductions, we headed for the area where they decide who will go backstage and who won't. We didn't have passes; Efren was looking for the guy who provided them last year. Jeanne was hoping if they have a soft spot for cute little girls like Corinne, maybe they have one for grandmotherly types, too. I figured it was worth a shot even though it was raining; it was not pleasant.
Efren finally got David to let him and Corrine in and finally David let the rest of us back -- to the outside of the back door, where we waited and waited again. I really didn't think Jeanne and Betty and I were ever going to get in -- David was nowhere in sight and the guy guarding the door would NOT let us in, even though there were only about eight of us left. Finally Pascal came out and started talking to someone about a car to take Canut, who he said was feeling better, back to the hotel. Jeanne approached him and he said sure, go on in and waived us ALL in. Yay, Pascal! We got stopped YET AGAIN but Pascal finally came back in and got us past this third and final checkpoint. (Really, is this where the out-of-work Berlin Wall guards ended up?)
To my surprise, Canut was still there, but looking, well, kinda surly. I handed him my CD cover anyway -- I didn't stand in the rain to chicken out now -- and he signed it. I already had a picture from last year (of him smiling), so I decided not to press my luck. I suppose we weren't backstage as long as we were last year, but last year I was so starstruck I didn't make very productive use of the time and wouldn't even have gotten pictures with Nicolas, Canut and Patchai if a nice guy from their hotel hadn't taken my camera and gotten them to pose with me. I was much more businesslike this time. Quickly got ALL SEVEN to autograph my CD cover -- will e-mail pic to Bob later -- then have it properly matted and framed!!!
I had my chat with Patchai after he signed the CD cover. A couple of strangers and I swapped cameras and took pictures of each other with band members, so now I also have pictures with Andre and Pablo and with Paco and Tonino.
I took a couple of pictures for Jeanne, explaining to a few people in my Spanguese (bad Spanish-Portuguese) that she bought her first GK recording a year ago (actually her son bought it for her) and now has ALL of them and that this was her first concert. I also told Patchai that she had asked me who he was (during the concert). I'm not sure how much of my fractured Spanguese he understood, but he seemed to understand fine when I told him that "ela dice que Patchai é muy guapo."
Could Nicolas possibly BE any nicer? He had gone outside to smoke and talk to a woman and I interrupted him twice -- once to sign my CD cover (and ask about the new album) and once so that Jeanne could have her picture taken with him. He was so nice, so gracious. I already had a great picture with him from last year, so I didn't ask for one this year. Pablo and Andre also were very nice; Andre seemed surprised and curious when I said "obrigada" after he signed the CD cover. I quickly explained that I speak only a little Portuguese.
Finally Pascal chased us all out so that the band could leave. Elena, Carmen, Lydia, Jeanne and I took some pictures of each other while looking at Lydia's pictures from previous concerts as we were slowly herded out of the building.
Note to Georgia (gam), who was missed (as was Annie): The program notes used an old picture and listed Diego and not Andre as being a band member and said their "current" album is "Cantos de Amor." I'm not dissing Wolf Trap -- I realize it probably isn't given very good information. Want to e-mail them a corrected/improved program before next year? (I could scan in the new album cover.) And while waiting to buy a T-shirt I heard someone ask for CDs, which of course are never provided to sell.
Just got back from the Wolftrap Gipsy Kings concert and was on line checking to see if there are any tickets left for tomorrow night! I've been to the GK Wolftrap concert every year since '93 - and most years we've gone both nights. (The main advantage to living within 10 miles of Wolftrap!) My husband couldn't go to the concert tonight. I just told him the concert was not only wonderful (as usual), but this year I thought it was especially fantastic! I loved the new songs and loved hearing the variety in solos/lead singing by Andre, Patchai and Canut. I hope there are two tickets available for tomorrow night.
I've enjoyed your comments about concerts in other parts of the U.S. (Although I wonder why Texas got Volare and we didn't!!!) In years past, the Gipsy Kings have done the same program both nights at Wolftrap. It will be interesting to see if they do a different program tomorrow night. The good news is that it should be about 10 degrees cooler tomorrow night. It was a typical Washington hot, sticky, humid night when the concert began, but after the rain we actually had a cool breeze. When the concert began, Nicolas came out in a silver lamee shirt. That material doesn't breathe and with all those lights, it had to be HOT on stage! He should save the lamee for someplace cooler - Canada maybe - and wear cotton when he comes to DC! Believe me, we don't care what he wears, as long as we hear him sing!! I was glad to see he had changed out of the lamee after intermission! Definitely a good time was had by the whole crowd at Wolftrap!
Here is the Wolf Trap 4th of Sep 2000:
Weather was sticky, little bit on the warm side. "sold out" signs were placed almost every entrance. This one being the 7th year of my wolf trap attendance, I still felt the same minor stomach cramps due to nervousness. Being in the very first row I could easily focus on every member one by one. It was a typical Virginian Gipsy Kings crowd. First set very mellow second set gone crazy. This also definetely has to do with the extreme alcohol consumed during intermission.
The line-up of the songs were almost the same with every other concert that we all have reviewed so far. After the first song Canut was upset with his guitar level, so as Patchai. After the second song Andre and Paul were dissatisfied with the same issues. Even Paco, who bearly expresses his emotions, had a difficulty hearing himself. They all wanted louder monitors obviously. The fourth song, everybody up front could easily hear the annoying feedback noise due to the unbalanced monitors. Un amor got an incredible response from the crowd comparing to the previous wolf trap shows. They were in track afterwards. I talked to a friend of mine in the intermission, he said that they could hear almost nothing from the lawn. ( too bad, next time try to get a seat for gods sake!) But I knew that he was right c'os even I was not able to hear them loud enough!
The second part: No rain so far, however everybody can feel it, smell it, sense it approaching...
The very best of Gipsy Kings part of the concert was when they returned. The sound level was extremely satisfactory when Canut sang Fandango with Patchai. They were so into it and they heated up the audience really well. After I heard the reaction from the crowd, I thought why they've stopped doing this after Gipsy Kings Live album. That was such a happy reaction! People were not stopping one moment : whistles, screams, claps calling loud names. When the band got in to finish the song you couldn't hear the music anymore..It was that good of a positive reaction!! As you all have written in your reviews, Patchai came up front and asked people to dance..Mmmm there you go!! No stage climbings this time. Maybe tomorrow. Canut did a very intense and soulful Montana along with loud ole's from the crowd and the band. He was really bothered by the heat and the stage-smoke as usual. Something else was bothering him but I was not sure what. I found out that he had a high fever when he told me after the show. He was really sick. He told me how bad it was when he sang A tu Vera c'os right then he started to feel fever coming..I told him it was not bad at all. Well sung! The encore was not Volare. It was that song sang by Andre. Overall not a bad concert at all.
I got sometime to find out more about the back up band after the show. I tried to leave the guys with blonde-Virginian women alone. I didn't know the bass and the keyboard were brothers. I must have missed that from Benn's reviews. He told me how he knew Pascal and hooked up with Gipsy Kings just a couple weeks ago. He said he was having difficult time with their improvisations and moodyness. I guess that was something that Dominique, Pascal and Negrito were experts about. But what can u say? It was Nicholas' idea to change the band. I dont know if any of you has mentioned about the Brad Pitt wedding but it is for sure that they had nothing to do with that at all. No additional info about the new album except that Pascal is quite sure this time that it is due the latest November.
One interesting thing that the backstage passes said Gypsy Kings on them! Yea we all know that is how its spelled but it doesn't mean that the band's name can be changed after all those years!! There was a cruel rain after the concert yet stopped at around 1045PM.
I wish all of you a great week...And urgent wellness to my dear CANUT..
I'm just back from the first Wolftrap concert. It was amazing !! The backup band really rocks. The sound was more balanced, there was much less synthesizer and heavy heavy bass, and the guitars could be heard so much more than the last few years. Forgive me, those of you who like heavy synthesizer, but I never liked it, and now it seems like the techno-crap is gone and the GK sound is more pure. The bass player was wonderful and his 3-piece suit and upright string bass added a touch of class to our already awesome band. I totally welcome the addition of these guys. Earlier reports said something was lacking and they just weren't cutting it......well......not anymore !!
Nicolas is so much THE VOICE of the Gipsy Kings and it was wonderful to hear him take the lead on many pieces in the first half. He has such a commanding presence and that voice is still going strong, no problem there. But overall, the lead vocals seem to be divided equally now between Patchai, Andre, Canut and Nicolas. I can only speculate that since Patchai's and Andre's voices are maturing, they ought to be included more and that is wonderful. But I must say I miss the days when Nicolas had most leads.
I don't know who controls the sound at Wolftrap, but they really screwed up for a while there in the first half. Andre had a wonderful lead part on one of the new pieces and his mike totally cut off and only the right side of the house could hear him. This happened during one or two pieces and then seemed to be corrected.
Totally suffering from GK separation syndrome,
Ellen from Virginia
Monday Night at the Wolf Trap was wonderful!!!!! We tried to ignore those people in the audience who were sitting down most of the concert, and obviously did not have a clue that they were listening to the GREATEST BAND EVER!!
Looking forward to tonight...!!!!!!
OH MY GOD WHAT A SHOW!!!!
How better can they get?!! After five Texas concerts I still can say this was THE BEST! The sound was perfect, the band looked good and was having fun...The backup guys fit in really well, they are getting better with each concert, they'll have their own fanclubs by next year! :) I'll be the first Marcellian, he kicked ass last night! Pacheco went totally wild on his drums, Patchai just about tore strings on his guitar, Tonino was as always a treat, Paco was happy and Canut was all smiles!!!
As for the audience, during the first section it showed no emotion at all, except for some yelling from the back and occasional scattered dancers in the orchestra... But the funny thing is, IT DIDN"T MATTER!! The band didn't seem to care at all, they were all happy and inspite of the audience not contributing they just plain and simple went out there and DID A GREAT JOB! By the end my heart was about jumping out,literally, it was so terrific, and for the encore they did my favorite song (it goes "Seniorita tan bonita...) THANK YOU!!!!! Does it get any better than this!?
Backstage we were telling Marcello how happy we were with the show, and he says: "Well, GO TELL it to the Kings, they need it, you know, when the spirits go down and all". Huh? I'd think, they ARE SO GREAT, how can they not know it?!!!
GKSM (MC): MISSION: ACCOMPLISHED. Your designated stalker for Wolftrap deserves a round of "thumbs up dance". I kept appearances for all the four of us, delivered THE picture and got THE signature pretty much according to the plan ;).Detailed account later. Paco and Marcello say hi!
PS: Does anybody have an extra ticket for Newark? Somebody, stop me....
Since the other cousins already did a wonderful review of both nights, I will just write about my adventures backstage this year. Let me say that the Monday night concert was the best sounding concert I have ever heard at Wolf Trap. The guitars were clear, the bass and drums were not over powering, and Nicolas was in incredible form. Nothing like the crappy Tonight Show appearance.
I went to the concert with Corinne the first night and I saw Max before the concert. I said hi to him and reminded him that he gave my daughter passes last year. He looked at her and remembered her and told me that he would get us backstage again. Yeah! Max rocks! After the show, Lydia, Susan, Elena, and our other friends (sorry guys, I am getting real old and can't remember names)went to the tent area where they screen for passes. I couldn't find Max, so I asked David if we could go in. He asked how many of us there were I told him 5, to include Lydia, Susan, and her friends. He said no, that it was too many people. He said that only me and the "little girl" could go, so I offered my apologies to Susan and the others and proceeded. He walked into the venue and left us behind (along with about 10 other people). Susan & company managed to get to this same point. It was raining quite a bit at this point and we were all getting wet. Max then walked by and I tapped him on the shoulder. He recognized me and told me to come in. Lydia followed along and Max gave us our passes.
Corinne was thrilled, but has gotten more shy with age. She was very reluctant to go up to the band members, saying that they were probably tired, blah, blah. Being the Nazi GK freak I am, I pushed her to approach them and take pictures. :^)
Patchai was sitting at the entrance and I took a picture with him and Corinne. He was sweet to her as he has been in the past, and gave her a tender friendly kiss.
We then saw Andre in the hallway and of course the bimbos were over him like flies over decomposed road kill. I waited a bit to take a picture, but I got frustrated with the bimbos and kept walking. I caught up to him inside and got him to take a pic with Corinne, but he wanted one of the bimbos to be in the picture. I refused and asked her to step aside. She looked at him and shrugged her shoulders, and Andre pouted. There was no way that I was going to allow a total stranger to be in a picture with my kid.
Saw a fellow GKML primo, Alejandro, who looks just like a guy I went to high school with. He saw me and said, "Efren." I looked at him, shook his hand and said, "Long time no see!" I felt like the biggest jackass when I found out he wasn't my long lost buddy. But hey, it was nice meeting you anyway, Alejandro!
Inside, the rest of the band was sitting around various couches, got pictures with everyone and talked to Tonino. I asked him what was up with his solo album. He told me "2 more months." I reminded him that it was the same line he gave me last year. He smiled shyly and said that there was a hold up, but it is done and should be out in about 2 months. I asked if any GK were going to be playing in it and he said no, that the band were French musicians. I asked him what the title of the CD is and he didn't know. I suggested "Tonino: El Super Maestro de la Guitarra." He got a kick out of it and laughed. When I asked him about the band CD, he said 5 or more 6 months. Yeah right. I don't think we'll be seeing a new disc before 2002, if we're lucky.
Canut seemed really sick. He had a towel draped over his shoulder and was doing shots of Nyquil. I didn't want to bother him and did not ask to take a pic. The following night, he did not sing back up for the entire first half and only managed to sing one verse of Fandango before gripping his chest and nodding his head "no." He apologized to the audience for his lack of voice. He was a trooper and did Montana. The crowd went wild and cheered him on the entire time. This must had boosted his spirits real high because he also managed to do the Tiki tiki tiki song. I LOVE CANUT!
Got more pics with George, Titi (who is now Corinne's GK crush of the day), Pablo, Nicolas, and Paco.
It was a great adventure again and can't wait for the next tour!
This was my greatest concert ever, simply because I was able to make it back-stage and meet the band after the show. It took me a while to get passes for my 2 friends so I actually didn't talk to them too much. I met with Pacheco on the hallway and he's the coolest guy ever. I asked him about Negrito and he simply said that there had been changes in the group. I realize now that I could've asked him 20 questions more, but it's hard when there are other fans waiting to talk, and being back-stage is so extraordinary that the mind kind of blanks out... We saw Canut leave through a back door with a towel around his neck, he looked pretty sick, so we missed him. But then I talked to Andre and he said their new CD might be out "en invierno", and finally I spoke to Pablo. He's also really nice but it's hard because I don't speak French and he doesn't speak Spanish very fluently. I also asked him about Diego and he pointed to his ear, so I guess that problem still is there. Oh, and in the end I said hi to one of the new French guys. Frankly I had a grudge against them because I really liked the old group, but he was very down-to-Earth and actually I thought they sounded much better than in Berkeley. Maybe they just needed some time to jell.
Backstage I had the chance to meet Efren and his daughter, who were shooting pictures with Andre. (Good to meet ya!)
The songs were:
Fandango and Salsa de Noche just ruled. I liked how they've adapted Salsa de Noche to have Pacheco show off on the bongos. He's got like 6 hands or something... And Tonino was at his best too. The only bad thing in the concert was that the right side of the crowd (where I was) was sitting down most of the time, and the lady behind me even complained when I got up to dance. I can' t believe there's people who just can't get that they're in a concert... =)
I just got back on line for the first time since I returned from my wonderful trip to Wolf Trap. I had a super time on my FIRST concert of the Gipsy Kings. And I owe 99% of that to Susan Loving. I had warned her I was older than most of you, but didn't realize it until I looked in the mirror. I'm a music lover from way back. But I have to say this experience was beyond my wildest dreams!
Susan has filled you in on most of our great night (and beautifully done, Susan). The rain didn't slow us down a bit-- we finally got back-stage to see those wonderful guys. They were all so cordial and Susan was able to talk to them, letting them know that I was new to the group and how much I admired them.
All in all, I wouldn't take anything for the night and the music. It was nice meeting all of you that Susan introduced me to. Hope to see you again and meet even more of you.
What can I say!!?? The Gipsy Kings were on FIRE!! What a Fantastic concert!! Had the time of my life! I was in total bliss! I wrote down the songs that they played on my GK ticket! Here they are.....
Pascal: Good Evening Washington!! Are you ready for the Gipsy Fiesta!!! All the way from Arles and Montpelier with their new rhythm section!! The Gipsy Kings!!
Audience: Roared with Delight!!!
Pascal: "Are you feeling all right??" "The Gipsy Kings will be back after a short break!!!" (Audience Roared With Delight)
Encore - Volare!
It was Great to see Efren, his beautiful daughter Corinne, Elena, Carmen Gentry, Susan Loving, Annie and her parents. What a fiesta!! Nicolas sang his heart out, and the audience just love it! The sound was wonderful..just like the Greek Theater in Los Angeles! Oh! The concert was so terrific! And little did we know we would end up backstage! Thanks a million to Max! Ya! Max is THE MAN! For giving Efren, Corinne and I the backstage pass to see the Gipsy Kings! It was really an extraordinary experience to see them, and take some great pictures!! Had the time of my life!! Love the Gipsy Kings! And my beloved cuddly bear Nicolas! What a sweetie!!!
Have a Happy!!
Love & Kisses
Glitz Glamour Vegas!!!!
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