U.S. Tour 2000
New York, New York
September 12, 2000
Radio City Music Hall
My wife and I had tickets for the Radio City show last night 10th row it just happens that our seats were next to Sarah wife of Derek from the mailing list he was lucky enough to have a front row seat,anyway the show started and by the time Nicolas sang Un Amor his voice was gone he looked very upset,they all looked kind of tired.I enjoyed their version of Fandango, Canut took over most of the singing after that. My wife try to get backstage passes but had no luck since she was told that they were going to a restaurant right after the show. Once the concert was over we went outside of Radio City and saw their dressing rooms on the second floor where Nicolas was taking his shirt off Diana yelled at him and got his attention through an open window she toll him how gorgeus he was he replied by throwing kisses at her. We waited on the street until they all came down Nicolas being the last one, Diana went up to him right away and > asked him to sign the cover of Volare which he did, she also told him that even though his voice was gone it didn't matter he looked great specially after loosing weight he replied with a big smile and said he needed antobiotics. I also fulfilled one of my long time dreams when I shook his hand and told him it was my pleasure meeting him. The night ended as the caravan of vans & limos went by us on our way to the car.
There was something new at the gipsy kings concert last night at radio city music hall in new york city . ( well new to me any way & this was my 6th gipsy king concert.) as Nicolas sang "un amor" a male dancer with long wispy blond hair did a flamenco/gypsy dance, he wore a white peasant blouse with huge sleeves. his pants were encircled with black fringe around his hips & legs. he had the look of a ballet dancer. i enjoyed it very much. then he danced during "bamboleo" & this time he had a small black vest over his naked chest which he removed at the end of the dance & black pants without the fringe. gipsy king paul was doing some flamenco steps last night too & this was new to me & i always mostly watch him for the simple reason that my seats always seem to be on the left right in front of him directly. i didn't have any encounters or fun adventures like everyone else did & i am a cowardly lion & don't bring in a camera because "the taking of photographs is strictly prohibited". new york city audience didn't jump up right away & dance like usual but as always it was a magical night?
So after the show we went around to the stage door, with me lugging a bag containing soap Sarah had made to give to the band members (well, it worked last year in Raleigh!). There were about 30 people with passes waiting to go upstairs, but no one could get in because this security bully wouldn't let anybody in! Supposedly there were too many people upstairs (which I later found out was not true!). We started talking with a woman named Ana who had a backstage pass and said she was a family friend of the Reyes. She told us enough that it was apparent she had known them a while. (No, I'm not going to repeat any stories. Besides, no importa.) We told her what we had done last year in Raleigh and that we were trying again, and then she said, "Stick with me. I'll get you in." WHOA! So we were waiting outside, and after a few minutes Ana decided she was going to go in and find out what was going on. So we went right behind her, but we didn't get very far, just inside the stage door, where it was cooler than being
Nobody was going to get past this one security guy, mainly because he was large enough that he completely blocked this narrow hallway you had to go through to get upstairs! On the other side of him was the dancer, and I heard him say to someone that his name was Peter, that he'd never done anything like this before, he was really excited, etc. Very American, BTW. Then the bass player, Gildas, was there, trying to get 2 of his friends upstairs. No way. He said to Mr. Bully, "But I'm the bass player" and Mr. B said, "I don't care who you are, nobody can go upstairs!" Somehow this was resolved after we were forced out. I don't believe that anyone who had a pass and was waiting by the stage door got to go upstairs. After about another 10 minutes, the band started coming out. We could see Tonino was waiting inside where we had been, so we just walked in to see him. He extended his hand as a look of recognition came over his face! I had him sign the shirt I'd gotten for Fernando, and then he had to go. We gave the from smaller tables. Ana went up and spoke with Nicolas, and eventually she and Sarah and I settled into a booth that was nearby. Pacheco was the closest to us, and he was using the table as his congas, playing along with the piped-in music, and others were tapping along on their water glasses with silverware. This stopped after a little while, and there wasn't any more playing and no singing during the rest of the night. I think everybody was pretty tired and just wanted to eat and go to bed.
Ana had made a present for Canut, and she asked me to go get him so she could give it to him. I said, "But he doesn't even know me!" and she explained that in their culture it would not be proper for a woman to walk up to a man to give him something. Oh. So I went up to the booth he was in (he was eating something that looked like an antipasto of pepperoni spread around on a large plate with some kind of vegetables), and asked him in Spanish, "Excuse me. Would you please come with me? There's a friend of yours that would like to give you a present." And he got up and came with me to the booth, and was pleasantly surprised to see Ana. He sat down across from her (next to me) and they chatted for a while. She gave him her present, which he appreciated. Sarah asked him what he was going to do with it, and he put on a little show of holding it to his heart, like he would treasure it for always. Then he took out a large pen, cleared the table in front of him, and started drawing a picture on the paper tablecover! Then David stood up on the table and said something in the same vein, so I guess Marcello was being praised for something! After that, things got really quiet, and it was late, maybe close to 1, and we needed to leave.
I had great seats, in the center on the aisle, about 6 rows back from the front. I was surprised at the dancer (Manolete). I personally didn't think he was that great, although I supposed that he was asked to dance as part of the show since the bouncers didn't come after him! Then he danced again! Actually, I found it very distracting. (This topic has been "done" to death, so end of comments on M.) Actually, I usually love to watch men dancing. I loved the Greek men's dance done with staffs in the NYC stage production of Zorba the Greek (circa 1986) and more recently a trio of unaffected Spanish flamenco dancers in an NYC flamenco show who discreetly zapateado'd holding onto the bottom of their vests thereby maintaining their manly dignity. But I digress...
The "Kings" always seem distracted and uncomfortable when I have seen them play in New York. At the end of the tour I'd expect them to be tired. On the night I attended, the audience clapped forever and I wasn't even sure the group would return for an encore. I was a bit upset at the couple sitting directly in front of me. I guess they thought it was like watching TV at home and talked to each other the whole time (the guy was yelling into the girl's ear during the loud music). There's just no class!
Also, what is with the sound systems at these concerts? If I didn't already know the lyrics, I would find it impossible to hear any of the singers. All I could hear was bass bass bass. Zero treble. Has everyone destroyed their eardrums playing portable CDs too loud for too long? I love seeing the guys play, but the musical experience is much better playing their music at home on my stereo.
I still think the best concert I ever attended was the one back in '89 at the Fingerlakes Performing Arts Center near Rochester NY. The stage was in total darkness then the band of guitar players from hell were backlit by "flames" - it seemed like there were at least 50 of them, strumming away like demons. The hairs on the back of my neck were doing a porcupine number the whole time.