Radio City Music Hall
New York, New York - May 3, 2003
I was in the last seat in the first row on Paul's side. Had been in the first row on Canut's side a couple of years ago. I was psyched. So I was standing facing the audience and out of the crowd towards me came Ana to say hi and arrange to meet after the show! Radio City holds about 6000, and from what I understand, it was sold out. Not surprising, considering the GK were only playing one night in NYC.
The crowd was waiting in anticipation, the band came out, but the first set was not to be like years past. I'm guessing that the Radio City management had talked to Pascal or someone else, to not have the band members motion to the crowd to get up and dance. Regulations, or some such shit. So the entire first set, people stayed in their seats. Oh, there were a couple here and there, but not the entire place. Playlist similar to Friday night:
Well, the second set was very different from the first. Obviously the band had decided to f- - - this shit, we want to see people dancing. So they started out with a shortened Fandago, with only Patchai singing, and the rest of the set was all high energy songs.
I stopped off to say hi to Frank on the way out. He asked me how the sound was, and I said it sounded good to me. But I really don't know what the rest of the audience got, because I was essentially in behind of all those big speakers. Any comments from others?
You know what? the NY audience lied..... I'm not sure if it's just that New Yorkers are jaded or have so much already at their fingertips that this is just 'another concert', but NOBODY got into it, and until they were told to~ and I think I totally f'ed up because unbeknownst to me, RCMH has MORE THAN ONE Row A! "lucky" gamala got Row A in a la Balconey and especially up there I thought I was among zombies... I mean not even rhythmic clapping during the songs!! [and I know what you're thinking, but I'll be double-damned if I'd be the only 'happy-jamaican' busting a move up there toute seule... WTF!] while according to memory, in conservative DC [perhaps with our assistance ;)] everybody gets buckwild! maybe it's a suppression vs. release dynamic, whatever... I was just agog... I mean during Solo Sole Dire~ [y'all! SOLO SOLO DIRE!!] the best they could muster up were claps & little seat-shimmies ~ oh dear lord! what was I witnessing? However, during Bamboleo some of the balcony-damned got up, including my tall lanky & very attractive left side seat mate who pretty much just tolerated my presence ;) ~ homegirl rocketed up at that point giddy with delight and began an epileptic fit only to be rivaled by [and I really wish we could all see this episode to get the picture] Seinfeld's own Elaine Benis] but this chick was ALL ARMS! I had to dip to the right a couple of times & keep my periferal eye on this one in case she poked one out~ all I can say is, be careful what you wish for...
The set list was pretty much the same as Derek mentioned from the Count Basie, NJ show. The horsey-ride song was the funniest goddamnned thing I've ever heard! Yeeeeehaaaaaw! Andre especially was moving & grooving to that one... didn't hear the Viento-beginning one that they played in NJ but then again since I was lulled into a coma upstairs with my other corpse friends, at that point I could have easily missed Canut breezing in & leading out in the extended 10-minute intense version of Porompompero accompanied by prancing Camargue ponies & clowns, so anything could have happened really... and I don't understand starting with Recuerdo Apasionado... that's the kind of song you work up to while you're still glistening from a couple of back-to-back really hot ones... just can't spring into it! eh, I dunno... :\
The sound was pretty intense too! tons of thumping bass drums especially & bass... wow! and in comparison/contrast with the audience's reaction, the whole scene struck me as darkly funny... I had to laugh [to keep from weeping!] I'm sure JC & Lynn were dancing [at least I HOPE] and I know Derek was getting down up front & doing his best to involve the audience... such a trooper! :)
2 encore songs this time: Volare & Pena Penita
They just didn't sound 'on' to me tho~ like they weren't into it... I mean they were trying to get it together ~ smiling, interacting, etc... but most of the time it seemed like they were in their "entertainers' duty" mode... something was missing.
One good aspect, maybe because so many of the guys were missing, PAUL was jamming!! Yup! our Pablo was even beating his strings a la Canut a couple of times, and having FUN doing it! I could actually hear his voice too a couple of times, which was nice because his harmonies are usually so quiet... good to see Pablo shine!