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:

  1. Recuerdo Apasionado
  2. Tristessa (Andres)
  3. La Dona (Nicholas) Just before the song started, Nicholas looked at Andres, said something, put his hand to his throat and gave a little shake of his head. Don't know if others saw that, but clearly he was indicating he had no voice left. So that's why I said in the last review that he might have overdone it. But, as always, he gave it his all. But he ended up singing only 3 songs in the first set, and none in the second!! Hoo boy! BTW, Ana found out that he has stopped smoking, so maybe he's going through a kind of transition period as his lungs adjust.
  4. Djobi Djoba (Patchai)
  5. Un Amor (Nicholas) struggling. . .
  6. Solo Dire (Andres)
  7. Something by Tonino that sounded familiar, but I couldn't place it because it was faster than I'd usually heard it. Later found out it was a rendition of Allegria!!
  8. Cowboy song (Nicholas) Very very raspy, and the last song he sang that night.
  9. Todos Ole (Patchai) Very bizarre to look around and see everybody in their seats, especially on this song. The reason I wasn't up was because there was a security guy sitting right next to me. There was actually about a 6' square area I was next to, that would have been perfect for dancing, and I had asked this guy if it was OK for me to dance there. He said no, because I'd be blocking the people behind me!! Horseshit!! They're going to be up dancing too. But I decided to be on the safe side and not get up unless others behind me were. Sorry I wimped out, guys!!

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.

  1. Fandango (Patchai)
  2. Sabroso (Tonino, with all backup members taking great solos. I'm going to stick my neck out here and say that the drummer is defintiely on a par with Negrito. This guy can play and is a great addition to the band.)

    There was a little confusion here. Pacheco and the drummer moved around like they had the night before, preparing to play the new Li, li, li, li, li song. But apparently Nicholas decided he couldn't do it, because Tonino started Canto a Brasil, so they had to scramble back!!

  3. Canto a Brasil (Andres)
  4. Galaxia (Tonino, with Paul doing some great rasgueado [strumming] work in the beginning)
  5. Poquito a Poco (Patchai)
  6. A Tu Vera (Andres) Tonino seems to have dropped the James Bond thing he's done on this for the last couple of years
  7. Bamboleo (Andres) Jeez, 2 high-powered songs, one right after the other. Obviously, Andres is taking over more of the lead singing. Have no idea if this portends anything. I had tried taking pictures up to this point with the flash off, and they seemed to be OK as long as nobody was moving. So I couldn't get a picture of Pacheco in action, for example. But when Bamboleo started, I said to hell with it, and started shooting picture after picture with the flash.
  8. Encore: Volare (Andres) Nicholas did not even come out for the encore. Paul walked clear over to the other side of the stage (over by Titi), and motioned to a woman in a silk blouse and skirt to get up on stage and dance. Apparently the security guy on that side told her not to, but he relented after a second and helped her get up, with Paul giving a helping hand. She danced a little bit right next to Titi, but he just stood there stone cold!! I'm guessing this was the first time for him!!! She got off the stage after a little bit. So normally the show ends after the encore, and Nicholas says "Muchas gracias, y muy buenas noches." But he wasn't there. So the band just kind of stood around, and then, all of a sudden,


  9. Pena Penita (Patchai) What a treat! I have never heard of them doing a second encore before. I remember a few years back when I saw them in Raleigh, NC that Canut sang La Quiero for the encore, but that's about the only diference I was aware of. It's obvious this was the band's way of saying, well, something nasty to the Radio City management. And you know whose idea it was? Tonino's!!!! In my book, the guy is definitely A-OK. So after this, Paul said the Buenas Noches, and that was it. But the crowd was jubilant. I wonder how many realize what a special gift that was. Later, Pascal told me that it was very rare for them to play a second encore.

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?

Pascal slink-strides out with his 'are you ready....' NY audience claps & roars 'yes!!!!' then the rest of his thing and on with the show...

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!

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