Viejas Casino-Outlet Center Park

San Diego, California - August 19, 2003

Just a quick review of last night's fiesta. I arrived at Viejas about 3pm to do some shopping, eat and take a look at the casino. The Viejas venue is outdoors and was told it seats about 2000. The venue is small which I really liked since all I know is the Greek Amphitheater in L.A. which I believe seats 5000. The venue is surrounded by an Outlet Mall and a casino across the street. At 4pm I finally got to meet Georgia and Lydia at the casino. They are both wonderful people and I can't wait until we can hookup again!

We met at the casino and had a buffet and decided to go do some shopping. As we crossed the street we could here some music coming from the venue ... that's when we saw 2 big buses parked behind the stage area ... it was the gang! We got to the venue and they were playing many songs for about an hour to test the sound system and practice. They played some songs we never heard before ... could these be from the new CD?

Georgia saw David (Pascals assistant) in the Outlet Mall and asked if we could get 6 backstage passes. He said he could only get 2 for now, but come to see him after the concert.

The scheduled start time was 8pm ... the lights dimmed at 8:10pm and the fiesta started with Pascal doing his normal "Are you ready for the gipsy fiesta?". My girlfriend Claudia and I had seats front and center ... the gang looked really good from there, but sorry to say Tonino was not there. The other reviews are pretty much right on with the song lineup.

Solo Dire
La Dona
Canto A Brazil
Un Amor
Pena Penita
Todos, Todos, Todos Ole! (from the Los Reyes - Gipsy Legend CD)
Volare (encore ... yes, Nico was singing it!)

Sorry ... can't remember all the songs! Mario Regis did a great job and is a wonderful guitarist, but it's just not the same without Tonino. Yes, he does like to get the crowd going and he did a great job. Patchai also got the crowd going by coming up to the very edge of the stage and using hand signals to get everyone going. Andre and Canut sang some of the songs traditionally sung by Nico ... they did a fantastic job! The first half of the concert contained all of the slow songs. They took a 20 minute break and it was all fast songs in the second half until the end. We didn't stop dancing until the encore was finished.

Andre and Mario were the only ones that came to the front of the stage to shake hands as the rest left for good. Georgia only got 1 backstage pass but, convinced David to let Lydia, my girlfriend and I backstage. Only Andre and Mario were available for photos and autographs for a short period and then they left. It was a great show!


Just a few notes on San Diego!!

As always they were fantastic. The venue was a perfect space for them. It wasn't too large so they sounded great. As always Nico looked and sounded phenomenal. His voice just seems to get better and better. And I must add that he has some great dance moves!!! Mario.... What can I say about him? He brought the house down.... He was simply unbelievable! At one point he had to change guitars.. He was smokin!! He reacted with the crowd and the more the crowd reacted with him the more his energy rose. Which spread through out the whole group. As always Pablo and Andre brightened the night sky with their wonderful smiles and watching them just playing their guitars and singing is always something special. Their wonderful playful energy brightens every performance. Patchai, as always, the Master showman.. He has such a wonderful presence and again he took it upon himself to see that the crowd was having a good time. (the crowd however, was less than enthusiastic it took them a looooooooong while just to get up and dance....) Titi is really starting to relax and he is more confident in his performance. He too has that wonderful Reyes smile and he is willing to show it more and more. Canut.... Looked and sounded amazing.... His Montana always brings tears to my eyes... There is a wonderful moment in the song where his brothers join him and add a wonderful sweet harmony... At the end of the song Nico adds a beautiful melodic "da do di" that makes you want to just say Amen!! The back up band was simply amazing and it is nice to see George with them... It was a wonderful evening as always and I will say it again, they truly are a wonderful treasure!!!!



ahhhhhhhhh San Diego..... what a lovely, lovley place~ Dave it was sooooo nice to meet you & Claudia! You are such a sweetie, and you 2 compliment each other so well ;)))) The show WAS great! and it was nice to hear a snippet of new stuff during their practice/soundcheck... what's the name of that melody again Dave that they 'clubbed' up? I know it's an old one... So THAT was awesome... and of course nothing's better than shoe shopping at a NineWest outlet!

The backstage fiasco was basically just frustrating but eventually successful... Anyway, to make a long story short, we *all* got back to meet & greet & Dave got a few nice shots & autographs with Andre & Mario, I also saw Dominique & Pacheco briefly...

It was a really fun night! Even got a chance to hang out at the hotel later with Lyds! Canut was there, as well as Mario and Andre again...Richard got an earful from me too about his pass giving priorities it was in good humor tho... & pretty funny... Pablo, Nico & Patchai weren't around & since the boys came with their papas, Pablo & Nico may have already turned in [??] Patchai? yeah, maybe he was tired too.... ;))))))) but no jam session like Chicago! I WISH! they just wanted to crash... ah bien.... Lyds & I checked Cafe Sevilla tho Dave! the restaurant part was closed but I LOVE the art! VERY COOL place... can't wait to see it again later this week!

Set list was a little different from Chicago too... I remember Poco a Poco missing this time... but everything else was pretty much the same... the guys were lively & fun!

whew! OK, where's next??? lol


I arrived at Viejas Casino around 7:30 pm. When I was on my way to the parking lot, I stopped because there were people who wanted to cross the street, and I saw Patchai, Canut, and the drummer (I don't know his name). I was very excited and couldn't wait for the concert to start. The venue is very small so I thought that the view was going to be better since I was in the 5th row, seats 13 and 14. I had two extra tickets that nobody wanted, and I decided to give them to my brother because his tickets were in the last rows of the venue, seats 1 and 2. But to my surprise the width of the rows was narrow and the 5th row was very uncomfortable. At fist I didn't care much, but then a big guy came and sat in front of me and blocked the view. I was still happy because I had waited all year to see the GK. But then, oh boy, the worst part! There were around 6 people behind me and they were drunk and screaming and talking loud and didn't care about the music at all. They were very rude, especially in the instrumental songs. They didn't have a clue about the music. And all people surrounding me were not enthusiastic either. Most of the time they were sitting and looking kind of bored. Above all, the music and the guys were amazing. Each year they get better and better, and I'm starting to think there might be a second generation of the Gipsy Kings in the future!? I can't wait for next year.


Both Georgia and I waited too late to get our tickets, so our seats were pretty lousy. But as luck would have it, we (Dave, Claudia, gammie and I) went in early (gates opened at 7pm), got some refreshments and sat at a table in the patio area. Gammie and I decided to just stay there, instead of taking our seats... boy, was I ever glad we did. You're right, those seats were seriously crammed together.. we could just tell that it wouldn't be to our liking, especially since our seats weren't even together. If anything, gam and I were the annoying dancing chicks, but the people on the patio were doing just as much dancing.. it was a real free-for-all up there! The view was excellent (not very close, but that's OK), the music rocked!(sound system was awesome), Mario did a fantastic job IMHO and the company I was in totally made the night a complete success! Dave.. you are SUCH a sweetie!, really glad to have met u2, and Allen too! And man, after what?, three or four years, it was so great to talk with gammie *ahem*.. GIGI.. face to face!!

Talked with Canut a little at the hotel, asked about his burns... boy, he just starts jabberin away, hands a-flying in wild gestures about what happened... you get the gist of it, even if you don't speak French ... I think in there somewhere I caught that the nerves in his hand and forearm are still a bit tender. But he's a trooper!! Anyway, great great night at the Viejas.. very excellent venue.


Back to main "U.S. Tour 2003" page