U.S. TOUR 2004
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - July 20
The Mann Center is an outdoor venue with a very large covered seating area, and a grassy area up on a hill. The balcony (where I sat) is covered and is very distant from the stage. The sound system is horrendous. I'm sorry to say it sounded like mud. They put on Broadway plays here, so I can't imagine what that must sound like. Sarah overheard someone in the balcony say they had been downstairs, and it sounded much better in the balcony!! Enough of that.
Playlist pretty much the same as Chicago. 4 of those songs are new and not on the Roots CD (Rumba Tec-Tonino, La Negra-? (didn't play), Mi Mora-Patchai, Avanssa-? (didn't play)), but will be on the next CD, for which they have an additional 3 songs already written!
I really like the band. Xavier on bass, Stephane on drums, and Cyril, the new keyboard player (I asked Nicholas later where they met him, and he said in Paris, but I didn't understand from where), got to take excellent solos on a couple of songs. They are really talented.
The encore was Todos Ole. Paul or Andres invited up a woman from the pit to dance with Patchai, who really got into it. After that, Tonino and Pacheco and maybe another left the stage, and Nicholas was standing there, looking like, "Hmmm. I wonder if I should do this or not?", looked at Andres, and started singing Caminando por la Calle a capella, then Xavier joined in playing bass. With some harmony from Andres, Patchai and Paul, that was the only accompaniment. It was really very nice.
I was up in the balcony also. I didn't like the view and I was getting the creeps being up so high. We managed to change seats to the lower level & it was much better there. Didn't like this venue much either. Too congested. I guess I got spoiled with the smaller places such as the Count Basie last year in NJ.
I wasn't really paying attention to the quality of the sound since I was really enjoying the show. It was A+. I've never seen the GKs so into it! Watching them interact with the audience was a treat. Patchai even treated us to some fancy footwork. I think if it weren't for the heat, they would have played some more. As you said, they all sort of looked at each other for someone to decide when to end the show.
The songs were fabulous with a good mix of old & new. The audience was up dancing & when we would sit when the song was over, we were signaled by a GK member to get back up & have some more fun.
The slide show behind them was an interesting addition.
I truly enjoyed the show and can't wait till next week in NY.