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Concord Pavillion, June 13

I just wanted to tell you about the concerts from last weekend in the Bay Area. I was fortunate enough to attend both, no matter how insane other people think that might be... The Saturday concert was in Concord, about 1 hour from San Francisco. It started at 8 on a beautiful evening. The setting was perfect and there must have been almost 10,000 people there, or so it seemed. On Sunday, the Kings played at the Greek Theatre in Berkeley, a not-as-fancy and smaller venue than the Concord Pavillion, but pretty good anyway. It was the first really hot day around here since last year.

These were my 4th and 5th GK concerts, and I'd have to say also the best. The song selection was great, the crowds were dancing much earlier than at my previous concerts, and the best part, the band seemed to be having a blast. On Saturday Patchai pulled up this girl to dance (which was a bad idea, 'cause 5 minutes later you had all kinds of people trying to get on stage), and Sunday the one who really surprised me was Canut. He was in a great mood and trying to get the crowd into it. Anyway, both days they had the same line-up (Paul, Andre, Nicolas, Tonino, Patchai, Georges and Canut, with "Pacheco", Mikael, "Negrito", Gerard Prevost and Dominique Droin accompanying), and they played the same songs (21 total):

  1. La Dona (Nicolas)
  2. La Fiesta Va a Comenza (Nicolas)
  3. Djobi Djoba (Canut)
  4. Odeon (Inst.)
  5. Un Amor (Nicolas, of course)
  6. Oy (Canut)
  7. Quiero Saber (Nicolas)
  8. Ama Bei Bei (is that the name?) (Andre)
  9. Todos Ole (Patchai)
  10. Baila Me (Nicolas)
  11. Catalun~a (Inst. w/Georges playing the cajon)
  12. Gitano Viejo (Nicolas)
  13. Montan~a (Canut, of course)
  14. Mira la Itana Mora (Nicolas)
  15. Suen~o de Noche (Nicolas)
  16. Salsa de Noche (Inst.)
  17. Mi Nin~o (Patchai)
  18. A tu Vera (Canut)
  19. Bem Bem Maria (Nicolas)
  20. A mi Wa Wa (Nicolas)
  21. Bamboleo (encore) (Nicolas)

I loved that they played Djobi Djoba and Bem Bem Maria, 2 of my favorite songs. But the 2 songs I was really, really impressed with were Mira la Itana Mora and A Tu Vera. For Mira la Itana, they had a really good female violin player (who also played in Salsa de Noche and A mi Wa Wa), and Nicolas was outstanding. But the song itself seemed much more danceable and full of sound than in the CD (which is very good, don't get me wrong). And A Tu Vera was played with so much energy no one could sit still (except the guy to my left...). The 2 instrumental songs at the beginning of the 2nd half were also very, very good. If there was something I would've liked different is that the first 5 songs of the second half were not fast, which after a long intermission takes your energy a little bit down. But of course I could listen to this line-up everyday and not get bored :) I hope the new songs make it to a CD soon, and that the GK keep the same group of backup musicians. "Pacheco" was awesome on the congas.

It will be so hard to wait 'til next year for another dose of GK!!