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Merriweather Post Pavillion, September 3


(Click on any photo for a larger version)

Efren and his daughter, Corinne.



Efren and Corinne with Nicolas.



Tonino signs an autograph.


. . .And then there was Thursday!! In a word, last night was INCREDIBLE. After "entertaining" Efrencito & Jeremycito at dinner we headed out to MPP & met up with Jeremy's mom : } [guys, behave!] Today's not as slow as I would like, so I can't say too much--but the evening was so packed full of fun doings! And the weather was pretty good, considering it's the humid MD/DC/VA area in early Sept.

The song list was the same,

  • La Dona
  • La Fiesta Comenza
  • Djobi, Djoba
  • Un Amor
  • Oy
  • Quiero Saber
  • Ami Bei Bei Bei
  • Todos, Ole!
  • Baila Me

    Intermission

  • Tierra Gitana
  • Lo Gitano Viejo
  • Montana
  • Mira La Gitana Mora
  • Salsa de Noche
  • Sueno de noche
  • A Tu Vera [I think it was at this point...]
  • Mi Nino
  • Bem Bem Bem Maria

  • Encore- Bamboleo [OY!]

The guys seemed more "ON" last night than Wed-- esp. Tonino. Also, I would have been a bit more happy if they had done "Canto a Brazil" and/or "Ami Wa Wa". Now even though I do like "Mira La Gitana Mora" [and it would have been nice if Hosam Ramzy was there too!] I dunno, it seems laborious to me, but last night's rendition was amazing! You guys know I goof around a lot here, Oh Canut this, Canut that--but last night during Mira La Gitana Mora the man was focused totally on me-- NO JOKE-- Efren, Jeremy did you see?? I know Annie was a tad occupado herself, under the watchful gaze of our Maestro ... ; }} so she had her own pie to bake ... [??] Anyway, my eyes were semi-closed while I was dancing & through my lashes I could see baby was glued! I guess 'cuz [even though I'm no Jasmyn!! ; ))] I was doing my best to do a lot of ME & Indian moves while everyone else was flailing or doing the caucasian elbow shuffle ; )), then I would open my eyes to acknowledge him & smile while he clapped in rhythm and gave a little smile back, nodding his head in rhythm -- Cetait un moment trs INTENSE!!!! I really thought I was imagining it, but I don't think I was guys, really--but of course after that I was envisioning us in the South of France away from the maddening crowds...feeding him dark grapes... esseterah, esseterah, esseterah... : O ; )) Both nights I had to dash though & wasn't patient enough to wait around - ah bien! When it was over Mikael lingered on stage to talk to a little girly who was really into him [earlier she asked me if I thought it was a good idea to ask him to her prom-- isn't that CUTE??!] So after they chatted, I yelled Mikael! Then I motioned for him to bend down towards me & he shrugged & grinned kinda like, 'but I barely know english' then I held his hand and whispered in his ear, "say hey to your uncle Canut for me, ok?" in French--then he was really grinning ear to ear, all excited & kissed my cheek & laughed-- "oh you speak french!" in French, then I think he said, "wait, let me get him for you", starting to get up, then I freaked & backed away--AH NO!!! Then, he laughed, did the 'see you whenever' wave & ran off -- PLEASE! Canut was probably with Strawberry Blonde back stage already.

Nicolas' boots were cool! Looks like either Mikael or Georges got him to wear 'em cause they were those black gushy Dr. Maartens/Airwalker/Lugz kind -- VERY hip, with a little platform look. M & G were wearing similar ones as well. Last night Nick had a little wet-look gheri curl thing going on that didn't seem to suit him. Patchai had serious helmet head going on, but was shaking his tushy ferociously!!! Paul, the official PBC [paybimbo coordinator] looked freshly clipped though--tight--his grey looks so good too! Isn't anyone curious to him do a solo?? Andre looked good--kinda puffy, but such a cutie & he was smiling alot. And Canut--well ... In the first set his ponytail was tight and he had on crisply dark & new black jeans with a black shirt & black sparkly embroidered vest [fancy!] tee! J, his tongue was really red here too! What tha? : )) Djobi Djoba & Ah Tu Vera were FIERCE --he was so focused for those two. Second set, the ponytail was a little looser & he had one of those metallic shiny shirts in black with his black jeans. He can be very goofy--at one point he & Mikael were pogo-ing back & forth like they were doing "body palmas" briefly, though, 'cause baby couldn't keep up with his nephew... ; } I'm so glad the kids [M& G] were there! The guys were definitely looser than usual.

The crowd on Wednesday seemed more hyper & anxious--I know I was anxious & pissy Wed., but last night, it didn't seem as packed to the gills-- there were more true fans who knew the music or that's how it seemed to me. And that breeze was great... Oh, Misty -- TONINO likes to stare. Wow! I'm surprised there aren't holes burnt through my shirt. Hooo-phah!

Uh oh PEOPLE!! I spoke too soon. During the last part of Bamboleo, however, the Paya Bimbo floodgates broke free!!!! Gosh, it was like when Red Hot Chili Peppers did "Give it Away" at the Am. Music Awards one year [was it there?] and everyone & their grandmothers were up there 'a grindin' & 'a slitherin'. Last night about 20 [more?] or so women rushed the stage--I didn't notice anyone try to touch any of the guys, but the guys seemed a little ruffled, but tried to remain stoic--Patchai looked bothered [esp. when one really skinny chick, bent over with her ass almost in his face--that was really embarrassing!], Canut seemed to shut down and looked beyond the crowd to the lawn area. I shrugged at Georges, who shrugged back with a "whatever" smirk. Then more women got on and a few guys too, to the point where I just couldn't see the GK anymore! Security was beyond freaked! All they could do was watch until the 'exuberance' died down. It happened really quickly too. Then it was over. Nick said his "Muchas Gracias & Buenos Noches" thing, but had to address it to the stage crashers, pretty much. Then as the evening dwindled, Annie disappeared, Efrencito & his daughter scooted & Jeremy & his mom dropped me off by my car. But it was an awesome night!! Got home & listened to Ami Wa Wa : )), played with my sister's cats Chloe & Zach and went to bed. I'll remember more later, I'm sure.

-gam


OH MAI!!!! Where do I begin??

Thursday night, September 3, 1998, has to be the most wonderful musical experience of my life. It was the 2nd concert in Maryland, and since gam already did a fabulous job detailing everything about the concert, I will not repeat what has already been said.

What this message will entail is my backstage meeting with the GK, something that I always dreamed about but thought would never happen. I will warn you that this is probably going to be a very, very, long message. I am still so hyped up about the experience that I can't calm down. I will write everything that happened.

To give you a preview, I got the scoop on Diego, Paco, and Chico. If you want to know what it is, keep on reading. :^)

Let me start by saying that I had the most beautiful date for this concert. She was by far the most precious person in the audience. My date was Corinne, my 10 year old daughter. She loves the GK and was very thrilled to go to their concert. The previous night, I had bought her a t-shirt, which she wore to the concert with her jean shorts.

During the first half of the concert, we were sitting in the 2nd row, and we were dancing and having a great time. During intermission, Corinne and I moved to the front row, since the people that were in front of us never showed up. She said she was thirsty and I went to the robbery....I mean concession stand to buy her a soda. On my way there I spot the manager that "slapped" me the night before. I go up to him, and show him my badge again. I said, "I guess this won't be good tonight either," and smiled at him. He chuckled and shook his head as if to say, "you are really persistent." As he walked away he said, "I'll get you in." I did not believe him and thought that he was just brushing me off.

The 2nd half of the show began, and Corinne and I danced the night away. We were in front of Canut and Patchai. They both made eye contact with her throughout the concert, and at one point, Patchai smiled at her when she was singing along with "Mi Nio"

When Bamboleo was playing, I took out my camera and wanted to take more pictures of the band, but about 50 drunken bimbo whores decided to go up on the stage and dance. I have never seen a crowd get out of control as much as at this concert. Security at Merriweather was the absolute pits. I was so livid that I could not take pictures, that I was fuming when the concert was over. I told Jeremy that those bitches had ruined my chance at some more pictures. It turns out that it was a blessing in disguise, since I only had 5 frames left.

I stood there for a while, trying to calm down, and Michael came out to blow kisses to this little 14 year old girl who was standing next to me. I motioned for him to come over. He was hesitant to do it, but I held up my CD and pen, and asked him to sign it. He came over and did so. I figured that one day he is going to replace his father, so his autograph would have to do for now.

Corinne wanted to go home right away since she had to go to school the next morning. As we walked past the back stage entrance, I see Mr. Manager. I went up to him and he recognized me. He shook his head as if to say, "I give up!!" I was holding Corinne's hand and I said to him, "She really wants to meet Tonino, that's all!" He then said those magic words: "O.k., come in!"

Corinne looked at me and said, "Is this for real?? Are we really going to meet the Gipsy Kings?!?!?" I assured her that we were. She was so excited she could barely contain herself. I was turning into jello. In my line of work I have to deal with adrenaline a lot, but this experience was beyond explanation. I literally felt like I was walking on air. It all seemed like a dream, and I could not believe that it was happening to me! My heart was racing about 10,000 beats per minute. (that's pretty fast, right Doctor Rivera??)

We went to the back area, which was a picnic gazebo with about 8 picnic tables inside. There were about 50 people in there, and only about 5 men, including me. We sat down and I told her that we had to wait for the band to come out. She points to the left and says, "There is one of them right there." It was Patchai. He was sitting on a bench with a gorgeous woman on his side, presumably his wife. I knew that it would be tacky for me to go up to him to ask him to sign my CD, so I told Corinne to ask him to sign it. She went over to him, and he instantly recognized her. He took the CD, signed the liner, and put it down on the table. He then hugged Corinne and smothered her with kisses. I asked if I could take a picture and he said yes.

When she came to me, her eyes were wide with excitement. "He kissed me! I can't believe that he kissed me!" she said.

The next one to come out was Andre. He is a bimbo magnet. All the putanas flocked all around him. Corinne then went up to him, and he immediately ignored everyone around him. He signed the CD and hugged her and kissed her. I asked if I could take a picture, and he said yes. He pushed some bimbos out of the way so they would not be in the picture!! I was floored by this. These guys were showing that they cared more for my daughter than the drunken bimbos around them.

Dominique, the keyboard player, then asked to see my CD (Cantos de amor). He had not seen the cover art and was examining it. I was surprised that he had not seen it. He signed the front of the CD as well.

I then spotted Negrito, the drummer, in a corner. No bimbos around him. I went up to him and asked him to sign my CD. After he did, I heard him speaking flawless Spanish, so I asked him where he is from, and he said Paraguay. Since there was no one around him, I decided to ask him about Diego. He said that Diego is having ear problems that makes it difficult for him to fly on airplanes, but that Diego was definitely coming back to the band.

I asked him where Paco was and he said that Paco has general health problems, and the reason why Michael was on tour with them is because he is going to replace Paco. He didn't specify what health problems Paco has. I then asked him whatever happened to Chico? He just shook his head and said that he was a disposable member who was not essential to the band's well being, and that he was not a great guitar player. He said that there were better guitar players, other Reyes brothers, and that he was simply replaced. I said to him that when I first saw them, Chico struck me as being arrogant, pompous, and wanting to control the group. He just shook his head as if he was agreeing with me, but he did not say anything else about him.

The next one to come out was Canut, and he also recognized Corinne right away. He signed our CD and smothered her with kisses. I asked if I could take a picture and he picked her up in his arms and held her tight. Canut had always struck me as being arrogant and the type that did not want to be bothered. I was very wrong. He is a very nice and sweet person. Very pleasant to be around, and really friendly. I didn't see any blond bombshell around him, so who knows where she was.

We then saw Paul, and he singed the CD and gave Corinne a huge hug. By this point I only had 2 pictures left, and decided that I really wanted a picture with Tonino and Nicolas, so I had to sacrifice Paul.

Georges then came out and he is another bimbo magnet. Corinne somehow managed to get close to him and he signed the CD. She got up on her tippy toes and hugged his neck. When he hugged her back, all the paya bimbos said in unison, "AWWWW, THAT'S SO ADORABLE!!!"

I then saw Negrito (percussionist), got him to sign the CD and found out he is from Colombia. Next was Gerard (Bass player), who seemed very anxious to leave and go to sleep. I asked him what the rest of the tour entailed and he told me the cities.

It started getting late and no Tonino or Nicolas. At this point, I knew that they would probably not come to the gazebo area, so I stood outside the green room and waited there. Sure enough, they both come out at the same time. I gave my camera to Annie and asked her to take a picture of me and Tonino. After he signed the CD, he gave Corinne a big hug and a kiss. He shook my hand and I thanked him for his time. I don't mean to sound like a 12 year old little girl who just met the Spice girls, but this was truly the epitome of the night for me. Tonino has been my musical inspiration for the last 8 years, and to get to shake his hand, take his picture, and just be there with him is something that I truly cannot put to words. I have NEVER in my life been star struck, but this goes beyond that. I have met a lot of celebrities in my line of work (Spike Lee, Bill Cosby, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, and many others) and I have never really cared about it. Meeting Tonino is going in the top 5 favorite moments of my life.

Nicolas was next, and I am sure he remembered me because the night before I was directly in front of him. He gave me a big smile and shook my hand. He signed the CD and gave Corinne a big hug and a kiss. One picture left in my camera. I posed for this one. I put my arm around him, he put his arm around me and Corinne, and the picture was taken.

I told him that it was a wonderful show, he smiled and thanked me, and shook my hand.

As quickly as it started, it ended. We were probably backstage for 45 minutes, but it seemed like 2. Afterwards, I thought of all the questions I did not ask. I really did not want to intrude and did not want to seem like an annoying fan, so I was just happy that they gave Corinne their attention and signed my CD.

Our trip back home was unreal. We both could not believe what had just happened. Corinne said to me, "Daddy, we hit the jackpot!!" We sure did! I got all of the GK main members to sign the actual CD and the liner notes, so I have everyone's autograph 2 times!

Today I dropped the film off and hope that nothing happens to it. I was told that since it's and "Advantix" film (a new type of film for those of you that do not live in the USA), that it would be ready on Wednesday. Needless to say, I am so anxious to get them back.

Sorry I rambled for so long, but I just wanted to share with everyone my incredible experience. I'll let you know how the pictures came out.

In case anyone forgot, Tonino is the Ultimate guitar god.

Efren