The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel, June 5
The sign with Lauren, barely visible, dwarfed by it.
The Gipsy Kings onstage with girls dancing. Note the one on Andre's back.
Paul gives Lauren a kiss from the stage.
Nicolas Reyes on stage.
The Gipsy Kings. (Left to right) Andre, Nicolas, Tonino (with his back turned), Michael, Patchai, Canut and Georges.
A couple of girls dance on stage. They seem to have been invited to do so prior to the show, since they were dressed and made up for it.
More shots with the girls dancing:
The following 4 photos are courtesy of Rob Rivera.
Hey, is that Tonino smiling?. Lauren in the lower right again.
They thank the crowd at the end of the show.
CLICK HERE for more photos from this show.
I managed to sit FRC again. Jumped over the bank of seats from my 2nd row seat and then scooted toward dead center with Juliette when two "old folks" left in the middle of the first song. And from my viewpoint "old" means wrinkled and decrepit. Not sure what they were expecting, but I had whispered to Juliette "These folks aren't going to last for 5 min." I was delighted that I was right.
The inevitable payo bimbo (and I decided that's what Ami Wa Wa means) was the best one yet. Friday night's "girl dancing, " a victim of too much tequila I'd guess, was wearing a skimpy little dress and jumped up on stage with obvious hopes of bedding Andre. She stood behind him and proceded to slither up and down his back, lambada-style, whispering in his ear. She embarassed not only herself (of which she was unaware) but Andre as well. I was laughing so hard I lost track of how much I was enjoying the music. Paul was near hysterics.
Just had to share that precious moment with you all.
phenomenal......what more can I say? And Nicolas blew me a kiss. Am I in Seventh Heaven?............more tomorrow...............LP
Howdy again from Flagstaff...
I must say that it was an absolute joy to be in Las Vegas for Friday night's GK performance. After an awesome crowd-pleaser in Mesa on Tuesday (despite the sound distortion and such), I had the chance to head for Vegas where I met the wonderful listmembers Juliet from Hawaii, and Lydia and her mom from Vegas itself. Bob and Lauren, as we all know and salivate over, were there, as were Nikki from Flagstaff and her Bob. Kevin, some fellow from Nebraska who runs a travel agency, brought himself (and his, um, intestinal aroma) right onto the front row too. He's not currently a listmember, but his peculiar eruptive gastrointestinal vapors notwithstanding, he provided his email address to be included on the list. We'll see if those episodes of colonic malfeasance convinced Bob of the need to keep him, um, "saturated" with the "essence" and "spirit," ever "pointed in the right direction," of being a GK, um, "fan." Just keep your nose clean, Bob... (Kevin, if you ever read this, we LOVE ya, man!)
If anybody on the list ever wants to travel and see the Gipsy Kings indoors, and the quality of the sound is tops on the list, PLEASE consider the Hard Rock's concert hall, "The Joint." It is nothing short of phenomenal. They usually have tables set up for the artists, but for the GK, all the tables were removed and rows of chairs were set up. This is my only dislike about the concert there, though, in that the rows were set up way too close, too crowded, and there was practically no room at all to move, to bounce, to sway, to rumba. Barely enough room for palmas, it seemed! But aaaah, the sound!! What clarity of purpose, what crisp notes!!
My babe and I sat on the second row, and it was an amazing thing indeed to see the emotion on Nicolas as he sang each syllable and gave his own signature to the cantos. We sat closest to Andre and Paul, on the audience's left, no more than 10 feet away, and Suzanne (my girlfriend) was shocked to see how Andre could play the guitar left-handed, even though the strings were not reversed!! Same with Patchai. But after all is said and done, Tonino, my friends, DOES rule!!! The man is absolute genius, nothing more, nothing less. He is the Einstein of strings, El Maestro!!
My only "other" problem with the concert, though, was with the severe Bimbo factor there. I mean, Vegas is known for its showgirls and such, but they didn't have to jump on stage and ply their wares on the gitano boys. Paul and Andre were making some serious eyes at a couple of skanky ones who were just in front of us, and they ended up on stage, the very last one being described previously by Lauren as doing a tongue-dripping lambada on Andre. I think I've discovered the true meaning of "Bamboleo," only it's been mispelled all along. It should be, in my opinion, "Bimbo-Lay-Oh." My, what some folks will do for a backstage pass, not to be confused with the other type of backstage pass Kevin was performing for the front rows.
The next morning, Suzanne went downstairs to check out the T-shirts in the gift shop, and ran into Nicolas, Andre and Canut. She shook hands with Nicolas and Andre, and spoke to both of them. Andre seemed to understand her English and said "thank you," but Nicolas apparently didn't. He smiled pleasantly and nodded at her "you guys are awesome" schpiel. Canut was across the room, totally involved in checking out some caps and T-shirts himself, (checking them for moth-proofness, perhaps), and looked up at her and smiled. He didn't do much else, and didn't say anything either. Suzanne said it was hard, though, to tell which way the fellow was looking, given his widely spaced eyes. (look up "hypertelorism" in the medical dictionary).
By the time I got down there to the gift shop, though, the fellows were gone, and I didn't get a chance to meet them myself. Oh well, maybe next year.
And I really wish I could see the concert again...and again....and again. Next year I think I'll shoot for the Joint on both Thursday and Friday nights, if they're similarly booked, as well as Mesa. Wonder if they'll ever play El Paso, Albuquerque, or even an intimate venue in Santa Fe. Given that the summer caravans of Gypsies weren't held in high regard during my childhood years in the good old Southwest, it'd be interesting to see how or if their music has changed some of that.
In any event, it was truly a joy to meet others of our fabulous mailing list. And to the rest of you all, best of luck in enjoying, as Pascual likes to announce at the beginning of each concert, "...the Gypsy Fiestaaaaaa!"
I'll add my "AWESOME"s to LP, Bish and Rob's postings. Next year I'll skip Mesa for two shows at the Hard Rock. In Mesa, we sat in front of Canut. In Vegas, we were in front of Paul, who was really getting a kick out of the payo bimbos. Actually, in defense of Los Bimbos, I must say the boys in the band DID egg them on. Andre, in particular, was such a flirt with his George Clooney smile - can't really blame the poor girl for falling victim to his (and tequila's) charms and making a fool out of herself. Paul, BTW, returned blown kisses to me at both Mesa and Vegas shows. Wish I'd have gotten to meet him - he seems like a nice man. Georges, Andre and Mickael are the flirts, Canut seems to be the moody artist, and Tonino is so stoic - I often wonder what he's thinking. If I may be so bold (Efren, can I hide behind you?:) My one "criticism" of what I've seen and read of this tour has been: for a cultural group known for passion and joie de vivre, they certainly don't allow much room for spontenaiety in their playlist. Anyone else notice this?