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Radio City Music Hall, August 28

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Derek holding his sign outside Radio City Music Hall.

One of the coupons he was passing out.

Derek and his wife Sarah.

Sarah with Tonino.

Perfect! Perfect! Perfect! Hooray! (pa-rop pa-pa-pa-pa pop!)

Wow! What a difference a day (new soundman?) makes!

Tried to drum up some new members before the show by parading around with my sign advertising GK web sites and mailing list. Technically I wasn't supposed to be under the marquis so I went in the street just off the curb! Yes I was getting some strange looks, but once in a while someone would ask for a coupon. I probably ended up giving away about 20 or so. But I'll be better prepared next year!!

No guitars being auctioned that night. Seats 4 rows back from previous night, on the stage-left aisle. Had binoculars. Playlist same as Thursday, but from the very first note the sound was PERFECT, both volume and balance. I don't know for sure, but I found it hard to believe that the same person did the sound as the night before. And the band was really pumped. Could be they directed their energy to performing instead of ogling! After all the comments everybody's made about PBs dancing on stage, all I can say is thank God there weren't any.

Let's see. Everyone wore black jeans. Nicolas: first set, black shirt with multi-colored vertical bars across the chest area/second set, shirt with what I'd call a cross design: lower left quadrant, white, lower right quadrant, grey, these blocks reversed in the shoulder area. Canut: long-sleeve silver knit shirt/black knit. Moved around a lot. He walked clear over to Nicolas after he'd sung the first part of Oy and was shaking his shoulders while Andre was singing! Georges: blue sparkly knit/red sparkly knit. Definitely had some kind of sculpted beard I guess you could call a goatee. If he's only 18 that is one stocky kid! Mickael (I spell it this way because that's how his signature looks) wore a hat and a vest with a peace-sign pattern. I thought he was pretty well behaved, although during the second set Tonino turned around and I'm sure said something to him. Tonino in a black shirt the entire show. During Mi Nino he turned around, picked something off the stage, and put his hand to his left ear. He'd lost an ear-plug! Nicolas shrugged his shoulders and grinned at him. Then during A Tu Vera he stopped playing all of a sudden, shook his right hand, and rubbed the tip of his index finger with his thumb like he'd hurt it somehow. He went back to playing after about 30 seconds. Paul wore a white shirt the whole show, seemed to be smiling a lot, sat down on the platform to play every once in a while when he didn't have to sing.

After Bamboleo, the band was only half-way off the stage before Nicolas said "Muchas gracias y buenas noches." The road crew immediately came out and started tearing down the set.

It turned out from the night before that Nicolas had not signed my album, so I'd brought it again and was determined to get it. A huge truck was blocking the street in front of the stage door but in front of it was a mini-bus with huge windows and a passenger van in front of that. One of the kids who had talked with Canut the night before was there and I talked with him a few minutes. Turns out he had brought his guitar to have the band sign it before the show Thursday night!!

When the band started coming out in about 5-10 minutes I started taking pictures but I have a feeling they're not too good. Saw Canut with his blonde glued to his side. Interestingly, the only security was guarding the truck and the huge stage entrance from which all the equipment was coming. So when Tonino got in the passenger seat of the van I called over to him and asked him where Nicolas was. He threw up his hands like "Who knows?" Walking by the bus I saw Patchai so I asked him through the window. He pointed back towards the stage door. No sign of Nicolas there so I went back to the van. That's when I asked Tonino "Cuando va a grabar un disco solo?" and he said "Despues." Despues when he didn't say, but I couldn't think of anything else to say. It was then my wife told me she wanted to give him something. She's got a Castile soap-making business and she had one of her gift packages for such an occasion, so I told her to tell him it was "jabon". So she did, and tried to tell him in Spanish that it smelled good and was good for dry skin. Not sure how much he really understood, but he was very thankful. I'm quite sure nobody has given any band member soap before!!

Went back to the stage door and Nicolas was coming out, surounded by people getting autographs and pictures. Gave him my album and asked him if he recognized it ("Lo reconoce?") and he said "O, si', claro." Got a shot of him and that was it!

It was about 2 days later before I realized O jeez! I could have asked Tonino or Nicolas a lot of things, or asked the gypsy from the night before what he knew about them. Pues, I'll have to wait until next year!

For any list members who have yet to see them on this tour, I'd say Go for it! You may not get a backstage pass, but based on my experience they're accessible.

Buena suerte!