U.S. Tour '99
August 20, 1999
Chastain Park Amphitheatre
Friday evening it was warm and quite beautiful. A real southern night. The first minor rain in almost a month fell that afternoon about four. I think the rain cooled things off considerably. By showtime the air had a silky, shimmering, texture.
Chastain has a long history as an elegant venue for both popular and classical music. The creativity people exhibit with their baskets, tables, candleholders, food, and other matters of style is refreshing. One lady in front of us brought a basket painted and shaped like a cross-section of a watermelon. It's part of the fun. A wonderful type of ambiance is created that enhances your enjoyment of acts like the GK's.
Our seats this year were much further back than last year, when we sat not more than 75 feet from the stage. The sound quality was still excellent from that far back though, and when Tonino is soloing that makes a big difference.
Their playlist on Friday was almost identical to the list Alex supplied from the June 20 show in Houston(thanks Alex). I currently only have the GK CD and Compas, so like Kathy, some of the music was unfamiliar to me. But I also know artistic excellence when I hear it, and it was in ample supply.
Nicolas is having a little trouble maintaining the higher, more powerful, notes, but he still produces some of the best vocals I have ever been blessed to hear. He isn't missing a beat on 95% of the songs.
Tonino could probably cut his own album. I've never seen a crowd so electrified as when he blistered the strings creating Salsa de Noche. I looked around and almost everyone in the theater was up and dancing while the moon caressed us. It was a magical late summer evening. And we all had that goofy, glazed, this is great expression on our faces.I think that's quite an beautiful accomplishment for an bunch of Gypsies playing accoustic guitars.
Andre, Patchai, and Canut are ensuring the group's balance on vocals. I noticed they did more singing this year than last.
The park also installed two large TV monitors on the roof above the stage at both the left and right ends, and two monitors on each underside of the overhangs on either side of the main theater seating. That was pretty good for people in the furthest seats, cause there is quite an effect watching Nicolas put his whole being into his singing.
I talked to a guy in front of me at intermission and he said his friends had told him their opinion was last years show at Chastain was one of the best they'd ever seen. I pointed to our friends sitting next to Pam and told him that's why we'd brought our friends.
Something else we noticed different from last year was the T-shirts. All the brothers/cousins wore matching black T-shirts. Last year they wore colorful, Hawaiin-style printed shirts.
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