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The Gipsy Kings in Vienna

Last night the Gipsy Kings played at the Donauinsel Fest in Vienna. It was quite an event which takes place on the man made island (and recreational park) that spans a portion of the Danube (Donau). The Fest lasts four days and there are continuous musical acts at 11 or 12 different sites on the island. This along with food and merchandise vendors and carnival rides. Strolling from our carpark along the water the two miles to where the GK's were to perform was a cacaphony of sound.

My husband and I settled in with bratwurst and beer and watched Sandra Pires (the act before the GK's)....she finished up and we attempted to get a little closer to the stage while a fireworks show filled the sky. Then it was time for the Gipsy Kings. They started with Mujer and Djobi Djoba...there were three songs that I didn't know at all and I regret to say that I don't know the names of the instrumentals. There were several huge screens set high so that everyone could view the action on stage and the camera work was wonderful. It was great to watch the fingers flying on the guitars. They played Un Amor, Baila me, Bem Bem Maria and Montana. The crowd was dancing and singing along. Unfortunately, the rain started with the performance and steadily increased through out the show. I was lucky in that being only 5'1" (aka short) the tall people seemed to be catching the brunt of the rain. I had claimed a little vee between the couple in front of me and had a good view of the stage for most of the performance. Unfortunately, during Bem Bem Maria...two Amazon women (a mother and a daughter) with big shaggy heads pushed their way in front of me. One head blocked the stage and the other the screen. So...at that point, view lost and getting drenched and cold, the show lost a little luster for me. We waited until Montana (my favorite) was played and then started to make our way through a field of dancing fans. Sad to miss the last bit of the show but it was nearing midnight and so we missed the big rush on the long hike back to the car. It was a fun night! It was good to see the Viennese up and dancing. We had seen the Santana concert at the Stadthalle last month and no one stood up to rock out and dance. I don't think anyone wanted to be the first one up and consequently no one stood up at all. But outside at the Gipsy Kings concert the crowd was alive! That is "my" Vienna report!

Janet Darrow-Winter

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