U.S. TOUR 2004
Los Angeles, California - July 9
Well, another concert has come and gone. The concert was 8pm Friday, July 9th at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles. The Greek Theater is an outdoor venue located in the hills northwest of Los Angeles and seats about 5,800 people. The Theater is surrounded by very expensive homes, beautiful landscaping, and a pine forest. It's half-bowl shaped and dug into the side of a hill with the stage at the bottom of the bowl. It's interesting to know that the Gipsy Kings are listed on the Greek Theater Wall Of Fame for selling more than 100,000 tickets since the venue opened. They were listed at number 5 among some very popular musicians. If you would like to see the Greek Theater, go HERE. Click "About Us" then "Virtual Tour" and you'll get to see the venue in 2D.
We arrived at 7:30pm, and had something to eat and drink then went to our seats. Our seats were 3rd row from the stage in the Center Pit. The seats were awesome! The stage was setup in the following order from left-to-right. In the back left was the drummer whom I've never seen before ... he was terrific. His setup was raised about 3 feet above the main stage. Next, in the back center was Xavier the bassist who was also elevated above the mainstage. He had some type of "nuevo bass" instrument that sounded really good. For you ladies that dig leather pants, you won't be disappointed! Next to him was Pacheco the percussionist at the back right and elevated above the mainstage. At stage right was the keyboards ... I've never seen him before, but he was terrific! From left-to-right was Andre wearing mostly black with some red trim in his shirt. Andre was playing a thin-line Cordoba FCWE "Gipsy Kings" model. Patchai was to his left wearing mostly black with silver trim in his shirt. He also was playing a thin-line Cordoba. Pablo was next to him in all black, including his hair. He had his hair dyed black ... it just didn't look right. Bring back the gray Pablo! His guitar was a thin-line Cordoba. Nicolas was front and center wearing mostly black with blue trimmed shirt ... played a thin-line Cordoba also. Tonino was next in all black playing a Cordoba CWE-S which is a thicker-bodied cousin to the FCWE. Diego was next in all black playing a thin-line. Canut was at the far right in all black playing a thin-line Cordoba. Behind everyone was a giant screen where they showed black and white pictures of the Reyes and Baliardo families and Gipsies in general.
The show was supposed to start at 8pm, but didn't start until 8:10pm. I looked behind me about 8:05pm and the venue was only half-full. At intermission I looked again at it was totally full. At 8:10pm the drummer, Xavier, Pacheco, and the keyboard player walked on stage and started playing a rhythmic tune with Pacheco playing the cajon (wooden box) as the main focus. Then the Kings came out while the backup band kept playing and then they went right into playing Rythmic the song. The beat the backup band was playing was the beat to Rythmic. Here is a song list in no particular order:
Nico was fantastic as was Tonino. Canut was having lots of trouble with his voice from the very beginning. His first song was Amigo and at one point near the end of the song he was trying to hit a note and couldn't. He then rolled his eyes and shook his head as he continued to play. After the song was over, he was shaking his head and pointing to his throat while saying something to Nico and Tonino. Nico and Tonino just smiled at him. Later, Canut was singing A Tu Vera just before the intermission. He again was having trouble, so much trouble in fact that Patchai ran up to Nicos' microphone (Nico was drinking water near the drummer) and finished the song for him. When the song ended, Canut said that he was sorry to the crowd while pointing to his throat and coughing. He then turned to Tonino, put his hand on Tonino's shoulder and they all walked off stage for intermission. As Canut was walking off stage, his head was down and he was panting, eyes closed, trying to catch his breath as Tonino lead him off stage ... he didn't look good at all. He came back for the second half and sounded better. He sang a song and when it ended, the crowd gave him a thunderous roar ... you could tell he was very appreciative.
Nico was having some problem with a microphone stand during one of his songs. He looked to the offfstage for help and a tech. came out, but couldn't fix the problem. Nico didn't miss a beat while dealing with the mic stand. When the song ended, the tech brought out a new stand.
As always, Andre was smiling and had lots of energy for the entire concert. Patchai ... well, he's the one that gets the crowd going with his animated character and energy. Pablo was kind of quiet the entire concert. Nico ... simply amazing! Tonino was on it and had some overwhelming solos. The way he plays is just fasinating and effortless ... El Maestro verdad!! Diego was very quiet. Canut, was really down for the first half, but recovered nicely for the second half. I guess that's what happens when you have lots of concerts in a row with no time to rest. These guys must get beatup during the tour. Anyway, we had a wonderful time and it was great to see the Kings again! For you t-shirt fans, they were selling black t-shirts with the Roots CD cover in black and white on the front, a pink ladies tube-type t-shirt with the Roots cover, and a white stringed top with the Roots cover. They were also selling a book with pictures from Lucien Clergue. Many pictures are of the Kings when they were children and some were of Gypsies in general.
Sorry gang, didn't get any photos this year nor backstage. We think there was a private party after the concert so we didn't try.
For those of you going to the concert, cherish every note as I did and have a great time!
Tu Amigo En Los Angeles!