Sunday, June 29, 2003

The Gypsy Kings (sort of)

The Gypsy Kings blew in to Ber Sheva yesterday. Ber Sheva. The GYPSY KINGS, for crying out loud. The latin american community in Sede Boqer as well as Ber Sheva was abuzz with excitement. I have been listening to their music ever since I left high school, but not too much of late because it doesn't take too many listenings before the songs become engraved in the head. So we went there and the ticket was fairly expensive by Israeli concert standards, but hey it was the Gypsy Kings, what did I care, and besides we had already made the 40 km trip to the big city. Then I saw that the ticket read 'Tony Arenas from the Gypsy Kings'.

Well, ...okay, maybe its one of the nephews or cousins of the Gypsy kings who's taken off on his own but still plays GK music or something. You see where this is leading to, don't you...Anyway the Show was great, absolutely fantastic despite the lackluster opening act by the Salsa Groove (they pronounced it as Grove), even though they had a girl dressed in mirrors (well, that's how she looked ). Salsa Groove sang songs that I didn't know; so it was okay, but when they did play a song I knew, I realised how they were mangling the songs. Some sins: a salsa song in hebrew, and including a line about israel and palestine in Guantanamera(warning: MP3 link)!!!! My first spanish concert, and the guitars sounded and echoed all around the quasi parking lot turned concert hall. Of course all the audience wanted was the original Gypsy Kings stuff, and the difference in response between the old songs and the new songs was remarkable. Tony Arenas sang most of the new numbers but let one of the others do duty for the old songs. It was fun. When the concert ended the local salsa club organised a DJ to play contemperory salsa/latino dance music and the in-crowd started their bizarre manoueveres, which essentially looks like all of them have been taken over, you know ...inside.. and they perform the same steps in robotic or zombie fashion, it was amazing and fascinating to watch them. We left sometime then, a long taxi ride into the negev night. And today when I'm writing the post, I realise that "tony arenas" doesn't exist on the internet. Which only means that...he doesn't exist.