July 27th, 2006

[custom] sky blue grass

Gipsy Kings!

The Gipsy Kings concert was fantastic. The Mountain Winery is a beautiful venue – it’s a small concert bowl surrounded by trees, and the stage backs up onto the old winery, which is a chateau-style stone building covered in ivy. The weather was gorgeous – the heat wave broke yesterday, so it was warm but not hot, just perfect. We got there about twenty minutes late due to horrendous traffic, and when we arrived we discovered that there was no opening act, so we had missed part of the main show. But never mind. Our seats were excellent. The band itself was great – for those who don’t know (and those who do, please correct me if I’m wrong) – they are family members from a gypsy clan hailing from France. Their music, however, is mostly Spanish-influenced and the language they sing in is a gitano dialect that is closely related to Spanish. They had an 11-piece band: six Spanish guitars (the guitar players all also sang), three percussionists, a bassist and a keyboardist. A couple of the musicians (the bassist, the keyboardist, and one of the drummers) seemed like they were studio musicians rather than regular members of the band, but they were all great. They played two sets, with an intermission in between. The first set, as the sun was going down and twilight was falling, was mostly mellow and laid-back. Then they took a break and came back on just as it got fully dark. The second set was much more lively and energetic, and they got the entire audience on their feet, dancing. Anyway, it was a tight show, and overall a sublime experience. Now I have to pimp them to my f-list – if you haven’t heard them, go out and do so forthwith! Start with their “Best of” album and go from there. You won’t regret it.