Thursday, September 17, 2009

Gipsy Kings Concert

A couple of weeks ago Mike and I were lucky to score tickets for the Gipsy Kings concert at McMenamin's Edgefield. A guy at work wasn't able to go and he was selling his seats...they were in the 15th row and much more than we would typically pay for a concert. However, the Gipsy Kings RARELY come to Portland and they are a sentimental favorite of ours.

We first got introduced to the Gipsy Kings by Kath, the Scottish woman who introduced me and Mike. We listened to a lot of Gipsy Kings in Japan, and when we got married in 1990, we played their music at our wedding. I still remember Mike's brother--who had flown in the night before and was horribly jetlagged--dancing like a demon with Mike's sister (to the Gipsy Kings)...and then taking a break between songs by napping with his head on a table! The Gipsy Kings' music permeates our wedding video. Their music brings back wonderful memories...so we felt we had to jump at the chance to go to their concert.

Unfortunately, as the day drew near (the Sunday of Labor Day weekend), the forecast looked dire. We prepared by dressing warmly and bringing rain gear and blankets. Sure enough, we did get drenched in a downpour, but the crowd's spirit failed to wilt. The spirited crowd danced in the aisles and had a great, flamenco time.

In fact, we almost witnessed a fistfight as a bunch of people began dancing in front of the stage, but in front of the rows of reserved seats people had paid good money for. The security guards kept stepping in and asking people to sit down. Beer had been drunk, and these people wanted to dance. Gipsy Kings music is meant to be danced to. A couple of men started shaking their fists at the bodyguards, and at one point one guy put his hand in his pocket and I thought he was going to pull out a gun. Instead, he started pointing his digital camera and taking photos of the security guards, while shaking his fists at them. I thought the whole thing was pretty ridiculous...first of all that people weren't allowed to dance, and second that unruly people tried to pick fights! The Gipsy Kings even said (in Spanish): "No fighting; enjoy the music!" They didn't appear to speak much English but were able to communicate through their music.

McMenamin's Edgefield seemed to be a good venue for the concert--we felt very lucky to have reserved seats because of the rain. With the exception of the fights, most people had a great time--it was a great Oregon experience, Gipsy Kings in the rain! Watching the crowd was almost as fun as watching the kings.

My only regret about the concert was that it was short--about an hour and a half. I think it was the most expensive concert we've been to, per minute! I did comment to Mike that many of the fast songs they were playing would be absolutely exhausting to play on the guitar...and they took no breaks, except to play some slower songs. Flamenco guitar is apparently played without picks, too. So I don't blame them for not playing a longer set.

Here are two of their oldies, songs that I will always associate with our wedding! The kings are now much older than as depicted in these music videos...but boy, can they play!



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