Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Here is Yoshi's clip from opening night (Monday, June 14th) at the SF venue.
Here is a brief clip of yours truly jamming with the band - big fun!
Monday, June 14, 2010
The show began with Silvio's 5-piece group performing a beautiful instrumental number, and when he took the stage the audience erupted for a near five-minute standing welcome as the band held on to a repeated refrain, waiting for the crowd to settle down so Silvio could begin singing. Once he did, the two and a half-hour set did not disappoint as Silvio intertwined well-known classics with selections from his new album. As is typical for a Silvio concert, the audience sang along the moment they recognized the familiar tunes such as "Sueno con serpientes," "La gota de rocio," "Ojalá," "La maza," "Canto arena," "Pequena serenata diurna" and many others.
What struck me the most was the extraordinary transformation of much of his well-known repertoire. Given the instrumentation (tres, two guitars, flute/clarinet, bass and drums/percussion), Silvio's music seemed to shine on an entirely new level with intricate arrangements, at times twisting Cuban country music with reggae, Bach-infused guitar riffs with Brazilian samba - this was Silvio Rodriguez in a musical make-over. His voice was as fresh as I've ever heard - he was truly in top form and clearly relishing the exquisite and expert accompaniment from his top-notch ensemble. The primary difference between this show and performances of decades past was the glow of countless cell phone cameras, all eager to capture a moment of this historic appearance; imagine a group of Latin-style "Dead-Heads," only instead of audio recorders, everyone is fiddling with some type of digital gadget - tweeting and blogging while singing along to the quintessential Latin American troubadour.
I can only imagine how moved he must have felt being in our beautiful Bay Area for the first time, surrounded by a largely 40-and-over multi-cultural (mostly Spanish-speaking) crowd without the slightest hint of "controversy" nor any semblance of negativity. Next he moves on to So Cal (Universal City) and winds up in Orlando (??????). I don't think anything will top Carnegie Hall and the Paramount, but that remains to be seen (and heard). I can only say that this is a tour not to be missed.
Tonight...Pupy y Los Que Son Son at Yoshi's!! The Cubans are certainly back!