Friday, August 24, 2012

Gipsy Kings Rule

Gipsy Kings Rule
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
August 24, 2012

In any language, the Gipsy Kings reign supreme!

For the fourth time attending their live performance this seemed the best of the bunch. Having seen the band, composed of two sets of brothers, formed in 1987, perform in Bethedsa, MD and at Wolf Trap in Vienna, VA in both the late 1990s and mid-2000s, the Gipsy Kings have not lost a step.

Lead vocalist and guitarist Nicolas Reyes is certainly grayer than when seen last, but he along with the other 10 members of the band were full of vim, vigor, energy and excitement playing before an equally energetic audience at the Palladium in Carmel, IN, on Thursday, August 23.

From the first note the crowd of more than 900 cheered, applauded, clapped, and tapped to the spirited sounds emanating from the guitars, bongos, traditional percussion and keyboard – highlighted by the guitars and bongos, as is their tradition, playing old favorites and new favorites.

The Gipsy Kings style “rumba Gitano – the sound of South America’s rumba rhythm married to flamenco guitars,” has been wowing audiences globally since before they became known as the Gipsy Kings, dating back to the 1970s. (Applause, Palladium program July-September, 2012)

The energy and enthusiasm of the band played to that of the audience, wowing the crowd with their Portuguese “Samba.” Old favorites “Un Amor” and “Djobi Djoba” were solid, but is was “A Mi Manera” (My Way) that was particularly moving. While Sinatra will always be the best, the Gipsy Kings’ version is top flight and concluded with a spirited flourish that brought the already charged up audience to its feet.

The Gipsy Kings earned several standing ovations, in addition to the songs where the enthralled audience simply stood from start to finish, at times, taking to the aisles for some bailando (dancing) – especially during “Volare,” which concluded the concert.

But wait; there was no “Bambolero.” How could that be? With little encouragement required, but plenty on hand, the Gipsy Kings returned to the stage for a roaring version of their signature song that put them en la mapa, complete with a singing crowd and a light show.


Sanford D. Horn is a writer and educator living in Westfield, IN.

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