February 24, 2004

Paco de Lucia @ Warner Theatre

Tonight, I saw Paco de Lucía live at the Warner Theatre. I had never heard of Paco before; the main reason why I was going was that Aref invited me to go as a way of returning the favor of me taking him to see Victor Wooten a while back.

What a revelation this was. According to several write-ups I have seen, Paco is generally considered to be one of the best flamenco style guitarists alive today. I can see why, and I largely feel the fool for not hearing of this guy before now. He plays very cleanly, infused with vibrant passion. Yes, it's fast as all get out, but that's not all that his playing is. One of the more impressive things that he did (well, at least impressive to me) was playing a single note extremely fast (sextuplets at least, maybe even sixty-fourth notes) with each individual note being distinct and clear.

The remainder of the band was comprised of a bass player, a drummer/percussionist, a secondary guitarist, a wind player (sax and flute) and two female vocalists. They all did a good job. Neither the drummer nor the second guitarist got a chance to really cut loose. The other members of the band took a few solos from time to time, each of them performing admirably. Nevertheless, it was still very clearly Paco's show.

The first set of the show varied from Paco playing solo, to having some backing percussion instruments join him, to having the entire band come out (doing handclaps and vocalizing). The second set featured the entire band as a ensemble.

As a side note, this was the first time in a long time that I have been to a show where the encore was not a foregone conclusion. You know, the band walks off stage, but the instruments are still out, the house lights are down, there's absolutely no indication that the show's actually over. This time, the instruments were left out, but the house lights came up and the sound crew at the rear of the venue started to break down some gear. However, the band did come back out and play an encore.

Posted by Casper at February 24, 2004 11:26 PM