Saturday, August 04, 2007

Holiday Report: Jarabe de Palo, Daddy Yankee

We're back! And yes, even on holiday we're soaking ourselves in latin music. Spending that holiday in Spain or Mexico helps a lot of course ;) Here's what we've been up to.

Járabe De Palo plays a home match in Castejón de Sos
Jarabe de Palo Adelantando Gira Concierto Concert Tour Castejon de Sos
Chapín saw Járabe de Palo perform in their home area in Spain, a unique concert for both the band and the locals. You might know Járabe de Palo of (international) hits like "Bonito" and "La Flaca", and they've just released their 6th album Adelantando, with "Olé" as first single.

Castejón de Sos is a tiny mountain village in Alta Ribagorza, the region where lead singer Pau Donés lived for most of his life. And with tiny, I mean tiny: the 1000 attendees momentarily tripled the usual population of Castejón. As it was raining most of the day, many feared the (open air) concert would be canceled; in addition, Castejón is reached only by treacherous mountain passes not suited for tour buses and trucks loaded with speakers and instruments. So the greater was the relief when eventually the group entered the stage (which was moved indoors) to kick off this special concert.

I always thought JdP songs suffered from being too radio-friendly and too much the same (compare "Bonito" and "Olé" above). But the mere enthousiasm of Donés and his band, together with funkier arrangements, lifted this concert way above the quality of the CDs. The band seemed to know exactly where the songs needed to be spiced up (or mellowed down) to work on stage, even the songs I hadn't heard before sounded like latin pop classics. Guitarist Jordi Mena deserves a special mention, his impressive solos rocked the show. Also, the chemistry between Pau and his audience was extraordinary. He made fun of his friends, talked about his growing up in the region - all in the local Aragonese dialect - and got the audience on his hand from the first minute. The big hits were sung along word for word, and a bis round with "La Flaca" made the place go completely wild. A unique concert indeed! I still blame myself for not having a digital camera around...

(More dates for the Adelantando tour at the official JdP site.)

El Guïri meets Daddy Yankee
Daddy Yankee Loves La Onda Tropical
El Guïri had the luck to interview film writer Guillermo Arriaga (of Amores Perros, 21 Grams and Babel) at a Mexican TV show. And backstage he bumped into none other than Daddy Yankee! Yankee said he's a long time fan of La Onda and checks back here every week, but he's a little shy to comment online. He didn't have time for an interview, but of course we could call him 'anytime' for VIP concert tickets and stuff like that.

(Or maybe that's not true, and all we got was the lousy quality picture above! ;) The white guy on the right is El Guïri himself, if you hadn't guessed.)