Tuesday, July 27, 2010

As the world turns

Last night we went to a Rhumba concert at the summer festival here in Lyon, France called Les Nuits (Nights) de Fourvière. The aura of the evening was absolutely surreal. What makes this concert series so unique is that we are sitting on huge slabs of stone in an old Roman amphitheater that was constructed when they founded Lyon in 15 BC. We are up on the hill above the town and there are no city lights here, just the effects from the stage and the full moon above. The moon quickly passed over us and we could see and feel rotation of the earth through space.

Roger chose this night to go because of the 2nd artist in the lineup named Peret, an iconic musician from Catalonia known for his invention of the guitar technique known as ``fanning``.  His latin groove was absolutely infectious and eventhough he didn´t speak more than 3 words of french everyone there was dancing.
Here´s a silly little song of his and the video from the 70s is just great.

We enjoyed his performance so much and didn´t want him to leave the stage for the rest of the night. We were both a little concerned for whoever would have to follow his act.

However the third and final group had no problems holding their own. The lights came back up and four men in wheelchairs and one on crutches came out on stage along with 3 other band members. I was completely surprised and curious not knowing anything beforehand other than the last band performing was from the Congo. As I´m sitting here writing this I am still struggling for the words to adequately describe how electric, energetic and phenomenal they were. The You Tube recordings do not do them any justice because their voices were so unique as well as the unusual instruments one of the members was playing. Plus one of the men in a wheelchair absolutely rocked the guitar. They are on a tour set to go through October and will finish in Tokyo, pretty inspirational for coming from the streets of Africa and being stricken with Polio.

I recommend checking out their CD Tres Tres Fort and reading more about their struggles they fight to make a name for themselves.

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