The Gipsy Kings played last Thursday night at the River Rock’s comfortable and acoustically-pleasing theatre.
Playing to a packed house, the 10 musicians rocked into the night with finger-plucking genius, percussive impressiveness and talented vocals. It was obvious that most of the audience was familiar with their repertoire, as each song was greeted by boisterous cheers and smiling faces all around.
Crowd favourites like “Bamboleo” and “Volaré” had everyone dancing and shouting their approval. The band played cohesively and furiously, relishing in and enjoying their performance. The guitars, drums, keyboards, voices and percussion all melded together to transmit a contagious fervour through the audience.
Fronted by Nicolas Reyes and Tonito Baliardo, the group played amazing Spanish flamenco-style music, each player accented by another. It’s clear from the way these men play together that they know each other well, and have for some time.
Early into their set, they invited the audience to “allez!” – to get up and dance (as is only fitting for their style of music) – to which the crowd resoundingly responded. By the end of their short 90-minute set, there was no standing room left at the front of the stage, and audience members spilled out onto the stairs.
Though the set was only 90-minutes long, it was a set to be remembered, and had an infectious energy that would carry the audience members throughout the remainder of the evening. Not to be missed, The Gipsy Kings are definitely a band best experienced live.
Written by Susan Holm for Vancity Buzz