Friday, September 19, 2008
Knight Concert Hall, Miami
Better Than: Listening to one of those “Rock en Español” anthology CDs.
This being my fifth time seeing Fito Paez live, my expectations were very high. Not only had it been about five years since the last time I saw him, but Knight Concert Hall at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in downtown finally felt a worthy place for him to perform at. Even after seeing play at some small locals clubs, Bayfront Park, The Fillmore, the 2,200-seat concert hall strangely made his performance feel a bit more intimate.
As the lights dimmed down and Fito took a seat at the piano, I instantly recognize the first few bars of “Tumbas de la Gloria” from his 1992 album El Amor Despues Del Amor and couldn’t help not thinking about the long carreer Paez has enjoyed. Most of the people around me were in their 30's or 40's, but surprisingly there were kids and teenagers singing along as well.
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Prior to the event, I heard rumors about the possibility of special guests joining him on stage, which turned out to be true. His first guest was Argentine R&B singer Emme. Her voice complemented his well, singing two more of his classics, then introducing her to the audience and joking in between songs. It definitely felt like he was already comfortable on stage and interacting with the crowd. As he started telling a story about one of his songs, of a girl and an exorcism in Villaguay, I already knew what song he was talking about, “Las Tardes del Sol, Las Noches del Agua” and with that he introduced his next guest Mario Domm of Mexican pop trio Camila. But unlike Emme, Domm seemed a bit awkward on stage, his voice wasn't bad but just wasn’t the one for this song.
Hits, classics and guest just kept coming all night long. Miami’s own Javier Garcia and super pop star Alejandro Sanz also joined him. They didn't disappoint, but as a big Fito fan I felt it unnecessary to have pop artists sing his songs. He is the kind of musician that could fill up an enitre stage with only his presence, a piano and his legendary body of work.
This rare concert is sure to be remembered and cherished for a long time by lucky fans who were present, since this so far has been his only U.S. appearance this year.
-- Alex Izaguirre