Monday Smiles – 8/6/2012
Today’s Monday Smiles begins with a one question pop-quiz. Fear not, testophobes … it’s for fun only and not a prerequisite for further reading.
Would it help if I tossed in a hint? Luna Negra. No?
Well, last night, Muri and I saw Ottmar Liebert and Luna Negra in a venue where at least half the people didn’t know either … and 10% were to drunk to care. Ottmar Liebert is, of course, a German born guitarist known best for his nouveau flamenco sound and his double platinum album of the same name, Nouveau Flamenco. Luna Negra is his band. The venue was The Hanger at the Orange County Fair. When my friend, Sharon, emailed me that Liebert was going to be there … and that the tickets were really cheap … my first reaction was, What a strange act for the fair. My second, after I’d purchased tickets for $15 … which included admission to the fair … was whether I’d be able to enjoy an acoustic guitarist in The Hangar. After all, I can be a pain in the ass about noisy audiences. The Hanger turned out to be a very nice facility with no bad seats, an excellent sound system, and a large screen that showed the performers during the show. Even though the back of The Hanger is open to the fair midway, the sound system was good enough to overcome the background noise.
The audience? I’d say it was 50% gray-hairs who would have passed my pop-quiz, 40% people who thought fair admission and and a concert was too good a deal to miss (whoever the hell Omar Lieberman is) and 10% who were there to get wasted on $10 Bud Lights. Shortly before the show, a family out of Jersey Shores sat right behind us, loudly making sure everyone knew they’d arrived. They quieted down some when Muri read them the riot act, and fortunately, their attention spans were as small as their IQs. They left about 20 minutes in to the show.
The music? It’s flamenco. Of course I loved it … I have a Spanish soul (in spite of having no Spanish ancestry). One of the things I enjoy about watching classical and flamenco guitarists their playing style and the large screen provided plenty of close-ups. Liebert plays beautifully, whether he’s playing lead or rhythm to Luna Negra’s bass or cornet, and it’s a no-BS style with no unnecessary flourishes or showing off. All in all, Ottmar Liebert at the fair was a surprisingly good night. As a bonus, we got to walk around the crafts exhibits, have dinner with friends and visit the fair animals, including the Budweiser Clydesdales. Those are very large horses. For those of you who failed my pop-quiz … and for those of you that didn’t … here’s Ottmar Liebert and Luna Negra playing Barcelona Nights.
It’s Monday … my Spanish soul is smiling.