Robinson Center Music Hall
We were curious Saturday about how many people would come to the second of back-to back Jose Feliciano concerts with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra at the Robinson Center. By the 8 p.m. curtain, we had our answer: The seats were nearly full, with a responsive crowd that saw the Latin guitar legend at his best.
The ASO, led by assistant conductor Israel Getzov in a celebration of the Mexican holiday Cinco de Mayo, warmed the crowd with pieces spiced with Latin flavor, such as “Hot Buttered Rumba” and “Danzon No. 2.” After an intermission, native Puerto Rican Feliciano appeared, dressed in black pants, white shirt and red vest, and was warmly welcomed.
With his regular conductor, Jimmie Haskell, taking over the orchestra, Feliciano demonstrated why he is one of best guitarists the world over with original pieces like “Fireflight” and “Preludio Azteca.”
“All the people have a hero, and one of my heroes was the guitarist Andres Segovia, who influenced me with the sounds of his guitar,” Feliciano told his fans as he dedicated his and Haskell’s “Segovias” in his hero’s honor. Segovia (1893-1987) is considered to be the father of the modern classical guitar movement.
Feliciano gave the fans a first listen to “I Faced the Music,” a song he has yet to record. He offered an ample repertoire of music and songs, including several sung in Spanish.
The six-time Grammy Award winner also told his fans “do not permit cuts to the music education programs at the public schools.”
The audience applauded Feliciano’s interpretations, particularly of his romantic composition “Nina.”
To conclude the joyous night, Feliciano brought the crowd to its feet with his version of the Doors’ “Light My FIRE.”
— By Enrique Fuentevilla
With songs like “Rats and Rats and Rats for Candy” and “blah,” how could a former snotty-nosed DMZ regular resist checking out the screaming punk-angst of Seattle band the Blood Brothers on Sunday?
I found, however, that I was way, way too old to get in the front for this show, with the crowd near the stage full of so sweet and so young skinny rock singles and couples with their hands pumping skyward defiantly to the excruciating screeching vocals of “blah.” Blood Brothers front man Jordan Blilie had to have tonsils the size of grapefruits after that number.
The music was a combination of pretty tambourine, organ and back-up vocals, but with a lead guy coming across more like a demented Angus Wilson from AC/DC, I shook my head and sipped my dark beer the in back with the rest of the late-20s/early-30s old fogeys, and left with a well-deserved headache.
— By Amy Brawner