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SpanishEnglishConcert reports - Buena Fe @Latinoamericando
The Road to Milan
I have been a fan of Buena Fe since 2002 when I stumbled across the video for their first hit "No juegues con mi soledad" while searching the internet for timba videos. The song impressed me so much that I bought the CD "Déjame entrar", and that CD impressed me so much that I have bought every CD since then as well as their Live DVD. So you could say I'm a fan, but being a timbera y repartera (so I'm told) I really didn't have any contact with the trova-pop-rock world until this year when a friend told me about Buena Fe's official Facebook page . This is the best site I've seen by any Cuban group! They update several times a week including concert dates, photos and videos. So when they announced that they were confirmed to play at the Latinoamericando festival in Milan on August 18th, I made vacation plans.
Sometimes fate smiles upon us, and due to the inconvenient Ryanair schedule from Stockholm to Milan, I ended up having to buy a ticket to come down on Friday the 17th. El Duo, Yoel and Israel, were in Spain the 16th and 17th doing concerts with Andrés Suárez , but as it turns out, the band arrived in Milan on Friday, and as luck would have it I ended up at the same hotel as Buena Fe.
When I arrived at 10:00 pm Friday night I saw Ernesto Cisneros (piano) and Dairon Rodríguez (electric guitar) sitting in the lobby taking advantage of the wifi. I spent the next few hours talking with creative director Gabriel Dávalos and with Dairon. I checked out Gabriel's awesome and very heavy new camera and had to laugh at Dairon's story about how he was really hungry because at dinner he tried to get half of his pizza to go, but the waiter threw half of it away instead. Apparently Spanish and Italian aren't as similar languages as one might hope.
Saturday morning we all ate breakfast together and then commenced hanging out waiting for the soundcheck. No one knew exactly what time Israel and Yoel would arrive, and the musicians had been told that the soundcheck would be early, around lunch time. So rather than going into town for tourism and a photo shoot, we just hung out wifying, talking and taking a coffee at the pizzaria across the street. This afforded me a great opportunity to get to know the guys off stage. So what can I tell you about the Buena Fe crew, or Los Buenos as I like to call them? They are laid-back, interesting, intelligent, funny, considerate and thoughtful guys. In short they were wonderful, and I really enjoyed spending time with them.
The Soundcheck and Backstage
Bakesteich con Los Buenos
Finally at about 3:15 pm we were told that El Duo had arrived and that we would leave for the soundcheck at 4:00 pm. So I went to my room, threw my new HD video camera and my new Rode stereo microphone in my purse, but forgot to bring the battery. I know what you're thinking, but that's just the kind of stuff I do.
Latinoamericando is such a professionally run festival that it is a pleasure to work with them. The band was very happy with the way the soundcheck was handled and everything went smoothly and according to schedule. Yoel and Israel didn't go to the soundcheck. I suppose they needed to rest and shower after the trip from Spain. So Dairon did the check for the singers' mics and also for Yoel's acoustic guitar. At one point he started singing one of his own ballads and Cisneros took the opportunity to have a little fun with him. Gabriel captured it all on film in the video below.
Then it was back to the hotel to shower and change clothes and then back to the festival for dinner. I finally met Israel and Yoel and I think I said nothing more than "Hi". Well what can I say? I'm shy sometimes. After dinner there we had 2 hours before the show started so Los Buenos found ways to entertain themselves again. Dairon and Cisneros did a special version of "Lágrimas negras" and Israel and Yoel did a short interview just before the show. Click the video below for a little montage from backstage - or in the spirit of "Pleiesteichon" - Bakesteich, as I like to call it.
Bakesteich video montage
For more photos from the soundcheck and backstage before the show, click here.