Sunday, May 8, 2011

Enrique Bunbury's El Gran Rex is "Must Add To Music Collection" Release

It was hot. Sticky, sweaty and sweet (weird!), New York stinky-style hot. My arms were tired from holding a video camera most of the day, neck achin' from having to always shoot "up" from the directly in front of the stage angle during one year's LAMC. Ugh. And now, early afternoon on a Friday or Saturday I "had to" shoot the legendary Spanish rock icon who only moments prior had been as rude as one can be when dealing with another human being, let alone someone just trying to promote your music. Blech. I was done. If anything I just wanted to be lost among the crowd. It's summer and I'm in New York, in Central Park. For crying out loud. I just want to enjoy myself, not work. (Tiny violin is heard playing in the background).

Meh. My momentary dream scenario vanished as I was herded along by security, together with a dozen or so other media folks, to the gated area surrounding the front of the stage. I stood in my spot, claiming my space, arms ready to try and maneuver around whatever obstacles would come my way, these being my fellow journalists who would also want that perfect shot of Enrique Bunbury. It's a battleground out there, kids.

We see musicians appear on stage, handling their gear, transitioning into jam mode. Trumpets blare his arrival, and He appears, as regal as the finest peacock strutting its luxuriously fine feathers in a competition for attention. He has it. We're all mesmerized. And yes, as a matter of fact he did have a feather boa hanging off his mic stand. Woah.

The little media circle sways back and forth to his every move. We try not to get in each others way but it's almost impossible. You can't focus too close or you'll be shaky and you can't be so far back you get your fellow camera guy's elbows or heads or what have you. It's hard! Your arms hurt even more because you now have to try and squeeze into weird angles between chests and arm pits and everyone's moving fast and Bunbury's loving every single minute of it and oh you're thinking "Oh wow I hope I got that shot right there where he sucked in his cheeks and looked like a god
' everyone around you was worshiping and bam, your three songs are up. That's it. No you can't get just one more second. You get rushed out of there and put back in your pen. Ha. It all happens so fast. It's an incredible feeling. Breathe.

So I'm standing left of the stage, thankfully able to watch the crowd and the artist. It's strange, but it's fulfilling for me to see someone being able to have that reaction from so many humans at the same time. Your art created this admiration! It's amazing! I mean, as a fan, I know that trance someone like you is able to put me into. At this point, I'm not a fan but I see what your work is doing. I see it and I admire it.

Their was a mild breeze that came in, with a cleansing fresh scent of the green trees all around us and it seemed to blow away the shadows from before. Bunbury's theatrics accompanied by the finest of musicians lulled us into a satellite view of ourselves throbbing red with energy. Enrique's wordless moans of verse had us hypnotized. In a flash I was among those in the crowd. I'd become a fan, even if momentary. His musical power was overwhelming. Those musicians knew his every move, his every mood, every single reaction he'd have to anything at any moment. It was breath-taking to watch.

Since that bittersweet encounter I've followed Enrique Bunbury's career. I've learned his fans are loyal and multiple. His productions are solid. He knows what he's doing.

My second personal encounter occurred by appointment near a hotel lobby by the Chicago River one early weekday afternoon. I was nervous and defiant. If he was going to be rude again, I was ready to react in the same manner. If he was cool, then we'd both have a great time.

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  1. LOVED this post! Bunbury is an incredibly polarizing figure in the Latin-oh music community. I have had many an issue with his off stage antics – in particular stories of diva-like behavior and rude comments made to press but it is a testament to the man’s musical genius that I still seek out and PAY for his music. His music and what he does on stage is incredible. Now excuse me while I go get my copy of Gran Rex.

  2. what did he say to you that was so rude, Sandra?