Saturday, March 14, 2009

A Concert

What happens when an opportunity that seems fun and is free arises? You go, of course. Tracey told me on Wednesday that Edit (Berti's girlfriend who has quickly become our friend) sent her a text inviting us to a free salsa concert on Thursday night. Although, I hate staying out late on a school night, it seemed like something I wouldn't want to miss. Thursday night, Tracey, Sarah and I walked over to meet Berti, Edit and Florian. We asked Edit for more concert details. She said that the tickets were distributed from Eagle Mobile, which is the second cell phone company here, and were in celebration of their first year anniversary. The music was supposed to be like "gypsy" music. We ALL were confused by this explanation (Edit heard the information from her cousin). Sarah had had a conversation with an older fellow last week about music. She asked, "Edit, is this going to be like turbo folk?" I looked at Sarah and said, "Turbo folk? What on earth is that?" Sarah said, "Ilir told me that it's taking everything that's bad about music and mixing it together." We laughed at Sarah's explanation and began our short walk to the concert.

Eagle Mobile was handing out yellow long stem roses. There were people there of all ages. I saw two parents of a student (who told me that their daughter cried herself to sleep while I was away last week... that was touching!). We found our seats, which were in the nose bleed section. The first singer to come on was an Albanian girl who was one of the European finalists for European Idol. That girl had a strong set of lungs and was some what enjoyable. Tracey pointed out that the performer had practically no stage presence. Maybe that will come with maturity.

The second act was a man, who I assumed was Turkish, who came up in a white suit. Need I say more. The music started (which was canned) and we had our first taste of turbo folk. It is really difficult to explain. It's like eastern European folk meets east Indian Bollywood (I know I didn't spell that correctly) meets techno/disco. Eeek. The man himself was scary. He said in English, "Give me all your energy, Tirana!" I really don't think Tirana is ready for turbo folk. The little kids in the audience seemed to like him. He really worked them. He literally pulled one little girl (2 or 3 years old) up on stage with him. I kept thinking, as he was saying to her in a creepy voice, "I like you," watch out Michael Jackson, here's someone who could give you a run for your money.

The final act (that we were there for) was a "band." They still had the techno beat in the background, but had a fiddler, a guitarist, and then some strange folk looking instrument that looked like a standing dulcimer. The leader had a tambourine. There were two women who were doing the vocals. This group came from Italy. Sarah and I simultaneously asked, "What is tambourine man on???" He was hopping all over the stage like a mad man, attempting to dance. I liked the fiddler the best, but "like" is a relative term. Finally, Berti looked over at us and said, "Let's go." Thank God! We all walked out and exploded into laughter. What a night. Beware of free.

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