Last week, I took my nephew down to the Schermerhorn Symphony Center to see the Gipsy Kings, a band from the gypsy settlements in the south of France that specializes in “rumba flamenca” music. I am not sure how to describe that, so here is a link to one of their most popular songs. I first encountered them while watching a Pierce Brosnan movie called “The Heist”. As the final credits rolled by, this strangely recognizable song played, and I immediately began to look up more of their stuff.
Anyway, I bought tickets to the show and thought this would be a good way to introduce my nephew to the symphony center and expand his musical horizons. I picked him up at school, and we arrived in downtown in plenty of time for the show. With some time to kill, I took him to Lower Broad and let him look into the honky tonks while it was still daylight and PG enough for him to peer in. Then, we went to the world-famous Ernest Tubb Record Shop where they used to hold the Midnight Jamboree after the Grand Ole Opry. Some of country music’s most famous artists once played throughout the night on the cramped stage by the back wall.
After that brief tour, we went to the symphony center and got a snack. This is a beautiful building with all of the amenities, but the restroom is a little hard to locate. I finally found a handicapped accessible under some stairs. I opened the door as a ravishing brunette walked by. That’s when my nephew informed me that I am supposed to let the toilet finish flushing before opening the door.
We made the way to our seats, which were pretty close to the front, and looked at the program. I had not told my nephew that the Gipsy Kings do not sing in English, but he figured it out while reading.
Nephew: Don’t worry, I’ll translate for you.
Lead Singer (upon hitting the stage): Buenos Noches.
Nephew (Mr. I made a 35 on the ACT, so I think I know everything): That means Good Evening.
Me (incredulous look on my face): I know what it means.
The concert commences, and my nephew continues to translate when they talk. Even he couldn’t translate when they were singing. I’m not sure if it was going too fast for him, or he was too mesmerized by the guitar playing. The Gipsy Kings are wonders with that instrument. Very Latin. Very European. Much like all of the women that were sitting around us. It was not the usual Nashville crowd, at all. What’s the word I am looking for? Exotic. The music and the people who came to listen were exotic. In fact, it was the first time I have ever seen people dancing in the aisles at the symphony center.
After the show, my nephew wanted to go backstage and get autographs. He is an autograph freak, but even I, the great ticket-getter, could not pull that off. Instead, we went to Big River Grille for dinner and were put in the corner. Our waiter resembled Ichabod Crane, and my nephew kept asking me if the people at the next table were Yankees.
After a meal that could have been warmer, I drove him home while he fell asleep. I tried to listen to my iPod without disturbing him because there was a Gipsy Kings song that I wanted to hear but that was not played. I finally found it as we pulled into his driveway.