19/09/11

Chicago – Me gustas tú , Manu Chao

By on September 15, 2011

Photography by Mark Hetzel

An electrifying energy was felt on Tuesday at Congress Theater. The reason? Franco-Spanish world musician Manu Chao performed in Chicago as part of his US Tour titled “La Ventura”. “La Ventura” has several meanings in Spanish. It could mean happiness, luck, fortune, risk or danger. The combination of all these meanings sums up very well what many felt at Manu’s concert: an overwhelming feeling of happiness for having the good fortune of being there at the risk of ending up hyperventilated after 2 hours of non-stop jumping and screaming. It was a dangerous but very lucky affair being at the Congress last night.

The house was full for Manu, and the crowd that came to see him was – like his lyrics – diverse and multilingual.  A big Mexican flag dominated the sea of people located in front of the stage, which was acknowledged by the singer in multiple occasions by screaming “Viva la Raza!”( which literally means “long live the race,” a phrase used mostly by Mexicans to show pride in their race).  But not only Mexicans attended the concert . The place was packed with people from Central and South America, Europe, and of course, the United States. This was a very receptive audience who got turned on very easily by anything that Manu played, which was a continuous output of reggae and ska rhythms. The connection between the singer and the crowd was intensely ecstatic, and together they created an unforgettable show of pure raw energy.

Wearing his trademark green hat, Manu faced the audience “descamisado” (shirtless), maybe because he knew it was going to get really hot or maybe because he was subliminally expressing his identification with the poor and underprivileged which are the theme of many of his songs such as “Clandestino”. The stage also followed this theme: it did not have big screens, special props or flashing lights. It was very simple, showing just Manu, his band members, and the musical instruments. But he did not need anything else to turn the crowd into its frenetic state.

Manu was a passionate performer throughout the two hours of his show, pounding the mic against his bare chest, making monkey noises, screaming “You are crazy Chicago!” and letting fans get on the stage with him. The audience became a mirror of the man. One local musician mentioned that before coming to the show he had felt depressed, but after attending the concert he felt pumped up and ready to roll. Another audience member said that “the show felt like it was always ending,” because on four occasions the band left the stage only to return and do encores, making the crowd go crazier and only deepen its euphoric trance.

Manu Chao’s concert in Chicago proved to be entertaining and highly energetic. It also showed that  there is no need to have an expensive production to  have a successful concert. Instead, it is important to know how to connect with the audience. And Manu certainly knows how to do it. He made the audience  feel as an active participant of the show: he was the lead singer and them his back-up singers and dancers. He made them love him. As his song goes, everyone who attended this concert can joyfully say:  Me gustas tu, Manu Chao!


Merci de remplir tous les champs




  1. ELLIOT MORALES - 

    Ven a Guatemala por favor, Guatemala necesita tu música.

  2. CAROLLINE CABRERA - 

    Faça um show no Brasil,por favor.

  3. EVELYN SáNCHEZ - 

    Cuando vienes a Ecuador Manu? Xfa date una vueltita por aca que hace falta buena musica con sentimiento y sentido pa el pueblo!

  4. BARBARA OLAYA - 

    Manu ven a México te necesitamos tu música
    en estos momentos de conflicto social x favvvv

  5. DAVID LOZANO - 

    Oye Manu! Ven a Puerto Rico, por favor!!
    Que Puerto Rico sea tu próxima estación :)

  6. JUAN ORTEGA - 

    PARA TODOS LOS CLANDESTINOS QUE VIVIMOS EN AMERICA DEL NORTE . DF MEXICO Y CHICAGO NOSE ME OLVIDARAN

  7. FACUNDO POMPONIO - 

    Cuando vienes para la argentina!!!!! te necesitamosssssssssssssss!!!!!

  8. ? - 

    Here i am

  9. E - 

    Euskal Herriran zure zain gaude!!

  10. CLANDESTINO - 

    manuu argentina te espera con los brazos abiertos!! que alegria que este gam de nuevo :D

  11. JAVIER - 

    LOS ESTUDIANTES DE CHILE NECESITAN DEL APOYO INTERNACIONAL. FUERZA SOBRE TODOS A LOS QUE ESTAN EN HUELGA DE HANBRE LICEO DARIO SALAS, A RESISTIR LA VICTORIA VA A LLEGAR…POR UNA EDUCACUIN DIGNA Y SIN LUCRO

  12. JAVIER - 

    Clandestino »

    Solo voy con mi pena
    Sola va mi condena
    Correr es mi destino
    Para burlar la ley
    Perdido en el corazón
    De la grande Babylon
    Me dicen el clandestino
    Por no llevar papel

    Pa’ una ciudad del norte
    Yo me fui a trabajar
    Mi vida la dejé
    Entre Ceuta y Gibraltar
    Soy una raya en el mar
    Fantasma en la ciudad
    Mi vida va prohibida
    Dice la autoridad

    Solo voy con mi pena
    Sola va mi condena
    Correr es mi destino
    Por no llevar papel
    Perdido en el corazón
    De la grande Babylon
    Me dicen el clandestino

    Yo soy el quiebra ley
    Mano Negra clandestina
    Peruano clandestino
    Africano clandestino
    Marijuana ilegal

    Solo voy con mi pena
    Sola va mi condena
    Correr es mi destino
    Para burlar la ley
    Perdido en el corazón
    De la grande Babylon
    Me dicen el clandestino
    por no llevar papel

    Argelino, clandestino
    Nigeriano clandestino
    Boliviano clandestino
    mano negra illegal

  13. BEA - 

    Manu :) Madrid te necesita

  14. RULANDú AVUNDANú - 

    manu!! hermano. s’ il vous plait !!! te esperamos en el estado de puebla, méxico!!! m{exico te quiere y te extraña!!!

  15. KRISTA EVENSEN - 

    El mejor concierto de mi vida, muchísimas gracias por visitarnos aquí en Chicago y también por todo que hagas–especialmente por tu presencia en Arizona!! Hay bastantes de nosostros americanos quien también están contra de esa ley. Espero que no vemos otra vez en los EEUU, te quieremos, manu! Please keep Chicago in your heart, we hope to see you again!!

  16. KRISTA EVENSEN - 

    ***Espero que NOS vemos jaja!!

  17. LU MARISKL - 

    Manuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu ven a Tijuana porfavor!! no nos olvides!

  18. ULYNTSEVA SVETLANA YUGOSLAVNA BORISOVNA - 

    Есть справедливость без честности,воины без песни и есть певц ManuChao– справедливый борец с гитарой честной,певец который собирает не толпы зевак , а борцов ,собирает любовь,собирает музыку для оправдания и защиты нищих!Его , открытое сердце прокладывает путь радости и общения для тех, кто у дороги смешивает голод,пыль и слезы и чувсто унижения

  19. DIANUS - 

    En Bolivia stamos locos x sentir su musica!!!!! Vengan!!! ;)

  20. ALFREUD - 

    Manu, vienes a Ecuador en marzo!!!!! Por favor no vengas auspiciado por el terrible gobierno que tenemos. tu música que no sea una prostituta más de las que tenemos en el país. que tu música siga siendo libre y no te olvides que todos siguen siendo politik kills!!!

  21. ALFREUD - 

    En Ecuador estás en Marzo!!!! que no te auspicie el gobierno por favor!!! No te prostituyas ni vendas tu música a los politik kills de este país!!!1

  22. MIGUEL - 

    porque? no viene a mexico manu