Charlotte – Live review: Manu Chao

Posted by Jeff Hahne on Thu, Sep 8, 2011

Manu Chao La Ventura
The Fillmore Charlotte
Sept. 7, 2011

Review by Patrick Moran
Photos by Jeff Hahne


The electricity coursing through the 1,000-strong crowd at the Fillmore Charlotte Wednesday night was intense long before Manu Chao’s touring band hit the stage with a propulsive and swinging beat. When the man himself appeared behind the drum riser, the cone of energy rocked the roof and seemed to rattle the Fillmore’s signature chandeliers. Strumming an acoustic guitar, backed by a nimble and powerful trio on bass, guitar and drums, Chao scarcely stood still during the band’s nearly two-hour stew of Latin, reggae, folk, punk, hard rock and psychedelia.

International superstar, godfather of Latin alternative, strolling minstrel and effortless internationalist, Chao sang in a mix of of Spanish, French and English, leading the crowd in catchy choruses that resembled football cheers and long-remembered folk songs. Feeding off the crowd’s energy, Chao and his band upped the ante and fed it right back to the dance floor. Mexican and Brazilian flags unfurled amid outbursts of crowd surfing. Songs that began with folksy strumming suddenly surged into hard rock squall before settling back into loping island rhythms.

And the songs are killer. Voicing concerns with social justice, the dignity of man and the simple joy of living, compositions like “Rainin’ In Paradize”, “Politic Kills”, “Clandestino” and “Welcome to Tijuana” alternately cradled and rocked the house. Interspersed with “Radio Bemba” backtalk and quirky sound effects, songs flowed effortlessly into each other like the coolest, most organic radio station on the planet. Indeed, an extended workout of “La Primavera” morphed into a rapidly rapped “Bongo Bong”, a song that stretches back to the 1990′s and Chao’s seminal Latin alt band Mano Negra.

The pace would be relentless if it wasn’t so joyous. Amid shout-outs to “Sexo Marijuana!”, the fun was contagious. While the attack and drive of Manu’s crew packed the power of punk, it dispensed with punk’s frequent angst and underlying darkness. Along with sing-alongs and shout outs, Chao employed effective bits of stage business like pounding the mic into his bare chest to simulate a heartbeat. But his stagecraft never seemed calculated. During the evening’s more frenetic moments, Chao looked as caught up in the whirlwind as the rest of us, gazing wondrously up into the vortex.

A charismatic and down to earth front man like Joe Strummer or Bruce Springsteen, Chao is rightfully considered everywhere outside the U.S. as a populist figure on par with Bob Marley. As Wednesday night’s performance showed, he is also part shaman, leading the audience in a joyous invocation, a shared celebration of living, where every participant is as important as the musicians onstage.

N’hésitez pas à télécharger le player flash pour profiter de cette experience multimedia…

Merci de remplir tous les champs

  1. FAB - 



    you forgot the french flag!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. QUEENIE - 

    buenas yo soy carla y busco al padre de mi abuela, ella se llama ilda mirta poterra, hija de maria cristina portero,vivimos en san rafael,mza-argentina, y su padre se llama CLIMACO SOSA. este tendria alrededor de 85 af1os, y hacen al rededor de 65 af1os vivio en alvear-mza. se sabe tambien que trabajo en IPF en esa localidad y si los datos q encontre son correctos actualmente astaria viviendo en chubut. el problema esque no se en que parte, tampoco si esta vivo o no y seria de mucha ayuda si alguien sabe como ubicar esta presona o arme algun dato de como ubicar personas se los agradeceria contestar dejando el comentario en esta pagina.desde ya muchas gracias.

  4. GONUL - 

    1 bird is easy. Shoot over the top of the 1st pile and split just after you pass it. Hit it right, and the 2 verical brciks on the left of the second pile tip left and take out the 1st pile.