Gig: Gabriel Gratzer and BoPoMoFo at Riverside
with special guests Dave Chen, TC Lin, and Sandy Murray
As I mentioned earlier, I didn't make it to this show, but I thought I would offer a brief review of it anyway. I'm sure such a thing has been done before.
(By the way, Dave did go to the show, and later wrote me a very brief description of what happened, so don't think my review is 100% made up. At least 1% has some connection to the real McCoy.)
BPMF opened the show at 9:30. The place was packed. The usual hipsters from Taiwan University were there, since Riverside is so near campus, and everyone knows NTU students greatly appreciate live music. Between each song, the audience rose to its feet en masse and lustily applauded the performers. Several women rushed the stage and sexually assaulted both DC and Akie before being shown back to their seats by DC's wife, Linda, who was working security for the show.
Each song BPMF played was better than the last, and the heights of musical ecstasy were reached on stage. People were sobbing, tearing at their clothes, tattooing themselves, slapping and pinching at themselves to make sure they weren't asleep, and the audience seemed to be enjoying themselves as well. But no one was asleep; the magic of the evening was a fire that could not be extinguished. At one point, when the music was too hot to handle without oven mitts, the sprinkers even came on, dousing everyone assembled, but it did nothing to lessen the fervor of the music.
During the short intermission before Gabriel came on stage, the staff at Riverside handed out towels to everyone so they could wipe the music goo off. Those members of the audience who had been at Blues Bash 2 commented on how pleasent it was not to be verbally assaulted by that jerky male emcee in a schoolgirl's outfit.
When Gabriel did come on stage, about 11 P.M., he was duded out in the same grey suit, cowboy hat, and gaucho boots that he wore when performing at BB2. It would not surprise me if every blues musician in Taipei starts wearing a similar outfit, such was the audience response to his fine threads. To get a better idea of this man's fashion sense, check out his website at www.gabrielgratzer.com.ar and see for yourself.
Unlike at his BB2 show, Gabriel played an electric guitar, and wowed the audience with this accomplished playing style. Not only is the man a consumate performer, he is an able improviser as well, making up songs off the top of his head several times throughout the show. Who knew that so many things could be made to rhyme with Buenos Aires?
Ater about an hour of non-stop blues, Gabriel moved out into the audience, among the people, and asked Dave to join him for two songs. In the immortal words of Dave, "I did two songs with him acoustic." Dave and Gabriel were the Blues Brothers of the evening, and while it wasn't clear who was Jake and who Elwood, these two bluesmen proved once again that the blues is an international sound.
BPMF joined Gabriel for the last few songs, and they even made room on stage for TC and Sandy during the last two. Apparently, Gabriel was so moved by the sound of the brass twins that he invited them both to move to Buenos Aires and become members of his posse full time. TC begged off, saying that he needed to concentrate on finishing his movie first, but someone saw Sandy on the phone later asking Jojo if she had ever wanted to learn Spanish.
The evening finished up at about 12:30, but no one was ready to leave. The staff at Riverside were forced to turn on the sprinklers again and even threatened to have the nutty guy in the the schoolgirl's outfit drop by and regale the audience with stories about his time in an ashram in India. That got everyone moving toward the door.
All in all, it was an unmatched evening of music. Blues fans in Taiwan, most of whom I am sure had never heard of Gabriel Gratzer before, had learned that blues is not just about the Delta, or Chicago, or even Shi-ta road; it is a music that spans the globe. We all look forward to the next night of blues, and we take our cowboy hats off to DC Rapier for bringing Gabriel to our island paradise.