I was still sick - I missed Revé at Miramar last night but there was no way I was going to miss Pupy’s last matinee before their Canada tour. I finally tracked down some iodine for my throat, and could tie in the pick up with the gig, as I had to go to 36, not so far from Casa de la Musica.
The place was pretty busy, as I had thought it would be, with Havana filling up with visitors for Cubadisco, and there were a few musos in the audience too.
The set was more or less as it had been at the previous gigs, although the energy levels were higher from La Machucadera’s opening, with people hitting the dance floor immediately. They ramped up even further during La fiera, when Mandy’s fellow Los Ases singer Tirso (in the same clothes from yesterday) hit the stage for some guias, and was quickly followed by Alexander Abreu, who did a beautiful trumpet solo that gave me goosebumps. After that Pupy left the stage for a little while and a hyper Tirso took over on piano.
The place was jumping; the aircon was failing; but my grippa could not contain me (I’ll pay for it later, no doubt, iodine or no iodine). There was a great vibe too: a totally dickhead-free zone.
Later on Angél Bonne joined them during Calla calla. (Regrettably I will not get to see Angél play this trip as his next gig is three days after I leave.)
The closer was the full version of Timba a pogolotti (often, they start after the cuerpo, and just vamp to the end). It was about 8.45 and I saw Jindra, Pupy’s daughter and manager, standing at the back of the stage, and telling Pupy in gestures and mimes, that he could go a bit longer. Suddenly Pepito was sitting comfortably at the side of the stage, and Mandy and Tirso were going head to head in the centre.
I’d love to tell you I understood everything that they said, but sadly I did not. And I had already been told once to quit filming so I can’t show you either. Needless to say, it was the classic battle of the cantantes - the crowd stopped dancing, and gathered at the foot of the stage to watch and listen; the musos were laughing; Mandy and Tirso were attacking. The fluoro lights came on and still they battled - Tirso would not be stopped - even physically pushing Mandy’s mic away from his mouth so he couldn’t be heard (I’m sure he should have got a red card for that). I turned to Alexander and said, Tirso is never going to shut up. He said: Nunca.
But it had to end. Pupy just stopped playing; so did Osiris. I guess that’s one way to bring the concert to a close: just stop the music.
This was possibly the hottest gig (in all senses of the word) so far this trip.
Canada: now it’s your turn: ¡A gozar!