Friday, July 11, 2003

Fito, Fito

A-lle...alle, alle, alle...Fi-toooo, Fi-toooo...A-lle, alle, alle, alle...Fi-toooo, Fi-toooo...
The chant forced itself throughout the 300-strong crowd, gaining momentum as the majority-Argentines surrendered to the passion of a piano-playing rock legend from the homeland. It was a Wednesday, typical New York night, and Fito Pae'z was playing SOB's.
I had not heard of this cultural icon before my evening with a co-worker and her father; her four friends - all Latin Americans - knew, though, as their lips shadowed the Spanish words spitting from Fito's microphone. The crowd, too, transported themselves beyond the streets of Manhattan into the leafy avenues of Buenos Aires, with the magnetic Fito in all-red suit (and bright red lace-ups to boot) pounding away on the keyboards and performing his time-honored repertoire known to all by rote. Even as it was discovered that some of the set was culled from the his newer albums, the front row did not stop their-arm lip sync to the stage, regardless of song.
During the encore, I lost myself somewhere in Argentina too, which is not unlike Italy and its exuberance for song and dance. With everyone grooving and letting their arms rise to the beat, I remembered nothing but a smile. Happiness is simple as the chants of a Latin crowd.
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