Monday, August 24, 2009

Singing in the Eye of Sauron*

Image: Guama

For me, the truth is I would love to go to a six-hour concert with a heap of musicians in this country where boredom and apathy are our daily bread. But I can’t deny that I feel a certain aversion to going to the Eye of Sauron, and it’s not only the Eye, but also what’s around it: The Communist Party Central Committee (behind), the Headquarters of the Interior Ministry (in front) and the Headquarters of the Armed Forces Ministry (on one side). I’m sure that the majority of people there don’t know that this is the setting of what once used to be the Civic Plaza.

I was talking with a friend the other day about the Juanes concert, and he told me that the place actually existed before the Revolution and that therefore it wasn’t necessary to take it so literally with regards to the concert. Even though I agreed that it’s not necessary to take it so literally, to deny that for fifty years the Plaza has had another owner is disingenuous.

I think it would have been healthier if the concert had been in Mordor, where many musicians have come to play before (Manu Chao, Audio Slave, Café Tacuba, Rick Wakeman, Air Supply) and maybe through the power of music a little of the political curse that gave rise to it has been lost (despite the horrible signs of Viva la Revolucion they put all over the podium and which I hope Juanes can get rid of). It could be my paranoia, but I suspect that that no one told the singer that foreign and national musicians who can play in Cuba usually hold their concerts there.

With respect to Porno Para Ricardo playing in the Plaza, I am sincerely in absolute disagreement: first because they are not able to play “El Comandante,” and second because it seems to me very risky for any member of the band to put one foot on such a site.

The only thing I can assure you is that if there is a concert on September 20th and if they let me come to the Plaza I will post my amateur report with photos on this blog.

* The Eye of Sauron: Nickname given to the Plaza of the Revolution, I believe the origin is the radio antenna illuminated with a red light on the tip of the tower.
Mordor: Nickname of the Anti-Imperialist Grandstand, also known as the “Protestodrome”.

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