Review of Rubén Blades’ National Tour
The Ruben Blades concert at Oakland’s Paramount Theatre on Saturday, November 20th was sensational! The anticipation of the packed intergenerational crowd to his first visit In 18 years was at a high peak.
Blades wowed the audience with a stunning performance backed by bassist Roberto Delgado’s dynamic Big Band.
Ruben’s powerful voice was as crystal clear as when he started his career with Ray Barretto back in 1974.
Latin Grammy for Salswing!
His set list was a retrospective into his vast and deep repertoire that included his big hits, crowd favorites, esoteric song choices and selections from his Latin Grammy award winning album Salswing!
The musicianship that accompanied Blades was top notch as Roberto Delgado’s crack band were tight, explosive and swinging!
The visuals projected on the huge screen above Ruben were imaginative displaying photo tributes to Hector Lavoe as well as to recently deceased Latin music giants and clever animation that was the backdrop for songs.
This was a triumphant return to the SF Bay Area for Blades who last played a concert here in 2003 at Roccapulco.
He performed for 2 hours and 40 minutes to the delight of the massive crowd. What a show!!
BY LUIS MEDINA, PRODUCER AND HOST OF CON SABOR ON KPFA 94.1 FM AND SABIDURIA CON TUMBAO ON WORLD SALSA RADIO.COM