Concert Review: Fito & Fitipaldis 22nd November – Jerez, Spain

(Stock Photo)

Most of the Demographic that visit this site are from English speaking countries, so they will be quite confused as to why I am reviewing a concert in Spain by a Spanish language band.

It’s simple they play great music, and although they sell well in their native Spain and Latin American countries I thought I would share one of my favourite acts in Spain with our English speaking readers.

Linguistics and geography aside Fito & Fitipaldis formed in 1998 by Adolfo Cabrales as a side project to his heavier “Platero y Tu”. For those not familiar with Spanish, “Fito” is a term of endearment as a shortened version of “Adolfito” which in turn is a shortened version of "Adolfo".  

The band was formed as an outlet to a softer, more classic style as compared to the original band. The bands first three albums sold well but it was the fourth in 2006 titled “Por la Boca Vive el Pez” that took the band into the mainstream charts and much recognition in Spain and Latin America.

In my opinion this is one of the few old school rock bands left producing good honest music in Spain amongst the plethora of auto tuned, x-factored, twerking lookalikes pop acts now in the charts.

Now that we have a bit of background on the band we move onto the concert itself. This was held in a sports hall in the city of Jerez. (World famous for its Sherry wine.)

After waiting for a short while in a lengthy queue we arrived to a standing room only venue, with the support act “Los Zigarros” already in full swing. The backup band played for about 45 mins or so with a lively set of hard rock numbers.

After a short break it was time for the main act, this started with a short animated movie on the main screen depicting a graveyard, followed by the names of the bands albums on cartoon tombstones. Short guitar licks from behind the screens then followed, and the band then appeared on stage rocking out to “Veine y Va”. After a thunderous applause from the crowd the band then went straight into “Por La Boca Vive el Pez” their biggest hit and definitely a crowd pleaser.  In total they played 16 tracks in their main set, covering many styles from Rock n Roll, to Blues, and Latin Jazz influenced numbers as well.

Five new tracks from their new album “Huyendo Conmigo de Ti” were also played; this album was only released several weeks before the tour and amazingly the crowd new the lyrics to these new songs. My favourite so far is “Parajos Disecados” a mid tempo number with many a nod to Dire Straits with its clean melodious guitar solos and picking rhythmic guitar.

Two encores, with two songs each were also performed to the delight of the crowd, with the penultimate song being “La Casa Por el Tejado” my favourite from the bands discography.

Moving on to equipment as I had mentioned previously, Fito & Fitipaldis is a classic rock n roll band and it reflects in their choice of equipment. Hammond Organ, Sunburst Jazz Bass, Pedal Steel, and a collection of vintage or vintage styled guitars to make any aficionados day.

The first one that caught my eye was the blue sparkle Dusenberg Starplayer played by the singer Fito. Great looking and with a fantastic sound. He also used several Strats and Teles. Carlos the lead guitar player also used a beat up Sunburst Strat, a very nice 335 with long trapeze tailpiece, a burgundy Gretsch hollowbody and my favourite a butterscotch Tele with a black guard.

That guitar was smoking hot, especially with the slide work, there is something that a Tele has that no other guitar comes close to for cutting through the mix. It’s just there in your face. Amp wise Carlos had 2 half stacks and two Vox amps most likely AC 30s. Fito had two match white/green amps similar to the Mint Julep Fender Hot Rods in colour and size but unsure which brand these would be.

After the event we went out for some Tapas (Spanish finger food) as Southern Spain is probably one of the few places in the world one can enjoy some hot food and a cold beer at three in the morning and there we ran into Daniel Griffin the drummer who kindly signed my album. Also in the morning at breakfast we managed to chat with Carlos Raya the lead guitarist who also signed my album.

A fantastic concert, I strongly urge gear-reviews readers to check out this great band.

By Ernest H Slade

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