Photos: Manu Chao @ The Paramount

The first time I listened to Manu Chao was in a college Spanish class. When the instructor announced that she had brought in some music for us to listen to, I couldn’t help but expect something cheesy and educational, full of simple words and phrases to help solidify and possibly expand our tiny Spanish vocabularies. Turns out, our teacher was way cooler than we thought – and we listened to Manu Chao’s “Me Gustas Tu” a few times through. It was one of the few times that I actually wrote something down in that class and took it home for further research.

So when I heard Manu Chao was coming to town last week, I wasn’t about to pass up an opportunity to go. Much like my college Spanish instructor, Manu Chao’s performance exceeded my (already grand) expectations of what his show would be. For someone nearing the age of 50, Chao carries a great deal of energy on the stage, dancing and laughing at any given moment in the show. With a triple-encore, the show was nearly three hours long. I couldn’t help smiling nearly the entire time, especially when the band threw things back in to Chao’s early days of punk rock and picked up the pace on a few songs. Manu Chao’s history is filled with great, unique musical endeavors and that really comes through in his current music. If you didn’t catch him this time around, make sure you do next time. And get your tickets early, because based on the crowd this time around, there’s a good chance it’ll sell out next time.

Manu Chao

Manu Chao

Manu Chao

Manu Chao

Manu Chao

Manu Chao

Manu Chao

Manu Chao

Manu Chao

Manu Chao

Manu Chao

Manu Chao

Manu Chao

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