Celebrate Brooklyn brought back world music phenomenon Manu Chao to the ever-popular Prospect Park Band Shell Wednesday night for a sold-out show. Rolling through their first few songs, Manu Chao set the stage with what felt like an hour-long trip through the past three decades of punk, reggae, Caribbean, salsa and ska.
As the already caffeinated band rolled through chunks of Clandestino and PrÃ³xima EstaciÃ³n: Esperanza, the intensity of an already vamped crowd further escalated – arms flailing, fists pumping, and bodies jumping. And while the band was tasked with jamming a fraction of their already extensive catalog into an hour and 75-cent set, Manu Chao didn’t pass up an opportunity to say a few words about the current state of affairs and to rock the White House. Calling for peace, love, and an end to violence in four different languages, Chao’s piece de resistance was hanging a banner Sharpie’d with “Immigrants are not criminals.” The only thing that stopped the band from further soldiering through the sweltering was a torrential downpour that provided a much-needed shower for the outlandishly sweaty crowd… this pencil pusher included.
Keep an eye out and an ear peeled for Manu Chao’s new album La Radiolina, to be released Sept 4th on Nacional/Because.
Photos and story by Dana Krozek & John Majer