BUSAN, South Korea — For those of you who missed the Jose Feliciano concert this last weekend, you missed one of this year's premiere events in Busan. No artistic or technical ability has been lost by this great artist in spite of his 67 years on Earth. He’s still as vibrant and entertaining as ever. Even though the house was not completely packed, the audience was very enthusiastic and Jose responded accordingly.
From a musical standpoint, one could expect from this artist perfection, and that’s what we got. The stage setup was exactly as it should be, with the percussion players on risers and the rest of the band in appropriate positions to enhance the performance of Jose. The limited choreography fit well into the overall performance and stage presence for the entire event. The lighting design was somewhat overbearing at times but it did not degrade the overall performance package in the slightest.
The most impressive aspect of the performance to this observer was the musical and technical aspects of Jose’s guitar playing. It has been quite some time since I heard guitar playing which rivals the best flamenco and classical guitarists. The rhythmic accuracy, musical balance and blend of the entire ensemble approached perfection. The band members worked as backup singers as well as musicians, which I believe added to the quality of performance. I might also add that Jose has lost nothing of his outstanding vocal abilities with age.
The audience was enthralled and on its feet for the performances of his big hits, “Rain” and “Light My Fire”. After two encores, one of which included “Felice Navidad”, I didn’t see a face that wasn't smiling.
Feliciano last month in Australia: