Last night was a great night for salsa. The Conga Room [Los Angeles, CA], a place that has quickly become the spot to check out the best domestic and international Latin bands, had a heavy salsero in the house, Tito Rojas.
Although I thought it was going to be a lot more crowded for an artist of his magnitude, the people that attended got a great show. The crowd was nice, especially because there wasn't any "Born Again Salsero."*
Tito started out with some of his new material like "Que mas tu quieres de mi" and "Hoy se lo digo a esa mujer," but the night really got off when he sang "Por mujeres como tu." Tito had the crowd waving their hands from side to side and the place was jamming. The band was tight and did not miss a beat.
In the intermission I had the opportunity to watch the introduction to Mr. Raul Travieso Rodriguez (brother of the late Arsenio Rodriguez), to Tito. He greeted him with a big hug and began talking about the great admiration that he had for Arsenio.
The second set was even better - there were more people and by this time everybody was hungry for more Tito. He began the set with a nice medley that took me back to my early days. He included songs like
"Senora," "Doble," "Me mata la soledad" and "Ella se hizo deseo." The place was really swinging and I noticed that people that don't necessary know Tito's music, nevertheless, were enjoying the show.
The show ended with a "descarga" jam in which local musicians like Rudy Regalado, Jose "papo" Rodriguez (bongocero for Poncho Sanchez), and others took the stage.
It was a great show that left the attendees chanting the traditional "otra...otra...otra," to no avail. Tito was charismatic with his "dale pa' bajo," and he touched every one of us with his songs and his swing.
* Born Again Salsero: A person who has just discovered salsa, learned a couple of steps & turns and takes up all the space on the dance floor.