"Los Van Van rocks downtown Miami" is the headline of today's concert review by the Miami Herald. Jordan Levin writes:
"A scene of such enthusiastic unity between a Miami exile audience and the band that, for both Cuban music fans and critics of the island's government, embodies contemporary Cuba, would have seemed impossible even a few years ago."
El Nuevo Herald (Arturo Arias Polo) also writes a very positive review of last night's concert by Los Van Van. According to both stories, the audience number inside the James L. Knight center was around 3,500 to 4,000.
Outside the Knight center, protesters with their picket signs yelled at and insulted concertgoers. No violent incidents were reported. According to the Miami Herald, the protest crowd numbered 350 to 400. But, according to Spanish news agency EFE, the crowd size was more around 200. Even stranger, is the account by Manuel Prieres, author of the Villa Granadillo blog, who reported a crowd of 2000 (?) protesters.
In response to the concert, Alina Fernandez Revuelta, "unconfirmed" daughter and critic of Fidel Castro, writes in the Miami Herald the typical critique of Los Van Van: they represent the Cuban dictatorship. But, also goes further to describe last night's concertgoers as trained animals:
"The islanders are more than used to, indeed, trained to, move our waists with the Van Van, with their hijacked or explicit lyrics, their considerable if sometimes tiresome rhythm -- as tiresome as the propaganda that these musicians back."
A review of the local Spanish television news reports (Univision and Telemundo) showed positive coverage of the protest crowd (indicating that it was a success despite predicted low numbers), and negative coverage of the concert (indicating that the show failed to sell out the Knight center). Both Spanish reports neglected to give any approximations of either crowd size.
[Update: Radio Mambi (Univision Radio) news package before protest shows their cooperation with the protest organizers, and their coverage after shows their continued agenda to denigrate Los Van Van and their fans.]
[Photo by Miami Herald/C.W. Griffin]