Barcelona (CNA).- Palau Sant Jordi was full to the brim. No tickets were available to be sold. Families with kids, grandparents, or young couples went to Montjuïc hill on Friday night, in order to attend a concert that brought together the most popular Catalan singers and bands. Some of them, retired, like Lluís Llach, and many others, stars of today, like ‘Els Amics de les Arts’ or ‘Antònia Font’. But music was not the main aim of the public: the tickets that they had bought were entirely for the research against AIDS.
Catalans had the opportunity of seeing on the same stage the most famous bands of today with the main names of the last 40 years of Catalan music. Over the last few years, Catalonia is experiencing a boom of new pop bands, and almost all of them, except ‘Manel’, were there.
The concert started with a video about the research against AIDS. Dr. Bonaventura Clotet, who is the director of the ‘Fight Aids Foundation’, explained in front of 14,500 people what the situation is and what we can do to fight this virus. He insisted on how the issue has changed: “ten years ago, those affected by AIDS virus were rejected by society. Nowadays, society wants to help them, and that’s why we are today filling the Palau Sant Jordi”.
The first artist to sing was Sisa, a singer from the 1970s, well known in Catalonia. He sang, like the rest of the artists, his best known song: ‘Qualsevol nit pot sortir el sol’ (‘The sun can come out any night’). A song of hope and a perfect start for the concert against the AIDS virus.
‘Que tinguem sort’ (‘Lets hope we’re lucky’), a song by Lluís Llach interpreted by Manu Guix followed. The entire crowd knew the song, and they sang it as if it was a karaoke. Then it was time for the ‘El cant dels ocells’, the best known song composed by cello genius Pau Casals, the most international Catalan musician, who composed the ‘Peace Ode’, the official anthem of the United Nations. It was performed by Miguel Poveda, a 39-year-old Catalan flamenco artist, who offered an amazing version of the classical melody.
After that it was the turn of Pep Guardiola, former coach of FC Barcelona. Nobody knew what he was going to do at the concert given that he is not a singer, nor a musician. However he was one of the main attractions of the night. He appeared with Lluís Llach and they interpreted, together with Sílvia Pérez Cruz, ‘Ara mateix’ (‘Right now’), a poem by Miquel Martí i Pol, one the best Catalan poets in history, who died in 2003, and who was a close friend of Llach. The former Barcelona coach recited parts of the poem, Sílvia Pérez Cruz sang the poem and Lluís Llach played the piano and sang some parts (it was unexpected too, because he is retired since 2007). Guardiola finished with the verse: “Everything is to be done, and everything is possible”. Then, the 14,500 spectators broke out clapping and the majority of them began to demand for the independence of Catalonia: “I-inde-independència”, the crowd shouted as one.
The evening was scheduled to last until half past eleven at night, with a final party featuring some of the names that have recently starred in a revival of Catalan pop-rock such as ‘Mishima’, ‘Els Amics de les Arts’, ‘Gossos’, ‘Antònia Font’... Singer Pep Sala, half of the legendary band ‘Sau’, finished the magic night with a collective interpretation of ‘Boig per tu’ (Crazy for You) chosen as the most popular song in the preceding weeks.
At the end of the concert, the message of those present was once again in favour of the independence of Catalonia. The evening was to fight against AIDS, but it became a multiple demonstration. Some bands, like ‘Obrint pas’ or ‘Gossos’, claimed against social budget cuts in the public health system. The majority of the artists said that it was a pleasure to be at an event that will help research against AIDS and for which no band or singer has been paid for their performances.