Dear fellow Habib fans:
Just had to let you know how awesome Habib's concert was in Philadelphia, PA USA on 3/14/10.
Before I start, I just want to say that I'm just a big fan of his and not a publicist although it might be construed that way since I just can't say enough great things about him. :-)
First, as an added bonus, there was a buffet dinner and informal chat with Habib and Abdoul (the bass player) before the show. It was a question and answer format led by Abdoul. Habib is a most humble, endearing, interesting, and charming person. In case you are wondering as I was, he looks the same if not better in person as compared to his photos. On a personal note, we were fortunate enough to secure seats directly facing them at the first table with no one seated on the other side, so we had a completely unobstructed view. It was quite a stunning experience and my husband even got to ask one of two questions.
The sound was incredible and didn't split your eardrums either. In my opinion, the sound was better than the CDs but then again, we were experiencing the spirit of the band as well as the sound. The fact that we were seated on the left in row three of the orchestra pit did not affect the sound quality at all.
It was incredible performance by Habib and the band with occasional short monologues by Habib in between some songs while he simultaneously tuned his guitar. His endearing charm and great sense of humor really shone through here again. There were many fun moments as people came forth to give him $ tips, danced on stage (I would have loved to but I know my husband would not approve :-), a call-and-response session, and shout-outs to fellow Malians that were present. The concert ended with a tremendous three song encore. I thought this was very clever and surely superior to continual encore calls. Prior to the encore, Habib said something along the lines of "I'm glad you called me back. If not, it means there was a problem" which I thought was so endearing and humble once again.
As other fans on the WWW have stated, be sure to attend if you have the opportunity. In fact, the person seated next to us was not very familiar with him, but was grooving in no time. That is the magic of Habib and his band in my opinion. It was truly a memorable experience and we look forward to attending again in the future.