So the fated night has come and gone and I almost missed it! For some reason I swore Gloria Trevi was making her New York City gay bar appearance on Friday but, thankfully, some friends set me right and we headed to Splash last night around 10pm to watch her perform (see above, more photos here).
It had been a while since I had been at Splash but little had changed from the last time I was there. Semi-naked bartenders serving drinks, video screens showing some gay porn (Tuesday's from what I was told are now "Latino" nights so they involved some Latino on Latino action - or maybe it was the fact that a Latino porn production company was a co-sponsor of the event). Since that's pretty much every night at Splash, I'm not sure why I was so put-off by the videos. Yes, there's a place for wholesome porn in this world, but I'm not sure it was at a Gloria Trevi concert. So, while it was good to hang out with friends who included a few lesbian and bisexual women, it was weird to have so much explicit and - dare I say it - Latinxploitation porn action in the background. Then again, even though the majority of the patrons were Latinos themselves, most certainly didn't seem to bat an eye. So it might have been just me. The live go-go boys, some wearing nothing but a sock, certainly got grabbed, canoodled and generaly manhandled by more than a few people - and not all of the manhanlders were men.
We hung out in the downstairs lounge where a DJ was playing a good mix of bachata, salsa, merengue and reggaton. It wasn't until midnight that we headed upstairs and the show didn't even get started until 1:30am after repeated false starts. In the meantime, DJ Eddie Cruz had the dance floor jumping with a mix of Kelly Clarkson's "Since You've Been Gone" and, of course, Thalia's version of that old Alaska y Dinarama standard "A Quien le Importa." The place sorta went wild over that last one and would carry on singing the chorus even as DJ Eddie Cruz dropped the sound, leading to some bewildered looks by a few non-Latino bar patrons who didn't know what had hit Splash last night or who Thalia or even Gloria Trevi were (sorta like Queerty).
Even as someone marginally associated with the event, I had a sense that things weren't that organized. My organization was approached as a co-sponsor and we suggested that sponsorship be opened to a number of Latino LGBT organizations in the city instead (thinking that the more organizations involved, the more promotion there would be). I ended up suggesting the SOMOS... Project when I was told that only one community organization could be a sponsor but then ended up seeing other organizations listed anyway (good thing: The NYC LGBT Chamber of Commerce was also listed). Nevertheless, had I known that a gay porn production company would be lead co-sponsors I would have urged community organizations not to get involved. Then again, I would have wanted the Miami-based producer to honor community by having held the event at the Queens Latino gay bars and that didn't happen either (though Lucho's and Club Atlantis were both sponsors last night as well).
Following a brief presentation which included a drag look-alike, Gloria Trevi finally took the stage and seemed thrilled to see so many people on the floor. She confessed that people had told her that there might be a small crowd for the show in New York and thanked us for proving others wrong. She launched herself into interpretations of some of her best hits - "Pelo Suelto," "Zapatos Viejos," "Con los Ojos Cerrados" - and the crowd just adored her. She looked amazing for a woman who has gone through so much though I also thik I saw hints of tiredness. Perhaps it came with the fact that it was the closing night of a mini-tour of United States gay bars. She also regaled the crowd with some salty anecdotes and a few off-color comments that shocked even a few fans.
After taking a few pictures, I literally could not stand being squeezed between so many people trying to reach the front rows so I went back to my friends and enjoyed the rest of the set. My boyfriend, the true Trevi fan in the family, said afterwards that he enjoyed the show but felt a bit sad for La Trevi. He felt that the event seemed shoddy and a bit demeaning to Trevi. He felt that if the promoters had truly wanted to honor her standing in the gay community they could have put a real band behind her instead of a recorded track and got rid of the porn cross-promotions. Not sure if the increased costs of touring with a band would have made the mini-tour an impossibility but I agree they could have done it with more class.
Aparently, they have also been behind appearances by Paulina Rubio and Lucia Mendez at gay bars in Florida and California, so - considering the crowd last night - do not be surprised if they follow.