Gazde (pronounced Gauzda)

Gazde (Band from Croatia), is here on tour!  Went to see them in Chicago April 10, 2015.  I originally heard Gazde's music while walking around Zagreb, Croatia in June of 2012.  I arrived a day early in Croatia (ahead of my cousin Betty), the airline lost my luggage and I knew nothing of the Croatian language.  Luckily I had a hotel right downtown Zagreb.  My hair was recently cut by a new stylist, and I tried fixing the cut the night before I left the US and really messed it up.  So there I was walking around Zagreb, trying to find clothes, hair uneven, and a minority unable to speak the language.  On top of all this was going to rent a car the next day to pick Betty up at the airport (me driving in Zagreb!).  Luckily another gal that would be on our tour the following week had come in early and joined me this day.....  however, she was at the hotel getting rest while I was exploring, finding clothes and on a quest to fix my hair.  

It's amazing how you can communicate in a foreign country.  The Stylist I found did not speak english.  But as I sat in her chair and pulled my hair up and showed her how uneven it was and pretended to cry.  I showed her with my hands how I wanted it to flow.  She smiled, nodded her head, and I got one of the best hair cuts ever :)) 

After this I bought a couple things to wear, in case my bags didn't show up, and found the gelato!!  The sun was starting to go down and it was time for me to head back to the hotel room.  As I neared the entrance to the hotel I heard music... live music!  It came from a direction that I hadn't been yet, so I headed in the direction of the sound.  There it was... a huge city square.... a concert stage set up with scaffolding and lights..... thousands of people in the square watching this concert.  As I walked closer there were several guys on stage and they were all wearing leather pants.  The music was so energetic and everyone seemed to know the songs as they were singing along.  

Sue came with me and we had a ton of fun listening to this music.  Some younger girls motioned for us to dance with them.  I don't remember how we got on the subject, but the young gal was telling me about Vukovar... the first town in Croatia that fell during the war in Independence in the 90's.  She said every November they still hold vigilance because they will never forget.  Many younger folks in the city know english.  After the concert Sue and I decided to walk around.  We found the cathedral... Well I suppose you can't miss it, as it is the tallest architecture in Zagreb.   I was so tired... it was time to head back to the hotel.  We were walking across the square which was totally empty now, and Sue spotted one of the band members walking towards us.  I was so happy, because during the concert I was trying to find a booth where I could buy their CD and there was none.  I asked him for their groups name, and he didn't speak english.  I produced a pen and paper and asked if I could have their name.  He wrote it down.  I asked if they had any CD's.  I didn't think he understood what I was saying, but he motioned for me to stay put.  When he came back, he gave me a CD. I offered to pay... he said no.  This was so incredibly sweet.  My first day in Croatia.  So tired from the flight.  No luggage...wondering the city alone.  Then that night, Sue joined me and we met Vlado.  I was introduced to my first Croatian music.  I loved it.

Well almost 3 years later, Gazde has come to the US.  I was introduced to Vlado again.  Our mutual friend Joe introduced us...but last year Joe had went to see Gazde in Canada. I'd asked Joe to take one of my CD's to Vlado for a reciprocated gift.  When I remet Vlado last Friday night, he remembered my name and said he liked my voice.  He was very sweet and knew more english.  I knew a couple Croatian words I learned on the trip, so we were able to communicate this time around.  What a great show and so nice to see Vlado again!

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