This was a cracker of a Sydney Festival event.
We didn't take pictures but these images and sound off YouTube of the same band at another outdoor event give a good flavour of the ambience:
Glebe was looking quiet at 9pm when we got our cheap Thai, the Indian cooks out front next door said there was something on 'at Hyde Park'.
'Might take a look'. But it wasn't at Hyde Park. It was as if the energy was so bright with the salsa band cranking that it sucked all the social oxygen into the Domain leaving a desert all around. The space at the heart of the action was jammed, literally from freeway fence to the stage at the far south of the grassy space. I guessed 200,000 people, I read 100K later on.
We witnessed 5 elevated stages for maybe 100 x 2 dancers all up and 3 big video screens reflecting the main stage. What impressed most was the obvious enjoyment of the beefy lead singer and veteran trumpet players, and yes drum solo of the Spanish Harlem Orchestra. They had their choreographed moves down pat. They shared the solo time. They reached a harmonious crescendo often which seemed to merge into the space time continuum itself. All drug free, which you couldn't say for the crowd with its share of alcohol after a long hot day.
The moving view of an old well dressed wiry couple dancing next to a crowded path embraced by the velvet night as if no one else was there; The swaying grandma with beaming hip daughter and son in law with wooden feet. The lascivious gleam of a drunken siren at her bemused man. It was all there. It was MAD.
The band had a BIG enthusiastic audience that did them justice and they reciprocated thrashing it out on their brass instruments. And that was just the last half hour of the show.
Walking back through the city it was a balmy summer night's dream. Quite surreal.