KC Blog Update 10/30/19: A Return to Puerto Rico
REO first played in Puerto Rico back in 1985, when “Can’t Fight This Feeling” was number one in the world. We immediately fell in love with the island’s awesome people, rich culture, and great music. Apparently they also fell in love with us.
Our hearts were broken in 2017 with the news of Hurricane Maria’s devastation. Stories of the continuing hardship of so many Puerto Rican people are difficult to comprehend. But the people of Puerto Rico are survivors. This morning, I asked my taxi driver how the hurricane affected him and his family. “Some people fled the island,” he said, “but the rest of us learned from the experience.” His positive attitude was inspiring. We closed our set last night with “Ridin’ The Storm Out” as the audience roared its approval.
When the offer initially came in from promoter Joseph Redondo for us to play at the Coliseo de Puerto Rico in San Juan, as one of the first mainland artists to perform here since the storm, our reaction was to immediately connect with a charitable organization on the Island. The Team Cuca Foundation (a support center for pediatric cancer patients) was the perfect fit, as cancer has touched all of our lives directly or indirectly. The looks on those children’s faces were so full of joy, even as they fought for their lives. They were all so appreciative.
I love the rhythm of Puerto Rico. The people are friendly and joyful in the face of such extreme hardship. They are courageous and hardworking… emblematic of the best attributes of being Americans. Not to mention, the audiences here sing along with our songs so loudly, they nearly drowned out the band. I am already looking forward to our next concert in Puerto Rico.
Our love affair with this beautiful island continues…kc