I traveled to Vegas a few weeks ago to see Foreigner play at the Venetian Theatre. These guys are incredible, professional performers who never disappoint. Their energy is always infectious, and they encourage a lot of audience participation to keep things dynamic.
This was the first time that I experienced the newest member of the band, Luis Carlos Maldonado, who replaced veteran Thom Gimbel. In all honesty, I wasn't sure what to expect because I didn't know much about Maldonado, but as luck would have it, my second-row seat was stage left, which was in front of Maldonado's position.
My very first impression of the guitarist was that he was simply adorable and looked very young...as in teenager young, and I questioned whether he was even old enough to drive to the venue. However, his phenomenal playing spoke volumes about his level of experience and passionate dedication to his craft. He has an impressive list of credits to his name, such as playing with Train, Glenn Hughes, Lisa Marie Presley, UFO, John Waite, and several others. Additionally, he hails from a musical family where three of his four brothers studied classical guitar, and Maldonado's talents include not just picking some strings, but also singing and songwriting.
When frontman Kelly Hansen announced Maldonado as the newest member of the band during the show, I gave the guitarist an encouraging thumbs-up, which he saw and returned to me. Like I said, simply adorable.
In an effort to learn more about the musician, I read an interview where Luis Maldonado stated, "For me, writing [music] is one of the things I’m blessed to do. When I first got signed, it opened a lot of doors to write with a lot of different artists. I’ll never ignore that. I want to make something that will last regardless of whom I’m working with."
We all have things that we're good at and things that we're not, and the goal is to embrace our talents and not ruminate about those skills in which we are deficient. For example, I love write song lyrics and stories, at which I'm pretty decent, but my singing sounds like two drunk, wet feral cats fighting in an alleyway. It is what it is, and I accept it; however, it doesn't keep me from singing when I'm alone.
The moral of this story is to be like Luis Maldonado by embracing your skillset, and saying
'yes' to the opportunities it brings, because you may be pleasantly surprised where it leads you.