Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Flashback to February. I meant to post this a while ago - reviews of two gigs we went to in Recife. More news of Natal next time including the story of the noisy council workers who spray chemicals outside our window at 4.30am...


We’ve been fortunate to see two decent acts performing in Recife recently. In the Green corner representing Brazil, the very talented and highly popular singer/songwriter Marisa Monte who played Recife’s largest indoor arena, the Chevrolet Hall. And in the Red corner representing England, Quentin Nial Cook aka. DJ Norman Cook aka. Fatboy Slim playing a free open air gig as part of his Brazilian tour at Marco Zero in Recife Antigo. So, who came out on top – the best of Brazil or the best of England?

Marisa Monte
Four of us went to this – Mark, Rachel, Amy and I. We drove in as the arena comes with ample parking. Sadly, about half a km away, we got stuck in horrendous traffic and remained stationary for an hour. We eventually parked up on a side street and walked. It turned out that one section of the arena had been rented out to a Christian Convention so parking was at a premium for everyone!

Still, we were pretty confident we would see all of Marisa Monte’s set seeing as Brazilian performers don’t take to the stage until very late (see Caetano blog just before Christmas). Unfortunately, Marisa had come on relatively early and we only caught the last 45 minutes. It was great stuff though – she had a full string section, the stage lighting was amazing and she finished with a lot of her famous songs, including some numbers from her time as a member of the trio ‘Tribalistas’.

Fatboy Slim
On Feb 1st, Mark, Amy and I and a few CELTA graduates piled down to Marco Zero in the old part of Recife to see Fatboy Slim play for free. It is very unusual for Recife to host such a big star – especially for free – so the old area of the city was swarming with some estimated 70,000 people despite it being a Thursday night. There was no way we were going to miss the start of this set as Fatboy Slim didn’t take to the stage until 12.30am. He energetically rattled through some of his songs and a few of his own mixes of the likes of Daft Punk, Gorillaz and Groove Armada.

At around 2am, in full flow, the power cut and the emergency lighting went up. Norman Cook was not impressed and eventually left the stage. We took this as our cue to go home (along with several thousand others), so it was a disappointing end to the night. When we eventually found a free taxi (at around 3am) we could hear the distant noise of the concert cranking into life once more. So the power must have come on and Fatboy will have fired up his decks but by then we were too exhausted to care. Shame really, as it would have been good to hear his big finale.

In conclusion... don’t expect things to be straightforward when going to concerts in Brazil. Expect the unexpected. In terms of MM and FS we missed the start of one and left before the end of the other. Both performers were in fine form when we did see them though so we’ll call it a draw – a fair score for both of 3 out of 5

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