Thursday, October 8, 2009

Os Mutantes/DeLeon - State Theater - Oct 7 2009

DeLeon - A three-piece from Brooklyn which is actually a five-piece, but the drummer and trumpeter had to stay home for "logistical reasons" as the band mentioned. That of course means that the tour bus was fully packed with equipment and people. Well, the remaining DeLeon still put on a very nice set. Kind of Spanish gypsy-esque music with some rock moves and lots of creative juices within. A fine opener for this tour.

Os Mutantes - How could this show be as great as it was? I had no idea that Sergio Dias could be this brilliant in 2009. This band formed in 1966 with the Dias brothers and a female singer. They were an essential part of the Tropicalia musical movement in Brazil along with Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil and Tom Ze. They were all arrested and/or threatened by the Brazilian government several times. Os Mutantes unravelled in the seventies until a reunion in 2006 after years of tributes by major artists. Sergio's brother Arnaldo's physical and mental health didn't allow him to participate much, but Sergio soldiered on with a full band and new recordings. I was absolutely stunned at how well he played and sang. I am very forgiving of older artists and love to see them even if they have lost a step. But no need here as I didn't detect any aging at all aside from a few gray hairs and age lines. He played killer leads, psyche rock rhythms and sang with a strong voice. The other six members filled in wonderfully and the old and new songs were excellent. They were joking around a lot, claiming to have had little sleep, but maybe that was to their advantage. A few songs were so ferocious that the (all-too) small to moderate crowd slowly worked their way forward with increasing smiles, applause and yells. Like the Plastic People of the Universe, there is the historical reason to see this show, and also like that band, there is the musical reason These bands risked everything to make music unlike 99%+ of the rest of the musical universe and I don't know if that creates an inner drive to bring out more passion than the rest, but the results are there. This is brilliant, creative and diverse music and was one of the finest shows I have seen in some time.

Quote of the Night: Sergio Dias-"We are going to play some new songs next which hopefully is ok with you. We don't feel it is right just to play the old songs if we are going to continue. Hope you don't mind, just boo us if you want, we are used to that." He is referring to their early days in Brazil either on their own or backing Caetano Veloso who writes about the extremely negative reactions they got by straying from traditional music. This made the much overrated negative reactions to Dylan at Newport look like a love fest. My source is Veloso's absolutely brilliant autobiography. Veloso wrote the most intellectually amazing autobiography I have ever read in the music field. "Brutality Garden" is another great book about the Brazilian Tropicalia movement. I recommend the books and music to all music lovers everywhere.

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