Sunday, March 14, 2010

Gilberto Gil -- Lisner Auditorium - March 13 2010

Gilberto Gil - After enjoying Os Mutantes last year, I was excited that both Gilberto Gil and Caetano Veloso were scheduled one month apart this year. Now I will be on the lookout for Tom Ze and Gal Costa to complete the sweep of essential Tropicalia. Gil's career began with the traditional forms of bossa nova and samba and moved into political territory lyrically and more worldly influences musically. He didn't hit the psyche and pop market as much as some of the others, maybe a bit more into reggae and African themes, but he crafted his own sound and message and was very successful (I will write more when I review Veloso). The show was packed and a large portion of the audience spoke Portugese which was very apparent when there was much laughter during one song's lyrics where I had to sit there looking lost. Thankfully, it was dark. He mixed both languages well, and sometimes within the song. He had tremendous grace and humor and still played guitar very well. His voice was solid with interesting whistles in the nature of bird calls. He did a couple songs solo, but was helped most of the time with a cellist and his son on guitar and percussion. His son also showed a nice touch on guitar and some of the songs had outstanding interplay. A very enjoyable evening by a legend who still is healthy and sounds great.

Quote of the Night: "Please, sing along". Not much of a quote, but a highlight it as I think Gil had the most challenging requests for sing alongs and audience response singing that I have ever heard. The audience was expected to follow his patterns which increasingly got more varied and involved falsettos. But the crowd was brave and did well.

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