– Caetano Veloso: “Portuguese is the black language among European languages”
At the Victoria Hall on Friday, we caught a fantastic performance by the monster of Brazilian popular music, as part of the off-season Antigel Festival. witty.
“Cucurrucucú” is an exceptional day. At 6pm on a Friday evening, the light was a strange yellow and the temperature was surprisingly comfortable for the season. Also at 8pm, it’s another exceptional day: Caetano Veloso sings on the stage of the Victoria Hall.
He is white, wearing white clothes. He is old and handsome. His little orchestra is a marvel: different rhythms, different guitars, different basses and keyboards. And ratata and ratatatam. Samba, popular, Foro from Nordeste, Ixoro from Rio. In North America, it is called the “Soul Train”. Here, in the south of the continent, we call it MPB, for Brazilian popular music. It is also rock, reggae, blues and pop. It’s a monumental thing, 60 years after Veloso, now 81, got into it.
“We are mulattoes, mestizos, Mamluks.”
Caetano Veloso is a singer from Brazil
How do you cross a snippet of ruined-infused guitar with the indifference of a bossa-velvety sound? With the chapter, it is clear that the atmosphere is not to remake history, it is merely to re-dress it, to look at it with a half-joyful, half-cynical eye. On his European tour, the singer begins the concert with his latest invention, “Mio Coco,” with a jerky rhythm, with these radiant words: “We are mulatto, mongrel, Mamluk. Portuguese is the black one among European languages.”
Veloso’s voice remains Veloso’s voice. Its legendary vibrations remain. Its range has decreased, which is a very good thing. Its elegance is still immense. Whether he is performing old titles, “You Don’t Know Me”, partly written in English in 1972, or sending his great songs “O Leãonzinho”, the classic among the classics “Desde que o samba é samba”.
Isn’t that the amazing title taken from the first “Tropicalia” movie in 1968? “Baby,” originally sung by Gal Costa, is gorgeous and then released on the orchestration, rich, generous, swirling and trembling, mischievous in the groove, beefy as the six musicians fly together toward the powerful “Power,” framed by precious wood that reveals an electrifying electricity . Twigs, guitar again, Rhodes piano. And the Veloso whistle was the minor icing on the cake.
Underneath the golden Victoria Hall, the crowd screams and calls. Caetano Veloso stands upright in the middle of the stage, raises his leg, takes three short running steps, puts his back to the audience and waits. He has something of Lunar Pierrot dancing drunkenly, bunny-hopping, dropping his jacket – also white underneath – to stand once again before the audience, who stare at him in amazement. Caetano Veloso is one scoundrel.