One of the best things about traveling is the ability to reinvent oneself on the fly. In New York, I’ve become somewhat of a curmudgeon. After four years in town I’m not as filled with wide-eyed wonderment, or as willing to experiment. One consequence has been my declining intake of live music, a significant departure from the days when I would trek to the Bronx or Brooklyn to see African Hip Hop or grime rappers at a moment’s notice. Expensive drinks, snobby fans and long, late commutes home were just some of the reasons that come to mind.
Not so in Brazil. Last night I attended my third concert in two weekends; a pretty good streak. Last weekend I saw Seu Chico, a group from the city of Pernambuco who cover songs by Brazilian legend, Chico Buarqe. The venue, Studio SP, which bills itself as an urban art space and performance hall on Rua Augusta, had a nice blend of grit and posh, with an upbeat crowd. Even better were the cheap drinks, such as the “busca vida,” which was a mix of cachaça, extra cane sugar and lemon juice.
Of course, the highlight was the band itself. In spite of the fact they played covers, or perhaps because of it, they had the crowd enraptured, singing along loudly with every tune. While the lead singer looked a bit bereft, the group’s 19-year-old pianist, Vitor Araújo, stole the show.