RIO DE JANEIRO, RJ (FOLHAPRESS) – In the first presentation in Rio de Janeiro of the “Que tal um samba?” announced by the premiere in João Pessoa, in September 2022: a celebration of what there is referred to as a “good time” to come, “after so many deceptions”, “so much waterfall”, “so much dementia” and “a motherfucker pain “.
In its repertoire and scenario, the show observes the grandeur of Brazilian existence: love in its thousand forms, the movement of landless workers, the environment, culture and art, and also the contradictions that sustain much its. “Diversos lashes / Doces lundus”, as he sings in “Bancarrota Blues”.
In this context of “comfort” and “reflection”, Chico recalled Gal Costa and Miúcha, —the artist’s sister, who died in 2018— and skewered Paulo Guedes and judge Monica Ribeiro Teixeira, who recently questioned whether was the author of “Roda viva”. And, with Salmaso, he passionately sang the verse-exhortation of “Maninha”: “One day he will leave, little sister / Never come back”.
The show was the first of the tour after the inauguration of Luiz Inácio Lula da Sila, of the PT, of which Chico is a historical supporter. The screenplay makes evident the affinity between the country defended by the president and the one exhibited in the composer’s songs. The evening began at 21:57, with Salmaso on stage, who sang solo the infanto-revolutionary “Todos Juntos”, from the repertoire of the “Saltimbancos”. “We are all strong together / We are arrows and we are bows / All of us in the same boat / There is nothing to fear,” the lyrics read. The principle of democracy, finally.
Before Chico takes the stage, Salmaso runs through songs that talk about the love between two women, with a tragic end due to prejudice, as in “Mar e Lua”, or that talk about threats to the environment or, metaphorically, those that bring beauty into the world, with “Passaredo”. With “Beatriz”, Salmaso celebrated the artist. The singer also announces: “The fisherman confirmed to me / That the bird sang to him / That the good weather is coming,” says the song “Bom Tempo”.
In “Paratodos”, a praise of Brazilian popular music, Chico finally appeared on stage. He came in to sing, “I’ve been on the road for many years / I’m a Brazilian artist.”
The song is the buzzword for crossing this personal trajectory with the wider history of the country. Chico is the “tormented singer / Herdeiro sarará” who bears witness to the violence that interrupts the Brazilian miscegenation process in many ways – as depicted in “Sinhá”, a partnership between him and João Bosco.
At 78 he is an “old Francisco” of accumulated experiences, like the character in his song. He delves into the most personal, into fatherhood, when his daughters sing in “As Minhas Meninas”, and immediately afterwards, with the precise and beautiful help of Salmaso, he exposes another experience, in the bitter motherhood of “Uma Canção Denaturada “.
His Rio de Janeiro is remembered in “Dois Irmãos” and “Futuros Amantes”, in sequence, pointing to the eternal beyond the city. The capital of Rio de Janeiro also appears as the sad racist horror scene of “As Caravanas”.
The band accompanying Chico and Salmaso is formed by Luiz Claudio Ramos, responsible for the arrangements, guitar and acoustic guitar, João Rebouças, on piano, Jorge Helder, on acoustic and electric bass, Jurim Moreira, on drums, Chico Batera, on percussion , Bia Paes Leme, on keyboards and vocals, and Marcelo Bernardes on woodwinds.
In the arrangements, which refer to the originals, the search for beauty is the maximum expressive effect—sometimes exploring the whole band, sometimes in smaller formations, like “Beatriz”, done in piano and guitar. There is room for other sonic textures in the fabric of the show. Bia takes on the triangle in “Tipo um Baião” and Marcelo Bernardes stands next to Chico Batera, both playing atabaques, in “Sinhá” — with strong stage and sound effect.
Salmaso uses his voice with the rigor and musical expressiveness of an instrumentalist – his dialogue with the horns of Marcelo Bernardes in “Passaredo” attests to this. The repertoire intelligently makes use of pieces for two voices, in which the singer yields both in the field of lyricism, as in “Imagina”, by Chico with Tom Jobim, and in “Sem Fantasia”, as in malícia, in “Biscate”.
From a scenographic point of view, the show has the same emotional, political and philosophical frequency as the songs. With two walls of cannons on either side, Maneco Quinderé’s lighting, like the instrumental arrangements, is linked to the task of enhancing the beauty of the music that is made there.
Wallpaper by Daniela Thomas features photographic projections by 19 Brazilian photographers of fauna, flora and, above all, the Brazilian people in situations of celebration and struggle. A continuation of the symbolic load of diversity that climbed the Planalto ramp on 1 January.
The composer paid tribute to Gal Costa with “Mil Perdões”, a song recorded by the Bahian woman in 1983. As she sang, a photo of the singer was projected onto the background of the set. The audience reacted with applause as soon as they saw the image and applauded warmly at the end of the song.
The landless labor movement was also mentioned in “Settlement”, which Chico composed in the 1990s for the movement. The song has lines such as: “When I die / Tired of war / I die well / With my land / Reed, persimmon / Yam, pumpkin / Where in the past only wind was sown.”
In the final stretch of the show, Chico poked fun at a recent judge ruling that questioned whether “Roda Viva” was his song. The composer asked Eduardo Bolsonaro in court to remove a post in which he used the song, as well as compensation for moral damages.
“With instrumentalists like that I have to do my little guitar a lot,” said Chico, immediately after introducing the band to the instrumental base of “Bancarota Blues”. He continued: “I can be wrong, forget part of a letter. I’ve thought about installing a teleprompter. But then they can say, if I don’t know the lyrics, I can’t play, that I’m not the author: ‘Proof it’s yours? ‘”. The audience laughed.
Then he recalled the story circulating on right-wing networks that he bought his songs. After declaring that she did not admit the accusation of having bought songs, she sang “but I can sell”, taking up the lyrics of “Bancarrota Blues”.
At the end of the song, whose motto is precisely the verse “but I can sell”, which is repeated throughout the text, he concluded: “This isn’t mine either. It’s by Paulo Guedes”.
After saying goodbye with “Que Tal um Samba?”, theme song of the show and synthesis of their sunny soul, Chico and Salmaso returned to the stage for an encore to the audience’s chorus of “Olê, olê, olê, olá, Lula , Calamaro” . Chico made the L with his fingers and dedicated “Maninha”, which he would sing later, to his sister Miúcha: “that if she were here she would also make the L”.
“João e Maria” concluded the show, in another beautiful duet by Salmaso and Chico. A children’s song, like “All Together” at the opening. The future, therefore, as the beginning and end of the show. A future that Chico’s songs certainly won’t cover, but that we can’t afford to do without. Mainly because they continue to bring more questions than answers. “How about a Samba?”, for example
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