Caetano Veloso Massey Hall, Toronto ON November 11
Published Nov 26, 2007Its been a good 40 years since legendary Brazilian singer-songwriter Caetano Veloso helped kick-start his countrys famed Tropicalismo movement, a period of revolutionary artistry with an aura that still follows the 65 year-old to this day. But its the many records hes crafted since those early days that have earned him the most international attention, from countless interpretations of Beatles classics to sparse Spanish ballads set in Almodóvar films. Veloso marked his first ever show in Toronto with a tour in support of his latest disc Cê, his 40th release in as many years, and arguably the most modern and completely cohesive sets of his recent output. Using the albums minimalist, purple cover art as his backdrop, Caetano sprung to the Massey Hall stage joined by his comparatively youthful backing band and immediately lit the room with the ripping rock of album opener "Outro. Guitarist luminary Pedro Sá, who co-produced the project along with Velosos son Moreno, lent a proper edge to show with controlled distorted riffs and aggressive effects that added a punchy contrast to Caetanos delicate melodies and chipper delivery. The singer chose a slightly comical tact of putting a bright face on the many lyrical expressions of insecurity, pride, frustration and even hatred common to the records relationship theme. For the song "Odeio Veloso had the entire capacity crowd clapping along excitedly to a refrain he would later explain translated to "I hate you, a chant that became the light-spirited joke of the night. The sprite Brazilian embellished each of his phrases with theatrical, Bowie-esque movements and poses, bouncing back and forth between the chaotic sonics of his new material and the pin-drop-permitting quaint acoustic arrangements of cuts like "O Homen Velho and the beautiful "Cucurrucuccu Paloma. With classics like "Sampa, "Coração Vagabundo and "Leãozinho thrown in to appease long-time fans, Caetano made sure that no-one left unhappy, while proving handily that his creative days are far from over.