It wasn’t the crowd that one of the greatest voices in Brazil deserves, but the fact is that Gal Costa, now 75 years old, from Bahia, was reunited with the public in a live show since Saturday, almost 19 months after the last exchange of energies, when he sang at Concha Acústica, in Salvador. In the audience at Teatro Sérgio Cardoso, in the central region of São Paulo, 125 people duly and persistently masked — 40% of the total capacity of the house — represented thousands more who watched, via YouTube, the presentation valid for the 11th edition of Virada Sustentável SP.
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In addition to the masks always on the face, the public physically present also knew how to respect the allowed seats, the rule of not eating or drinking inside the theater and the exit organized by lines – as a negative point, the temperature measurement at the door of the house was carried out by the wrist, not the forehead, as recommended.
Script as a highlight
On stage, the result proved to be better than expected, taking into account all the circumstances – among them, the one in which the performer did only five rehearsals with the small band formed by André Lima (piano and keyboard), Fábio Sá (bass) and Vitor Cabral (drums and percussion) before the show. Not only was the line-up different from the one that accompanied it on the last live, in May — when Guilherme Monteiro’s guitar replaced this format, more jazzy, with piano — as the repertoire designed by artistic director Marcus Preto also sprung up as one of the highlights of the night.
Only three songs were repeated in the 18-song script: the classics “Folhetim” (Chico Buarque) and “Baby” (Caetano Veloso), and the encore in a samba-rock atmosphere half protest, half carnival, “Brasil” (immortalized in voice of Cazuza), when Gal encouraged his masked men to return home “attentive and strong” with a song “essential for this moment in which we live” — earlier, she had already been political by responding to the cries of “Out, Bolsonaro ” with “outside, yes!”, and when the singer of the album “India” spoke quickly about the country’s environmental issue, in direct dialogue with the proposal of Virada Sustentável.
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The repeated “Folhetim” ended an unexpected and unusual triad Chico Buarque. Before, Gal Costa and his trio had sung “A História de Lily Braun” (a partnership between Chico and Edu Lobo) and “Último Blues”, songs that the singer from Bahia had never done live, until then, in her own show. The first, recorded by her for the musical “O Grande Circo Místico” (1983), worked masterfully on stage, in a nightclub atmosphere. cool which had as its leader a Gal who appropriated the song with the required theatrical malice requested, to the delight of the audience. On the other hand, “Último blues”, which the Bahian recorded on the album “Bem bom” (1985), went almost unnoticed as a novelty, somewhat overshadowed by its predecessor but also less oiled in the voice-music harmony.
Another unexpected novelty in the setlist presented “A Verdade Baiana”, by Caetano Veloso, which Gal hadn’t sung in concerts since the tour of “Plural” (1990). Here, another cleverness of the script, this is already in the final half of the show of about an hour. The song by friend Caetano came right after “Falsa baiana”, by Geraldo Pereira from Minas Gerais, forming an almost direct dialogue: “The false baiana when she enters the samba/ Nobody bothers/ Nobody claps/ Nobody opens the roda/ Nobody shouts oba! ” sang Gal, singing Geraldo’s verses, to be completed a few minutes later with “A true baiana knows how to be false, salsa, waltz and samba whenever she wants”, by Caetano. The fun and swinging Bahian sequence, governed by the percussion of Vitor Cabral, ended in “Vatapá” (Dorival Caymmi), leaving the audience wanting to ask for “a little more”.
smiles and imaginary trombones
But not only daring in the repertoire did the Gal Costa show in São Paulo. Appropriately adapted to the times, the brilliant voice that marks a fifty-year career was there, with no marked flaws. In the only time he cleared his throat, during “Folhetim”, Gal disguised it well, calling the virtual and physical audience – this one still sometimes shy, either because of the theater or because of the habit lost with the pandemic – to his side, lavishing good humor. In “Aquele frevo axé”, Gal also played playing an imaginary trombone and got laughs from those present.
— Good night to those who are watching from home and to those masked people who are here. I really missed being in front of an audience, even a small one. It’s an immense joy, we already change – the singer found in her longest interaction with the group, after the initial sequence with “All the love there is in this life” (Frejat and Cazuza), “It happens” (Cartola) and “Esoteric ” (Gilberto Gil), when he was still warming up his voice.
After another successful audition and pandemic projects — lives and the album of reinterpretations in duets “Nemuma dor” — Gal is now preparing to finally debut an unprecedented show, complete, after the success of “The skin of the future ”. According to Marcus Preto, the forecast is to open this new chapter in November, at Teatro Bradesco, also in São Paulo. Depending, of course, on the advance of Brazilian immunization.
Gal Costa’s show setlist
1 – “All the love there is in this life”
2 – “It happens”
3 – “Esoteric”
4 – “Sunshine”
5 – “Açaí”
6 – “That frevo axé”
7 – “My dear, my dear”
8 – “The Story of Lily Braun”
9 – “Last Blues”
10 – “Leaflet”
11 – “Words in the body”
12 – “Baby”
13 – “False Bahia”
14 – “The true Bahian woman”
15 – “Vatapá”
16 – “Total cheap”
17 – “Luck”
18 – “Brazil”