Living the Vida Veloso

With his first American tour and a new album, Livro, avant-pop's Brazilian uncle rewrites the book of love

While Caetano never really dropped off the cultural map, even during his fallow periods (1994's all-Spanish Fina Espania is Brazil's biggest-selling album worldwide), his New York concert felt like an arrival of sorts. More than once he expressed incredulity that Livro is actually "selling like crazy," and he seemed genuinely gratified by the wild reception given his new material by the mostly Brazilian throng--it "shhhh-shhhhed" itself a hurricane for the tender passages. English-language pieces, such as his classic paean to his sister, "Maria Bethania"--added hastily to the setlist at the insistence of some unnamed celebrity--were received politely, but without the hootenanny. Caetano repeatedly called out to Lindsay during the show and, during the final encore, of Livro's "Pra Ninguém," demanded that he come up and play a little. The bespectacled guitarist had to fight his way through the dancers, and by the time he made it to the stage, he had about ten seconds to contribute a slap and tickle. Lindsay may not have added much, but he beamed all the same: It was the accumulation of small gestures that mattered, and he was, like Caetano himself, happy to be there.

 

Caetano Veloso will perform at 8:00 p.m. Monday, July 12 at Northrop Auditorium, Minneapolis; (612) 624-2345.

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