[LIVE REVIEW] Rodrigo Amarante @ Primavera Sound
It was only by chance that I first saw Rodrigo Amarante live. I had arrived early at a Devendra Banhart concert, and found the solo singer transfixing the waiting crowd with his siren’s song. His music was mellow, nostalgic, and the most beautiful that I had heard in a long time. “Who is he?”, I asked. But no one knew…
Two years later, I found myself at Primavera Sound in Barcelona, when, passing one of the stages, I heard the haunting voice again. “Who is he?” I asked again. This time everyone knew: “Rodrigo Amarante”, they said.
Rodrigo Amarante is a Brazilian singer, guitarist and composer. He is no newbie; in addition to his solo work, he play with the band Little Joy, alongside Fabrizo Moretti (the drummer from The Strokes) and Binki Shapiro.
What surprised me the most about his performance in Barcelona was that, despite the fact that his music is sentimental and makes your heart ache with longing for times past, he never stopped smiling and exuding the most joyful vibe. He is an artist who doesn’t need to say much to have true empathy with the crowd.
He played early, and during the same time slot as Glasser and Real Estate, so the crowd was pretty small. But, alternating between his guitar and piano/organ, he mesmerised all of those before him. His voice is haunting, his sound subdued and relaxed, and, with a touch of xylophone in the background, songs like “O Cometa” were extremely popular. However, my favourite was his opener, “Nada em vao”.
He closed his performance with “The Ribbon”, an unbelievably sombre song. Throughout his amazing performance, the mood had been positive, but at this song, all that positivity was just swept away by a wave of bitter-sweetness. It seemed a shame to end on such a note, after that careful construction of such a great vibe, but is a performance that I will never forget.
Nada em vao