Words & Images by: Bryan Lasky
Seu Jorge :: 11.11.16 :: Town Hall :: New York City, NY
View Bryan’s photo gallery below his review
This year, and especially this week, has been rough for many people around the country. Between the political climate and the amount of legendary musicians that have passed this year, it has just been rough. Thankfully when times get tough, people can turn to music and the arts to pick them up. At Town Hall this past week, The World Music Institute and LPR teamed up to put on quite the show for anyone who was feeling down.
Seu Jorge strode on to the stage at Town Hall to a thunderous applause and for the next hour and a half, gave the crowd an amazing performance of songs written by David Bowie. Of course the connection here is Wes Anderson’s The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. Throughout the night Seu told how he came into the film part and how he had to transcribe Bowie’s songs into Portuguese. Seu’s stories gave the evening much needed laughter between the music.
Bowie’s songs are absolutely wonderful, but to hear them in another language gives them an extra beauty that was previously not heard. Seu took such care of them that it was easy to just sway along with everyone else in the room and not worry about the lyrics, since the audience knew the words in English already. “Space Oddity” had the obligatory crowd participation of the countdown and the hand claps.
Jorge talked about how he got a lot of emails, calls, and texts when David died earlier this year. The day after his own father passed away. It was a hard couple of days for Seu and his ex-wife and manager said he should do something as a tribute to both, and that is how the show was conceived. With that he dedicated a heartfelt version of “Life on Mars?” For the encore, Seu replayed some of the songs from earlier in the evening, but he did so with visuals from the movie playing behind him. It was wonderful to end the show. The last song, “Queen Bitch,” had the crowd on their feet clapping and dancing along to it. After all that has happened this year, this kind of tribute was sorely needed to remind us the beauty that is in the world.
Videos (November 12 at Town Hall via LazyLightning55a)
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