SEU JORGE + Carioca Freitas @ Club Soda

By Trevor Kiernander - Ones and Zeroes - 09/10/2005

For those of you who keep up to date on reading these reviews, you may have noticed that I can be a tad bit cynical (in regards to shows, not movies). My reviews usually teeter between how great the show was, and my sheer disgust and contempt for the audience. So this is what I was conditioning myself for with Seu Jorge playing at Club Soda on September 10.

For those of you who aren’t aware of the name Seu Jorge, he’s the guy singing the Portuguese Bowie covers in Wes Anderson’s The Life Aquatic, and played Knockout Ned in Fernando MeirellesCity Of God. I had not heard of Seu Jorge before I saw The Life Aquatic -- though I did see City Of God first, but I didn’t make the connection -- and with all the hype around it, I was expecting this outing to be jam-packed with hipsters waiting to hear Ziggy Stardust. Boy was I wrong, and glad that I was. Though a good chunk of the audience made the event feel like a tam-tam pre-party, those that were there, for the most part, seemed to be genuine fans, and were there completely for the music.

So now, on to the show. I don’t speak Spanish or Portuguese. Hell, I can barely speak French! And not to sound all clichéd, but this wasn’t an issue as the music and the vibe were what mattered. I made it to Club Soda about part way through opening band Carioca Freitas’ set, and was thoroughly impressed. I felt the soundmen should have been on their game a little bit more, as it felt like they were lobby musicians with everyone trying to talk over them, but they put on a great performance nonetheless. They also got the audience moving just enough to give Seu Jorge a great reception. There is definitely something to be said for honest music, and the way it can get people moving (and none of this Enriquez honesty where most of the moving are people flailing there arms in hysterics). Even people in the back and at the bar were getting into it. Even this pseudo-hippie/surfer guy with a scraggly blond ponytail and sleeveless shirt -- growling at himself in the bathroom mirror as he did up his belt with the ferocity of Tom Green begging for his dad’s acceptance with sausage -- seemed to be enjoying things (at least I would hope). But I got out of that scene quick.

The show had a great pace too, where about the midpoint of the performance, the percussionists took to the stage for a 15-minute jam session. I could just see all the tam-tammers thinking ‘Doood, they are totally speaking to us maaaan’. As the show rolled on, there seemed to be an endless barrage of encores though, which kind of made me antsy. And after the fourth encore, I left so I cannot report as to if he dropped a "Changes" or "Suffragette City". I would like to think that maybe he shares some of the same cynicism, but I highly doubt it. Save Bowie for your CD player, and make note to check out Seu Jorge the next time he makes it through to Montreal.

[Ones And Zeroes is currently on hiatus]