Friday, February 16, 2007


I promised the whole story on the Gotan Project concert, and here it goes. I only wish I had the skills of other bloggers to write about music, like Bicho do Ouvido (second compliment in a month, huh??) because this concert would certainly deserve a good description. I’ll do my best.
My company for the concert was the other Ana in Groningen and some friends from the University. Ana took some pictures, she posted one in her blog, luckily.

First of all, let me tell that there are some differences in going to concerts here in the Netherlands and going to concerts in Portugal. Not due to the smell of weed everywhere, no, that’s the same in both countries, but more to the fact that the priority in Portugal when you arrive at the concert hall/place/whatever, is to get a good place. You consider where is the best location for a perfect auditive and visual experience, and you go for it. Then you sit or stand impatiently waiting for the concert to start, clapping and screaming histerically before, during and after it. If the band doesn’t come back you go from cheering them with profound love, to booing them with profound hate. Basically, yah, you got it, “passion” is the key word.
Here, priority is to get a beer. Then chat a bit. Then finally, “ah, the music is starting, we better go in”. You go out in the middle because you ran out of beer. Chat a bit more. Maybe you will rock your shoulders a bit back and forth, but never really dance. You will clap, yes, but with moderation. In the end, if the concert is good, you will cheer for the band to come back but not too much, because they will do anyway what they want to do, so it is pointless to insist. Key word is “dead”. Exceptions to this are for example the Lowlands festival, where music rules, people party like mad, and they cheer every band as if they are their favourite in the whole world. Those are the two extremes of Dutch people as an audience, they can be really cold but when they’re alive, not even heavy rain slows them down! They will dance in the rain, slide in the mud, and be as happy as little children.

Ok, enough of comparisons. The concert. So, it started with “Diferente”, from their last album, Lunatico, and right there and then I realized the concert would be amazing. There are 10 musicians on stage, 7 of them playing instruments traditionally used in tango music: the piano, violins, cello, guitar, and of course, the “bandoleon”. So, basically it’s a small tango orchestra, and then a singer and 2 DJ’s, adding the beats and samples. It’s all done right there and then, and you wonder how can it be that it sounds even better than when you listen to the record in the comfort of your home?? It’s because each member of the Project is just so damn good… They are also a mix, half Parisian, half from Buenos Aires, and addressed the audience in spanish, french, english and even a couple of Dutch sentences! Behind them, in a white background, a visual show of taste and class. Everything matching, perfectly, daring, impressive, bold… Creating a real tango atmosphere, that you can groove with.

The Gotan Project lead us on a journey to Buenos Aires seen through the eyes of 21st century musicians. They played old songs from La revancha del tango, new songs from Lunatico... Each one better than the other. And the seemingly impossible happened. People danced! Some actually danced tango, others were moving their bodies to house beats. This is the merger that characterizes Gotan Project, the old revitalized. The room was both a tango salon and a club.
In summary, it was one of my happiest moments here. If music can cover long distances, tango at least covers the Atlantic Ocean, because suddenly I felt like I was in Argentina. And if it wasn’t for a group of those typically annoying drunk dutch guys (significantly different from the typically annoying drunk portuguese guys, believe me) standing behind us, I would have totally forgotten we were in Groningen. Luckily at some point we decided to move to the front, to have a better view, and aaaaah. Whaaaat a view!!! Ana and I found out our next goal in life: to become groupies of Gotan Project, because the pianist and the bandoleonist (?) are just “bons como o milho”. Papacitos. Hot. I’m still recovering from the shock.

I leave you here with a taste of tango/gotan, for the road.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Gotan Project

I'm going! 11th February, Oosterport - I'll let you know how it was. But I expect una musica brutal...