It's always great to have a rock gig during Carnival time. I'm a Carnival hater (sorry!) so I was more than excited for this.
It was a Saturday and the Carnival's champion parade would happen sometime at night. Traffic in Rio was chaotic and I got stuck in it. "Damn! I'm going to miss the gig because of this bloody Carnival thing!" I ranted! Anyway, It's not about the parade itself, it's about all the things attached to Carnival, such as street blocks! Is there any other thing more annoying than that? Ok, you're British so you probably have no idea of what I'm talking about; let's move on to the gig itself.
The first gig was scheduled for 5:30pm. That's right boys and girls! 5:30, a bloody matinee! I spent a whole week trying to figure out why they had such a horrible time for the gigs, and eventually I did figure it out. The venue becomes a Disco after 11.00pm.
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Before I start telling you how the gig was, did you read my interview with Eric and Jeff a week prior to the gig? If not, click here to read it.
Eric Martin hit the stage with a ten minute delay. This was the first gig of the Brazilian tour and you could easily see excitement in his eyes! He was about to give us a one hour set of Mr Big classics. The first two songs of the night couldn't be any other. Check them out here:
With a band from Belo Horizonte, Brazil specially contracted for this tour Eric showed all his enthusiasm with the crowd. Brazilian fans are nuts, everybody knows that.
One thing that caught my attention is how charismatic and spontaneous Eric is. He would pass on his microphone to someone on the first row to sing the chorus of a song for him, he would also take you camera and do some footage from the stage with it and later on he would give it back to you with the biggest smile ever! Eric would also let us choose which song to play next and since we are all smart people we chose 'Green Tinted Sixties Minds'.
The crowd and Eric were so connected that the gig could have lasted twice longer. I felt that he could even have headlined the event.
One hour of Eric Martin is not enough. Fortunately, he found some time to play 'Take Cover', 'Undertow', 'To Be With You' and 'Addicted To That Rush'.
I also had the chance to talk to him after the gig, but this is a story for my next article. Let's talk about Jeff Scott Soto.
In his second time in Rio de Janeiro playing the Queen Tribute show (the first was in 2008), the almost 50-year-old singer left no doubt about his vocal talents. Like Eric, he also had a band formed by Brazilian musicians but with a big difference. Two of them (Edu Cominato – drummer - and BJ – guitar/keyboard player) are long-time members of the JSS band, which made the songs flow better and sound more natural.
Jeff hit the stage at Odisseia with 'Let Me Entertain You' followed by 'Tie Your Mother Down'. There is no doubt that Jeff is one of the greatest voices in rock music today and still an excellent frontman.
Queen classics such as 'Another One Bites the Dust', 'I Want To Break Free' and 'Crazy Little Thing Called Love' packed the first few minutes of the show that lasted for almost two hours.
The singer definitely wanted to have fun and entertain his audience, and got full marks in this regard.
Another remarkable moment of that night was 'Love Of My Life', followed by 'Somebody To Love', with the audience singing along, raising their arms and dancing. And to everyone's surprise, echoing from the public on the second floor was Eric Martin, also singing and dancing in between taking pictures with fans and signing autographs.
Jeff Scott Soto has been doing this Queen Tribute concert for ten years or so and he's amazing! Some songs fit perfectly on his voice. I wouldn't be surprised if, and actually I'd love to hear it, Queen decided to do a tour with him. Sadly I don't see this happening; apparently they prefer doing tours with reality show winners.
Jeff ended the gig by saying he was sorry to leave so early, but it was Disco time while doing a little dance for us.
I felt that both undoubtedly have a feature in common: Stage presence! Charisma to deal with the audience and to dominate the stage. But each one carries this trait quite differently.
Jeff is more of a visual character and has a certain attitude while is scene, all carefully prepared for a good show, you feel like he cared about all of this beforehand and he was very good. As for Eric, he gives you the feeling of improvisation, reacting to the audience's temperature and also literally interacting with them. He makes you feel connected to him somehow.
Daddy, Brother, Lover, Little Boy
Wind Me Up
Where Are They Now?
Take a Walk
To Be With You
Addicted to that Rush
Dancing With My Devils
Jeff Scott Soto:
Let Me Entertain You
Tie Your Mother Down
Another One Bites the Dust
I Want to Break Free
Keep Yourself Alive
Crazy Little Thing Called Love
Fat Bottomed Girls
Hammer to Fall
I Want It All
Stone Cold Crazy
Love of My Life
Somebody to Love
These Are the Days of Our Lives
Radio Ga Ga
We Will Rock You
We Are the Champions
The Show Must Go On
Big thanks to Heloisa Vida and Ricardo Dallal at FreePass Entretenimento (http://freepass.art.br/).