the lexicon

a writing portfolio by Alexandra Savvides

Gotan Project – Live in Sydney (5 March 2007)

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Gotan ProjectAfter a long, rainy Monday in Sydney, one of the last places you might expect a crowd would be at the Sydney Opera House, braving the lashing winds. Yet the crowd came, filling up the Concert Hall to see Gotan Project. Fusing traditional Argentinean tango music with electronic beats, rap, samples, female vocals and a string section, I definitely underestimated the pulling power of Gotan Project. The diverse crowd is a testimony to Gotan Project’s broad appeal – this is music for everyone.

Dressed impeccably in white suits and dresses, the combined ensemble led by main members Philippe Cohen Solal, Eduardo Makaroff and Christoph Muller enchanted the highly appreciative audience for over an hour, performing songs from their latest album Lunatico, as well as well-received favourites from their first album, La Revancha Del Tango. Set to a backdrop of video projections, the mix worked well in combining the undulating electronic beats and lush, sensuous female vocals.

Enormous roars of appreciation filled the rear of the hall, spreading down into the stalls as the audience recognised the first beats of songs Mi Confesión and Una Musica Brutal, a highlight of the evening. If rap isn’t your cup of tea, you might have to rethink your decision after hearing the fusion of tango and verses in Mi Confesión, coupled with the rappers on projection screen. After seeking permission to showcase a traditional Argentinean folk song not found on their albums called El Norte, Gotan Project whipped into their rendition showcasing the talent found in their piano and bandoneon players.

Unlike other artists who dress the part, the sincerity and sense of humour Gotan Project inject into their music is entirely believable. At first, the stifling atmosphere of the Concert Hall prevented many from moving to the music, though as the show progressed, and the crowd warmed to the swirling sounds, everyone seemed to relax. Resisting the urge to tango in the aisles was too strong for many – some moved surreptitiously to the beat with their heads, and one woman danced with abandon out of her seat. Unfortunately the rest of us had to wait until MC Philippe urged everyone to stand and dance to the final encore, an eclectic mix of riffs from Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean, and ABBA’s Money, Money, Money resulting in grateful laughter as everyone recognised the familiar tunes.

MC Philippe charmed the crowd throughout the set with his enchanting French accent, yet when it came time to leave he couldn’t resist one more, and with a playful quip remarked “one more for the road?” As we emerged from the Concert Hall filled with the spirit of the tango, it seemed as if one more just wasn’t enough. One hundred more for the road, perhaps?

Published on The Program, 7 March 2007


Written by lexstatic

March 17, 2008 at 6:03 am

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