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Ivete Sangalo at the Prudential Center

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Ivete Sangalo
Prudential Center
Newark, NJ
August 17, 2013

On the final leg of her US Real Fantasia tour, Brazilian singer Ivete Sangalo made a stop at Newark's Prudential Center, backed by a massive band that included several percussionists (who she joined from time to time), guitar, bass, keyboards, brass, backup singers and dancers. From the first chord, Sangalo and the band went into Carnaval mode, belting out hits from her 20-year career.

As she has stated in interviews, the US tour contained many tunes she does not usually sing in shows in Brazil—mostly because fans outside her native country might not be familiar with her more recent material. She included a handful of covers, such as Marisa Monte/Nando Reis' "Aonde Voce Mora," a hit for Cidade Negra in 1994, and Jorge Benjor's standard, "Pais Tropical," which she also performed during her 2003 US debut tour. She kept the energy level up at all times, either dancing or encouraging the audience to sing along.

There wasn't much material from her 2012 Facil Brasilia disc, after which the tour is named, but a lot of songs from her back catalogue, including from her days in Banda Eva, a corporately owned ensemble that launched Daniela Mercury and several other Brazilian singers, and which Sangalo left in 1999 to pursue a solo career. The entire concert was thoroughly rehearsed, and the sole moment that there was some mprovisation was when Sangalo left the stage for a clothing change, and her saxophonist and trumpeter played extended, jazz-influenced solos.

Throughout the concert, Sangalo kept up a playful banter with her fans, at one point pulling a copy of a New York Times article, by Larry Rohter, on which she was featured that same day. She did not address any of the political issues in her native country, and instead kept things light. She did slow things down when she sang "Eu Nunca Amei Alguém Como Eu Te Amei," a track from Real Fantasia, that featured a mellow, jazz-like piano accompaniment.

Sangalo demonstrated great showmanship and charisma on stage, and her engaging personality makes for a very entertaining experience. Her songs were very hummable and did not demand much technique—which was a plus when thousands people were singing and dancing along with their Afro-Brazilian beats.

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