The highly versatile music artist Sergio Mendes has been mesmerizing his listeners with his prolific singing and impeccable keyboard skills over the past five decades. The man is responsible for putting Brazilian music on the world map. For over a 100 years, the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles has been celebrating great music and performing arts talents from all over the world. This year one of its own ambassadors and a renowned name in the music industry came on to the stage to perform. Many claimed his show to be satisfying.
Sergio Mendes celebrated 50 years of his breakout band by performing at the Hollywood Bowl. The summer games are hosted by Rio this year. The performance was also the celebration of the Olympics being held in Rio de Janeiro. The keyboardist played ‘An Olympic carnival ’as the main act in the program. The performance also marked the celebration of Brasil’66 completing 50 years. The lineup had classic hits from the album. Sergio also tried to incorporate pop and hip-hop music without losing much originality.
The couple for whom Mendes had acted as a cupid, Brasil’s vocalist Lani Hall and Herb Alpert of A&M records fame also joined the stage with Mendes to thank him and perform ‘one note samba’ and ‘Upa Neguinho’. The couple had met during initial days of Brasil when the band sought a female vocalist in Lani Hill and signed a contract with A&M records, dissolving the old one requiring Mendes to sing Jazz. Alpert and Lani married in 1973. The couple got a lot more than they asked for while performing at the bowl. The other special guests included singer Dianne Reeves and guitarist Romero Lubambo who shared the stage with the band for performing ‘Like a Lover’.
The rest of the show did not hold strong. The show will be repeated on Saturday night. There were other mundane performances such as ‘Waters of March’ and ‘Ela e Carioca’. Many argue that harsh realities in Rio are being overshadowed by the Olympics, the content for the rest of the show exhibits the same narrow thinking about Brazil.
A Capoeira demonstration was held along with a troupe of embellished clad dancers shining through the aisles. A rapper that goes by the name of H2O sang his version of classic ‘Mas Que Nada’. It was a mediocre performance that is very unlikely to impress hip hop fans. Mendes also performed his Academy Award winner song ‘Real in Reo’ as the cartoons from the film for which Mendes composed music, appeared on the screen.
Mendes Wife, Gracinha Leporace, and Katie Hampton sharply wrote: “The Look of the Love” which also got the stage time. The song had the sophistication of 60’s and was a good self-conscious relief from the typical monotony of Brazilian music.
The star of the evening was definitely Sergio who repeatedly claimed that Hollywood Bowl is one the best venues in his opinion and kept showing his gratitude passionately. He expressed his wish for such gigs all his life.