PHYTO PAEZ – 10 points
Musicians: Fito Páez (keyboards and vocals), Juan Absatz (keyboards and backing vocals), Juani Agüero (guitar), Vandera (guitar and backing vocals), Diego Olivero (bass), Gastón Baremberg (drums), Alejo von der Pahlen (saxes), Manu Calvo (trombone), Ervin Stutz (trumpet and fluegelhorn).
guest voice: Fabian Cantillo.
Public: 10,000 people.
Duration: 150 minutes.
Movistar Arena Stadium, Tuesday, September 20 (repeats on September 21, 25, 26, 29 and 30, November 7 and 8)
It’s funny that a historical review speaks both of the present at the same time. Fito Páez opened on Tuesday night the impressive series of eight dates to a full house at the Movistar Arena. The excuse, if the term fits in times in which the issue of the anniversary is raised again and again, was and is the 30th anniversary of The love after Love, the disc-hinge in the path of the artist. Not only for reasons of artistic solidity – after all, Páez had already shown that in City of poor hearts in Hey!, in a Third World that no one wanted to edit-, but because he came to relocate Fito as a mass artist. Record sales record, the resounding tour magic wheel, a Velez in April 1993 and another in December to benefit Unicef: that already distant beginning of the ’90s is something that, indeed, deserves to be commemorated.
But Fito doesn’t really need to live in the past. Fito enjoys a fertile presentwith three superb post-pandemic albums, a very tight band, an impeccable live performance, brand new three Latin Grammy nominations for The Wild Years. So yes, indeed the 30 years of EADDA it’s just an excuse. What matters is not so much the revisiting of those songs, but rather what is synthesized on stage. And that is the point that gives this series first relevance in the Chacarita space, which will continue this Wednesday 21, on September 25, 26, 29 and 30, and November 7 and 8, and will have a national and international tour. Fito seemed to have reached a peak in that 1992. But Fito is also at the top today, and what was seen and experienced by 10,000 people in his debut does not enable many relativizations.
“My past is real, and the future freedom”, Páez sang again in the final stretches, when the party was unstoppable and “Circo Beat” made the auditorium tremble. In full freedom, Fito organized this concert in the best way, starting with the complete album and in the exact original order. In that review there were faithful versions, beyond the obvious sound nuances and new forcefulness achieved by the band that accompanies it. But at the center of everything is Fito himself, who He worked conscientiously so that in the live performance his voice looks better than ever. It is not a mere detail of technical perfection: the artist seems to have found the very center of his interpretation, the ideal place from which to sing with feeling and fairness at the same time, the point from which to sing risky pages such as “A dress and a love” -colored by the anecdote of his jealousy when Caetano Velosonothing less, she sang it whole to Cecilia Roth looking her in the eye in São Paulo- or “Tombs of Glory”… and doing it better than ever.
The titles, moreover, give an adequate account of what that mythical album contains. “Che, what a mess was put together,” commented Páez, almost from home, referring to how the anniversary call grew. But it is that these songs are too involved in the love of the public for it to be otherwise. When in “Brilliant on the mic” the place becomes a Christmas tree, the thousands of people who raise their cell phone lights are wanting to express everything that these melodies awaken in them. When the floor shakes in “A roll my life” and “Traffic through Kathmandu”, when there is no skin that does not bristle before “Petal of salt”what Páez himself verbalized at the beginning is celebrated, “I don’t know what it means, but it means something nice in our lives and we have to defend it tooth and nail.”
Nails, teeth and talent they also have the musicians that Fito directs like an orchestra, which goes far beyond a mere cover band to breathe another vibe to themes so often listened to. A group that can be delicate and subtle in “Behind the Wailing Wall” and “La Veronica”, slow down for the beginning of the second part with a remarkable version of “Al Lado del Camino” (“I put the songs on your walkman”, Fito sings again, and what does it matter that no one uses a walkman anymore if the phrase is pure truth), launching into a hypnotic final progression to further broaden the horizons of “I come to offer my heart” or unlock moments of unstoppable rock rage like that “City of poor hearts” that rode on a solo animal by guitarist Juani Agüero and with which the night might as well have ended. But there was still more, until saying goodbye with “Tecknicolor Butterfly”.
In 24 songs and two and a half hours of show, So, Fito Páez did much more than an exercise in nostalgia. He enjoyed having the eternal Fabi Cantilo (which on the first night had to deal with some problems with the mic) recreating those melodic crossovers and adding to the remarkable work of Emme in the choirs; she dedicated words of love -and a bouquet of flowers- to Fabi herself and to Cecilia, present and moved in the audience; savored his own songs with the evident pleasure of someone who goes through maturity rediscovering himself, finding new depths. He joined historical points with total naturalness, expressing his present in “The best of our lives” and applying that wisdom of the present for a superb version of “11 and 6”: a demonstration that even songs beaten by high rotation can be enjoyed in a new light. She surrendered to that crowd that sang a title not included in the list, “And give joy to my heart”, putting it in prepo even if it was a cappella.
And above all: Fito was moved and moved, enjoyed and made people enjoy, lived an appointment with so many responsibilities with the relaxed joy of the artist who knows he is alive, who still feels passionate, who embraces his songs because they still make sense, they keep talking about him and what has encouraged him all these years. All of this is possible when he looks up and finds thousands and thousands accompanying him on the journey. And also like him, fortunately, they want to continue singing.