I admit it. At first I wasn’t sure.
Portuguese David Bowie covers? I’m fluent in Bowie, of course. But not Portuguese. How could I even review a show at which I don’t understand any of the words?
But then I rewatched The Life Aquatic, the Wes Anderson movie that made the cover songs—and their singer, Seu Jorge—famous. And, I’m telling you, there’s something about this guy—with just his acoustic guitar, singing Bowie with random English words inxed in (“Ch-ch-ch-changes,” for example) that ends up being a remarkable tribute to a man whose loss we’re still feeling in big and small ways, more than a year later.
And what he ends up revealing in these stripped-down versions of familiar songs, made unfamiliar by language is the brilliance of the composition of Bowie’s songs. And moreover, rather than trying to emulate Bowie’s immaculate range, Jorge is happily singing on his own register—which gives it all a super-chill Jack Johnson-esque feel—without the Jack Johnson-esque annoyance. Which kind of makes him the anti-Bowie—and therefore the perfect person to pay tribute.
Seu Jorge Presents: The Life Aquatic, a Tribute to David Bowie is at The Eccles on Thursday, September 7. Tickets are still available here.