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Rodrigo Amarante with Hamilton Belk

Saturday, March 16 2024
doors at 7:30pm
$22 advance
$28 day of show
$2 off for SPACE members

The Brazilian singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and composer returns to Maine! The member of samba big band Orquestra Imperial and Rio rockers Los Hermanos is known for “Tuyo,” his theme to Netflix show Narcos, and his collaborations with Norah Jones, Gal Costa, Gilberto Gil, and more.

You may know Rodrigo Amarante already. You may have heard “Tuyo,” his theme tune to the Netflix drama Narcos, or the Little Joy album, recorded with Fab Moretti and Binki Shapiro, you might have noted his name among the credits on songs by Gal Costa, Norah Jones and Gilberto Gil; or perhaps you saw him play live with Brazilian samba big band Orquestra Imperial, or with Rio rockers Los Hermanos; you really should have heard his debut album, Cavalo, released in 2014. You may think you know Rodrigo Amarante already, but Drama, his second solo album, is going to introduce a whole new level of confusion to the mix.

Drama is purposefully caricatural, cinematic; “As biased as memory”. It flows as an arch, playfully deceiving, like a tale. The ominous opening number gives you a hint that things might not be what they appear, and clues are hiding in plain sight. “Projection, attachment, deception: that is Drama.”. The sunny upbeat start of “Maré”, with a nearly childish opening melody, echoes something less naïf: “The tide will fetch what the ebb brings”. The beat helps you move past. “Tango” sounds like falling in love on the dance floor, warm and tropical, it celebrates companionship, while perhaps pleading for it, yearning. “Tara,” meanwhile, feels like something Astrud Gilberto might have sung at the height of bossa nova’s global popularity, with the twist of the big-band-era muted horns on the chorus, nearly selfdeprecating, as if mocking such idealized infatuation.

Drama closes with the piano on “The End.” To live is to fall. After all the emotional upheavals the singer has put his cast through, is this some kind of farewell to this mortal coil? “Everything Furthers.” says Amarante. “Whispering, you get louder like that, people respond better to an invitation”, and adds: “Staring at the absurd while remaining kind, being open to the gifts of confusion; that’s why we create these tools that are stories and songs, to help us see each other.”

Hamilton Belk in a recording studio, playing a Beatles-style bass guitar in a plaid shirt and trucker hat.

Hamilton Belk is a songwriter from midcoast Maine by way of North Colorado. His songs are humble affirmations that paradox is the only way forward, born on the shards of time between tours and recording sessions, wherein he daylights on pedal steel for bands like Dead Gowns, Wildflower, Dylan Earl, and Cut Worms. Belk’s influences include the country-folk lexicon, slacker rock, and the timeless, lonesome tears of the steel guitar.

With support from Iaiá Brazil.

🕯️ This weekend only! The dance show of the summer is Scapegoat Garden’s Liturgy|Order|Bridge. The Hartford-based company calls upon Black church traditions and ideas of faith, nature, fashion, and experimentation in their limited performance run June 20-22. Tickets available now, presented by SPACE at Mechanics’ Hall. 🕯️