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Live Reviews

Sandy & Junior
September 11, 2006
Central Park Summerstage
New York New York Sandy & Junior


Not having seen the young pop duo in many years,  I must say that I was very impressed with their current sound. During the early years of their post-kiddie phase career, many critics noted that Sandy (who has a beautiful singing voice) pretty much carried her brother on her back, and that Junior was the least talented of the two.


Such an affirmation might might have been true in the past, but their latest appearance shows that it is no longer true. Junior now holds his own on stage (he also has a side gig in Brazil with a band called Soul Funk), playing electric guitar and occasionally sitting behind the drums. His voice, though still no match to his sister's, now sounds steady and assured. He has also found his own as a performer, no longer standing in his sister's shadow.


After opening by doing a couple of very electric numbers, the duo went on to play an extended acoustic set that pleased their fans even though the choice of songs seemed a bit out of place for an outdoor event. After a couple of numbers, Junior then picked up the electric guitar and played a Stevie Ray Vaughan-inspired guitar riff which led to a 60s-inspired blues tune.


In one of the show's best moments, they played a heavy version of Cazuza's "Pro Dia Nascer Feliz", a rock tune that has become a classic (it was recorded by Barao Vermelho in the early ‘80s), and then went into a medley that included a series of ‘80s hits such as Tim Maia's "Descobridor dos Sete Mares,"  Djavan's "Lilás" and Jorge Ben's "Taj Mahal"


The duo closed with "Vamos Pular," a song about the disillusionment that many Brazilians face with the country's social and economic failures. The words invite people to "Jump for a better country." Strong words that come on a timely basis: This is an election year in Brazil, and many in the country are angry with the current administration's broken promises.


Sandy e Junior proved that they have grown up to be serious musicians. Sure, they still carry a certain media-friendly naiveté in their music (specially the love songs), but they are no longer the kiddie pop duo they were a few years back, and their musical growth is very evident.