By Nicole Froio, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Iconic venue Circo Voador (Flying Circus) will be celebrating more than the coming of another band to its stage on Saturday, December 15th. With the band Easy Star All-Stars, the venue will also be commemorating thirty years of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”, along with thirty years of Circo Voador.
The band’s new album “Thrillah” is a homage to the best-selling album in history, Thriller, that had its three decade anniversary last month on November 30th. Their latest album is a new rendition of Jackson’s songs, with added elements of reggae and dub.
Before going on tour, the band was looking forward to showing their tribute work to fans. In their website, they excitedly spoke about the venture. “For me, I was most excited for Thriller,” said guitarist Michael Goldwasser.
“I was always more of an R&B/soul and reggae kid growing up and I have an intense personal connection to Michael Jackson’s music.”
Lem Oppenheimer, one of the founding members of the reggae collective, says Michael Jackson was one of the greats and that the group had wanted to tackle a historical album for a while.
He said: “We’ve always tackled the greats – The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Radiohead – but while we wanted to take on another huge album, we also wanted to blaze new trails.” “In Thriller we found those new trails in a number of firsts for the series: the first album by an American artist, the first non-concept album, the first R&B/soul record, as well as the first release from the 80s.”
The collective has been known for making reggae and dub versions of famous records like the Beatles’ “With a Little Help From My Friends” and Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon”. They have also recorded their own version of Radiohead’s “Ok Computer”, and named their project “Radiodread”.
Formed in 1997, the collective only made their first appearance in Brazil and Rio de Janeiro in 2006 to perform their album “Dub Side of the Moon”, also on the stage of Circo Voador.
This time, they will have the challenge of playing the most sold songs in the history of music – but long-time fans of the band will not be disappointed as they will play some songs from their previous albums.
Eduardo Orsolon from Dueventos Produções Artísticas, the company that brought the band to Rio, says the album has special participations from other artists the fans will find exciting to hear.
He said: “The new album has special contributions by Davis Hinds from the band Steel Pulse and Luciano, a Jamaican singer. “The fans expect an impeccable performance, like the last one in 2006 and they hope to listen to Michael Jackson songs in dub and reggae.”
Yet the Easy Star All-Stars won’t be the only ones celebrating three decades of music, as Circo Voador has also completed thirty years of shows. The venue is known for its simple layout and good music, and last month many Brazilian bands like Kid Abelha were brought to its stage to mark the date.
Tickets to Easy Star All-Stars are still available for R$50 or R$60 more information can be found here. They will also be playing in São Paulo, Curitiba, Brasília, Porto Alegre, Recife and Florianópolis – exact tour dates can be seen here.