By Chesney Hearst, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – One of the most influential groups of the post-punk era, British band Echo and the Bunnymen return to Rio de Janeiro on Saturday, November 1st to play live at Lapa’s Fundição Progresso. Before a São Paulo show on Sunday, November 2nd, the band returns to Rio on Saturday as part of a world tour in support of their twelfth studio album entitled, Meteorites.
Well known for their hits that include “Killing Moon,” “Lips Like Sugar,” and “Bring on the Dancing Horses,” the group has released twelve studio albums and several live albums. Additionally, during the last three decades, they influenced bands including Coldplay, Arcade Fire and Radiohead, and built up a strong cult following around the world.
“The tour has been fantastic, it’s felt like a new beginning in lots of ways,” Ian McCulloch told The Rio Times via e-mail. “The live performances feel more special than ever because the new songs sound like they belong with timeless classics such as ‘The Killing Moon’ and ‘Seven Seas’ et al.”
“As everyone knows, we absolutely love Brazil,” McCulloch continued, “and the shows are going to be magical…Brazil brings out the magic in The Bunnymen.”
One of Echo and the Bunnymen’s performances in Rio took place in 1987, the same year as their self-titled Echo & the Bunnymen album release. That album included the single, “Lips Like Sugar” and helped the band to gain a much wider following. They were last in Rio and São Paulo in 2010.
McCulloch, along with guitarist Will Sergeant and bassist Les Pattinson, formed Echo and the Bunnymen in Liverpool, England in 1978. Their debut album entitled, Crocodiles, was released in 1980.
During the years that followed in addition to multiple album releases, there were band lineup changes, a break-up of the band, McCulloch’s solo career and eventually the band’s reformation. Currently, McCulloch and Sergeant are the only original members that remain in the lineup.
“Yes it’s been a weird and wonderful voyage of self-discovery and adventure since that first song Will and I wrote way back when” said McCulloch, adding, “…maybe Darwin would’ve liked it, especially as The Bunnymen evolved from a simple little song called ‘Monkeys’.”
While Echo and the Bunnymen’s songs have always been thoughtful with a somewhat brooding and darker quality at times, over the years they become much more reflective. The ten tracks of Meteorites seem to be the most poignant yet, as the lyrics take stock of life, reflecting the years gone by while also bringing the present, the future and larger universal issues into focus.
“Meteorites is essentially that,” said McCulloch, “an attempt at a coming to terms with life, and all its ups and downs.”
When asked if over the years he ever grows tired of playing the band’s hits “The Killing Moon” or “Lips Like Sugar,” McCulloch said; “Never! I live to sing those songs, I need to sing them because they express all the things I want to say.”
“The best part of The Bunnymen’s live experience,” McCulloch explained, “is when everyone connects with the point of it all… to conjure up some magic and some hope. It does happen. I know because I’ve felt it so many times, and I love playing live because I get to feel the wonder of what those songs mean with other people… no diggity.”
Fundição Progresso gates will open at 9:30 PM and the show is scheduled to begin at 11:30 PM.