By Sibel Tinar, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO – The iconic pop-rock and new wave band of the 80’s Simple Minds returns to Brazil this week after a fifteen-year absence. The Scottish band will take to the stage at Vivo Rio, located in Parque do Flamengo, on Thursday August 19th, and are set to play all their biggest hits as part of their 2010 tour celebrating a career that spans more than three decades.
The band’s four shows in Brazil (São Paulo on August 17th, Rio on the 19th, Brasília on the 21st, and Porto Alegre on the 22nd) mark the third Simple Minds tour in the country, and are scheduled as a diversion from their European summer tour, in-between two shows in Germany.
The fact that Brazil is the only South American country included in the band’s latest tour is hardly surprising given the band’s vocal admiration for the country.
Frontman Jim Kerr recently posted comments on the band’s website, saying: “Brazil is a place that I imagine most of us have either dreamed of visiting, or in one way or another would desire experiencing for ourselves. I recall as an 11-year-old pupil at St Brigid’s primary school in Glasgow that our class did ‘a project’ on Brazil; it was then that I first became quite fascinated by that vast country, its cities, jungles, history and culture. A great amount of that fascination still holds and with that being so, I am even more looking forward to the upcoming concerts that we have scheduled throughout the second part of August.”
The feeling appears to be mutual, and the band has been eagerly awaited by fans of all ages in Brazil for years after their cancellation of two shows scheduled for September 2009 in São Paulo left fans disappointed.
Formed in Glasgow, Scotland in 1978, Simple Minds released their debut album Life in a Day the following year. Since those early days the band has experienced many changes in their lineup, and today the only remaining original members are guitarist Charlie Burchill, and the vocalist Jim Kerr.
The band quickly rose to fame with their exciting and innovative live performances, playing in prominent festivals such as Live Aid in 1985. That same year, their song “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” which featured in the soundtrack of cult film The Breakfast Club became a major hit, topping the charts both in the United States and Europe.
Their worldwide recognition continued throughout the 1990s and into the 2000s, but they were unable to sustain the huge popularity they enjoyed in the 80s.
As such the band’s 2010 tour bears a nostalgic character, with a special emphasis on the cornerstones that make up their musical adventure.
Speaking of photographs taken in Rio some years ago, Jim Kerr reminisced further; “I particularly favor one shot taken of Charlie Burchill and Johnny Marr – the ex Smiths guitarist – standing on the hotel terrace with the iconic panorama view of the beach and Sugar Loaf Mountain making the dreamiest backdrop. Both of the guys look so happy and why would they not? Particularly as with both having been born and raised respectively in the then gray industrial northern towns of Glasgow and Manchester, surely then Rio was more than likely to have appeared overwhelmingly magic, not to mention glamorous, to their young eyes. It certainly did to mine…”