Cirque du Soleil Pays Tribute to One of Argentina's Most Iconic Bands With Soda Stereo's 'Sep7imo Dia'
In the early '80s, when the Soda Stereo trio was looking to complete its formation, musicians such as Ulises Butrón, Richard Coleman and Daniel Melero, among others, tried their luck to see if they could fulfill that coveted fourth role in the band; but it turned out to be impossible for someone else to be incorporated into the group. Not because the band wouldn’t want to, but because it was simply not possible: Their relationship and bond was so esoteric, so impenetrable, that any who tried to join would feel foreign to it.
On March 9, with the Buenos Aires premiere of Sép7imo Día - No Descansaré (Seventh Day - I Will Not Rest) -- Cirque du Soleil's tribute to the band formed by the late Gustavo Cerati, Zeta Bosio and Charly Alberti -- Luna Park was witness to the unrelenting vigor that their music has. "For the first time, Soda has let someone enter their triangle: you," a voice said while the stadium was still under the veil of darkness and after, the audience gave Zeta and Charly a standing ovation when they arrived at the venue to watch the show.
The event marks the fourth musical tribute from the company, after having worked on music from The Beatles, Michael Jackson and Elvis Presley. There will be 70 shows in the same venue every day until May 14, with tickets already sold out for most of the dates. After closing up in Buenos Aires, the show will be moved to Córdoba and later throughout Latin America.
"We invented a new world inspired by their songs and the relationship the group had with its audience," Michael Laprise, director and writer of the spectacle, told Billboard. And he’s right. It’s the first time in the history of Cirque du Soleil where there is a standing audience that mixes in with the performance of the artists. For example, the bulky tires that carry the acrobats inside traveled in between the crowd, the fish tank where two artists swam in without breathing equipment for the whole act was situated in the general sitting area, and two "bonfires" were built in between people when the Mexican artist Zendra Tabasco -- who also had an aerial dance number with a harness that held her by her hair -- interpreted "Té para tres."
"We never had such a loud sound in Cirque. Generally there are neighbors around the tent, so that limits us a lot. And in Vegas there are older people, so it’s not convenient. But Soda Stereo was known for it’s loud music, and that’s how this should be. We have studio quality but with the rawness of being live," explained Laprise.
The soundtrack was produced and mixed by Zeta and Charly and co-produced by Adrián Taverna, who also digitalized and restored the original tapes to create new versions of the tracks. Even some drums were re-recorded. Gustavo’s sister, Laura Cerati, was also involved in the production. The show reviewed the majority of the band’s albums without following a fixed timeline and creating a particular scene for each song. They put on display songs like "El séptimo día," "Cae el sol," "Planta," "Picnic en el 4°B," "Te hacen falta vitaminas," "Mi novia tiene bíceps," "Un misil en mi placar," "Prófugos," "Crema de estrellas," "Cuando pase el temblor," "Luna roja," "Sobredosis de TV," "Persiana americana," "Signos,'" "Un millón de años luz," "En la ciudad de la furia," "Primavera 0," "De música ligera" and "Terapia de amor intensiva."
"It would be a nice moment for you to illuminate the stadium. You’re stars. The whole world is a star," said the ethereal voice of Gustavo Cerati. It’s the phrase he said in one of the 2007 concerts at the Argentine soccer stadium River Plate, which marked the return of Soda Stereo after a 10-year hiatus. Accompanied by the voices and pictures of the band, the acrobats -- 37 people in full makeup and psychedelic costumes -- showed off their physical ability on a concave stage that simulated a planet, with screen tricks and excellent lighting, nods to the aesthetics, videos and history of Soda, and interaction with all sorts of elements: harnesses, diabolo, mattresses, rods, cages, mirrors, ropes and even a giant metal flower.
If conquering without risk is succeeding without glory, then these artists deserve a rightful and honorable victory: to every dangerous movement was added the difficulty of being choreographed. And even then, in the city of fury, Gustavo Cerati became a part of everybody. Forever.