I had the pleasure of seeing Sara Tavares perform live last Saturday at Boston’s Berklee Performance Center. It was the first time I had ever seen Sara live and the first time I had gone to a Luso artist’s concert here in the States. I went with a very good friend of mine who not only took the pictures you see on this post but also snagged some amazing seats right near the front of the stage, so that I could unabashedly stare at Tavares as she played soulful song after soulful song. Sara came with an exceptional band, especially the Portuguese bassist who sang the duet Planeta Sukri with Sara in perfect creole (Boy Ge Mendes is featured in the original rendition, included below).
Her singing was beautiful, profound at times, and it was clear that she loves what she does. The smile never left her lips, and she was completely at ease with the audience, making us laugh and smile along with her. It was always going to be interesting to see what kind of crowd she would attract; of course, the Cape Verdean contingent came out strong, but so did a lot of older Bostonians whose presence there took me by surprise. The venue itself was a sit-down concert hall, which wasn’t conducive do dancing, but Sara took care of that when she ordered us all on our feet towards the end of the concert. She played mostly tracks from Xinti (including So D’imagina, one of my favorite jams) and included crowd favorites from Balancê and Mi Ma Bô.
There’s an expression in Spanish that perfectly characterizes what Sara Tavares is all about: buena onda, or like Boss AC says, boa vibe. When you listen to her lyrics you have a sense of the person behind them, and that is exactly the way that Sara lives her life. She seemed so at peace with herself. In the end, everyone left with a feeling of deep satisfaction, because Sara was able to convey that “Bom Feeling” to the crowd. I yearn to see her again.
-Photos by Molly Dow