Backstage in Porto Alegre, the sound technician pulled Greg and I aside. “There are a couple good whorehouses near here, if you are interested in checking one out later,” he excitedly informed us. “Girls in bikinis… big butts,” he elaborated, flashed a huge smile and making the rock ‘n roll symbol with his right hand. Based on our interaction with this guy, we wondered if Brazilians have a different attitude towards prostitution. The sound tech’s endorsement was made with a lighthearted innocence, as if he was recommending a dance club . There wasn’t any of the darkness or sleaziness that would accompany this topic in the states, or even in Europe. “Also, there are good swing houses,” he added, shimmying his hips and making another rock ‘n roll symbol. This piqued my curiosity, and after a little querying I found out that he had seen up to five couples doing it in one room, and that, yes, you are allowed to go and just watch.
Brazilians love social networking. Everyone’s noticeably plugged in to their tweets, their blogs. In Porto Alegre, the front row of the audience was lined with people permanently brandishing their digital cameras and smart phones, reaching them above the monitors, only inches away from our legs, capturing every facial expression, every last second of footage. Darwin eventually asked them to stop about halfway through the set. It was hard to tell if his request was lost in translation, or if they were simply incredibly bent on documenting our show, because the front row kept their cameras held high throughout Darwin’s request, great big smiles on their faces. After a few more requests, Darwin asked, “am I being a dick about this?” “YES!” fired back the audience. It was an uncomfortable moment but eventually we convinced the photographers to mellow out. Sorry if we offended any of you, Port Alegre! We just needed a little room to move our legs, and all the flashes were giving us seizures.
Sometimes when you are playing a show, you have the pleasure of having a beautiful girl standing right in front of you, watching you. I always love when this happens, and in Porto Alegre, I had an especially lucky night because they were two of them. “I hope they stick around after the show,” I thought as I picked away at my pink guitar. “I hope I can find them…” After our encore, Constellations, I hustled backstage, wiggled into a non-sweaty shirt, and raced back upstairs. There they were, waiting for me, Laryssa and Roberta. They were so fun and cute. I danced with them for hours, until the club slowly emptied and the lights flipped on.