What tends to set a really good cover apart is when the artist comes at the song from such an unusual angle that it catches you off guard. If a band can score big points on originality, it can elevate a cover from “listenable” to “memorable” quickly. This is a lesson that Brazilian 2wins has taken to heart.
Walking into The Standard on Saturday night knowing nothing about the band, I really had no expectation. This, friends, is really the greatest thing about living in this city: It’s so damn easy to take a gamble on live music here. If they had been terrible, it literally cost nothing to find out.
The four-piece — anchored by twin brothers Walter and Wagner Caldas — boasts a live show that is one of the most dynamic, high energy experiences this side of Dead Horse Trauma. The centerpiece is Walter’s electric violin, which is one of the more unique sounds in central Iowa music. Wagner’s high-energy vocals engage the crowd easily, and on this night the band electrified The Standard audience with a series of bold, imaginative covers.
The highlights of the night were the band’s covers of “Cupid Shuffle” and Fun.’s “We Are Young.” The former brought out a crowd of dancers — as every rendition of “Cupid Shuffle” ever has always done — and the latter had the crowd singing along in full-throated approval.
There’s nobody on this earth who will argue that Cupid or Fun. are particularly strong entries in the pantheon of American high art. And yet, Brazilian 2wins were able to take two songs that have been covered and re-played in ad infinitum and make them fresh and entertaining. And that, in a nutshell, describes the Brazilian 2wins experience. CV