This Ivete Sangalo concert at Rio de Janeiro's legendary Maracanã Stadium, and the subsequent DVD/CD releases, constituted the year's main event in Brazilian pop music. Sangalo rose to fame with the axé band Banda Eva, and since 1999 has embarked on an unstoppable solo career, making her the undisputed queen of pop in Brazil in terms of sales and popularity, as well as gathering countless industry and society awards. Accordingly, Sangalo put on a show at the Maracanã that should leave no one envious of the megaconcerts offered in Rio by Madonna, Michael Jackson, and the Rolling Stones. Alternating some of her many hits with new songs or new versions of old material, Sangalo burns through the set with her characteristic enthusiasm and infectious star magnetism, incessantly cheered on by an adoring audience of 55,000. This is a party designed to send everybody home happy and dead tired from singing and dancing. There is something for everyone: axé, reggae, funk, pop, and the inevitable slow torch number, all executed by a tight (if rather faceless) big band -- understandably overpowered by Sangalo's monster charisma. No big event is complete without special guests, and Ivete's list dutifully includes Alejandro Sanz, Samuel Rosa, MC Buchecha, Saulo Fernandes, and Durval Lelys. The CD also makes room for a new studio track, "Completo," which Sangalo recorded for a TV spot. Unquestionably, however, it's the DVD version that matters, since this is a show that is meant to be seen more than heard. In fact, the spectacle of Ivete Sangalo (regularly voted in Brazil as one of the country's sexiest women) in a black leather catsuit, among other striking outfits, is arguably alone worth the price of admission. Such seems to be the view in Brazil, where -- despite rampant piracy -- Ivete Sangalo ao Vivo No Maracanã broke record sales for music DVD releases in 2007.
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AllMusic Review by Mariano Prunes