This musical bounty was neatly packaged into their irresistible concoction known as “jungle pop” and wrapped in colorful paper scented with the exotic aromas of this planet. Particularly heartening was the presence of a youthful crowd, primarily young women, who clearly identified with the powerful, cheerful, intelligent, and delicate singer and guitarist, Sophie – a clear sign that the empowerment of women in life and music is on the right track if you’re a Sofi Tukker fan.
Sofi Tukker appeared incredibly happy and energetic even before stepping onto Gorki List Main Stage; their delight with the city, fortress, and festival itself was palpable – and this was reflected in their performance. Sophie has lived, worked, and studied in various parts of the world, becoming fluent in several languages beyond her native English. This multi-cultural “hipster” aesthetic and the “new new romanticism” vibe they embody (if by “new romanticism,” we refer to Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet, and other bands known for their global appeal) speaks volumes. We know what we’re in for when they hit the stage.
And hit the stage they did, opening with a hypnotic and repetitive song in Portuguese, “Drinkee“ (Brazilian slang for “drink,” an evident loanword from English) – and the crowd went wild with joy. It’s not difficult to spread joy if you’re joyful yourself and possess… let’s call it “inverse empathy” – the ability not just to feel what others feel but to make others feel as you do. “Pour out joy from body to body. Let no one forget this night. On this occasion, I shall play the flute. Play on my own backbone!” the poet Mayakovsky once wrote. These verses instantly resonated in my mind, chills running down my spine.
Sophie bounced around the stage, perfectly toned in her recognizable costumes and outfits, sexy but never vulgar. A smiling giant with hair dyed blonde, who, in a parallel universe, could have been Nikola Jokić’s teammate, provided the backdrop with his beats. The performance felt like one long song, melodies flowing into each other; it was partly a concert of a pop duo and partly a back-to-back DJ session, but as we know, Generation Z doesn’t mind if an instrument isn’t “live” or if something turns into DJing and then back into a concert. This fluid approach to music started 40 years ago and is only escalating now. Many people I spoke with weren’t even sure if the verbs “to play” and “to spin” should mean different things. Maybe these are now synonyms — let’s not be dinosaurs; we all know what happened to those guys.
An hour of globe-trotting joy on Gorki List Main Stage and before it, furious transitions, youthful vitality, and smart pop — that’s what Sophie and Tucker offered in their symbiotic incarnation known as Sofi Tukker. They say they loved Novi Sad so much they don’t want to go home (joking that they’re looking for a job in Novi Sad). Well, we don’t want you to leave either. Now we’re even. See what you’ve done, masters of entertainment!
Written by: Žikica Milošević