Rock in Rio 2015 – Preview

The sixth edition of Rock in Rio kicks off this Friday for its now biannual shindig since coming back to home turf in 2011 and there’s plenty for the discerning rock fan to look forward to, or totally avoid(!), during its seven days spread over two weekends.
The Rock in Rio franchise is now one of the biggest and most successful shows on the festival circuit with editions in places as diverse as Lisbon and Las Vegas, but it’s the Rio edition which holds all the kudos. There’s a kind of nostalgic charm about it that never fails to capture the imagination of the Brazilian public, even though São Paulo’s Lollapolooza may be better organised and consistently puts together a far superior line-up.
RiR is Brazil’s Woodstock; with previous, often chaotic, editions talked about with an air of mythical awe, it has become a kind of rite of passage for the youth of today, if only for them to be able to say “Eu fui” – the trade mark T-shirt which announces to the world that you were there. I’ve got mine from 2001. But it’s not just for the youth, the often old fashioned bill also attracts a somewhat older festival goer maybe aiming to recapture a bit of that inexplicable nostalgic feel. Why else would they pay through the nose to get to the arse end of Rio on a freighted bus (no cars allowed) to stand under the burning Rio sun to watch bands as diverse as A-ha and Lamb of God? Because it’s Rock in fucking Rio baby!!!
Anyway this year the organisers have outdone themselves in the nostalgia stakes, there’s Queen, Rod, Elton, the aforementioned A-ha, Faith no More and Metallica, for the third consecutive edition, just in case you missed their merciless self promotion last time round when the plugging of ‘Through the Never’ was at fever pitch. You can’t help but feel the organizer are short changing the Brazilian public just a little. Even so, the festival does actually give a chance to more recent successes like Slipknot, System of a Down and One Republic, while pop icons like Katy Perry, Rhianna and Sam Smith also get their shot. There is also the occasional younger band like The Script or Royal Blood, but they are gonna have to work their asses off because more often than not the crowd are there to go mad for their heroes or just for the occasion, it’s not the same hardcore indie crowd of Lolla; throw in the local obsession for constant cell phone use, the banning of selfie sticks notwithstanding, and the scalding heat and you have a recipe for early evening apathy. Royal Blood in particular will have their work cut out this Saturday, people won’t have heard of them and basically everyone will be there to see Metallica, so even Motley Crüe will need to be on top form, especially with Korn likely to pull a big crowd over to the second stage.
So after Queen, One Republic and The Script kick things off tonight, it’s full on metal on Saturday, with Metallica’s repeat performance likely to take all the spoils, before Sunday’s very British, very old line up of Seal, Elton John and Rod Stewart on the main stage, while John Legend and Magic, who just might steal everybody’s thunder, take on the Sunset stage. More to follow…

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