I just adore music festivals. I have full memory of the first Rock in Rio in the 80s and I have Rock in Rio 2, in 1990, recorded on a VHS tape. On the first edition of the festival, Queen stole the show. On the second, I believe my very own George Michael blew minds away with 2 very different shows.
Rock in Rio evolved giving birth to Rock in Rio Lisbon. I somehow prefer its Latin American version. There is nothing like a Brazilian crowd. The exchange of energy from the audience and the musician is much more heated and noticeable.
Let’s talk about the highlights of this year’s edition. The shows brought musicians from all over the world. Bruce Springsteen, Beyonce, Muse, Justin Timberlake, Alice in Chains, Iron Maiden, Mettalica, Bon Jovi, Jessie J, Florence and the Machine, The Offspring, Alicia Keys were some of the international acts, among others national and international. Some performed in both Rio and São Paulo and others in just one city.
I LOVED Aurea. This Portuguese version of a blond Amy Whinehouse is superb. Her voice and style transcends the nostalgic old fashion sound. I enjoy discovering new musicians and Aurea was a wonderful discovery.
The shows that were the highlight of the festival were Bruce Springsteen,Muse, Bon Jovi and John Mayer. This is not the first time of any of these artists in Brazilian soil, but the play, interact and perform with the same energy as if it was their first time.
I personally know how a New Jersey boy feels and behaves when they arrive in Rio. I watched Springsteen live here in NY and I can assure you that the energy was not even close. As a bonus, The Boss sang Raul Seixa’s Sociedade Alternative on his São Paulo show. Bon Jovi seemed mesmerized by the reception he got from the crowd. He kissed a fan, encored Always and could not get enough.
John Mayer did long and mesmerizing guitar solos. He captivated the audience with his talent and his songs.
Muse drove every one crazy when they played Madness and Resistance (my fave).
Hopefully one day I will get to attend a Rock in Rio festival. By now I have to settle for watching these artists in American soil and listen to endless Springsteen and Bon Jovi songs in the car or at home. This is what happens when you have your own boy from Jersey.