By Beatriz Miranda, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Last Sunday, September 17th, Rock in Rio 2017 celebrated its third day of event at Cidade do Rock, in Parque Olímpico, Barra. Having brought Alicia Keys and Justin Timberlake as the main attractions, the day was marked by a diverse musical line-up and calls for social issues.
Opening the Palco Mundo (the main stage) was the Brazilian rock musician Frejat, at 7PM.
As a protest to Brazil’s current political scenario, the artist performed “Ideologia” (Ideology), an emblematic rock song composed in partnership with prestigious singer Cazuza. “Every time I sing it, it makes more sense”, says Frejat.
Having also performed in Rock in Rio 2013, American R&B and hip hop singer Alicia Keys surprised the audience when she invited to the stage Sonia Guajajara, female indigenous leader and activist who claimed land demarcation rights for the Amazon tribes.
Guajajara’s speech was followed by the participation of Pretinho da Serrinha, Carioca musician who introduced the Brazilian sound of “cuíca”, typical samba instrument, to some of Alicia Keys’ R&B compositions.
“Alicia is not only fascinating on the stage, but she is also an engaged artist. She is a role model for women. And this year’s performance was better than 2013’s. She gave space to the Brazilian culture during her show, which was amazing”, said Simone Cruz, age 26, who came from São Paulo to Rock in Rio 2017.
The most expected artist of the night, Justin Timberlake amazed the fans with an unexpected rendition of Frank Sinatra’s “My Way”, opening the show at 12:25 AM. Having first performed in Rock in Rio in 2013, like Alicia Keys, the former N’Sync member played recent hits like “Can’t stop the feeling” and favorites like “Señorita” and “Sexy Back”.
Additionally, the Sunset stage did not disappoint the audience, with Portuguese artists HMB, Virgul and Carlão opening the line up with an interesting mix of soul, groove, hip hop and Angolan kuduro. Following, Brazilian artists Joohny Hooker, Liniker and Almério fascinated the crowd with an interesting blend of pop, rock and regional Brazilian rhythms.
After Brazilian MPB artist Maria Rita impressed the audience for singing in English with American jazz singer Melody Gardot, Nile Rodgers & Chic closed the Sunset stage’s line up with mastery. The show included classics like “Everybody Dance” and “Dance, Dance, Dance”.