By Nathan M. Walters, Senior Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – To celebrate its 30th anniversary, Circo Voador, the famed venue in Lapa, has planned a series of commemorative shows with a handful of important Brazilian musical acts. O Rappa, the popular cross-genre band from Rio, will participate in the festivities, returning Wednesday, July 18th to the stage that helped shape the group’s career to perform their 1999 album, “Lado B Lado A” (Side B Side A).

O Rappa brings the energy and cross-genre spirit to the Circo Voador, Lapa, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil News
O Rappa brings the energy and cross-genre spirit to the Circo Voador stage tonight, photo by Focka/Flickr Creative Commons License.

O Rappa, formed in 1994, represents the influence and success of Circo Voador.  A band that, like the venue, mixes different genres (e.g, samba, rock, reggae, hip hop, dub) and is comfortable working with different styles, different languages, for an open-minded audience willing to go in different directions if the sound is good.

It is no coincidence that O Rappa took shape ten years after the start of Circo Voador’s opening in Lapa.  The variety of styles the members of O Rappa would have been exposed to during those early years there had a direct influence on the group’s own approach to music.

O Rappa guitarist Xandão discussed the connection, “[Circo Voador] was very important to the history of O Rappa. It was there that the band played their first shows, but it was also the place where the band had contact with various sounds and they all continue to be part of the music we make today.”

Today the band is known internationally for blending elements of Brazilian and Caribbean rhythms with rock and hip-hop styles, forging a unique sound that keeps fans waiting for new material. Lado B Lado A, O Rappa’s most well-received album, demonstrates the band’s talent to mixing different genres to create a unique Brazilian sound.  

O Rappa Performing Live, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil news
O Rappa Performing Live, photo by Marcio Ramalho 2/Flickr Creative Commons License.

Released at the height of the violence that plagued the city, some tracks have an angered urgency (notably the title-track “Lado B Lado A”) while others dig into deep funk grooves, moved forward by the powerful vocals of Marcelo Falcão.

The album, to be performed in its entirety tonight, was a groundbreaking commercial and critical success for O Rappa.  Rolling Stone Brasil selected Lado B Lado A as the 93rd best Brazilian album of all time.  The title-track was also included on the “Tropa de Elite” (Elite Squad) soundtrack.

“To celebrate thirty years with [Circo Voador] is very special to us, the celebration deserved something special. That’s why we decided to play the entire album Lado B Lado A, something we did only once in our whole career. It will be a very special night,” says Xandão.

Carlos Barreto from nearby Barra Mansa is traveling to Rio to catch tonight’s performance.  “I have been a fan for many years, have seen them (O Rappa) perform a few times and just really enjoy the vibe of the shows, a great atmosphere every time they play in Rio,” he says.

Location: Circo Voador, Rua dos Arcos, S/N, Lapa
Dates: Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Time: Doors open at 10PM

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