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Our man in Brazil: Part 5

November 8, 2010

“So I’m back from my hiatus. I had to runaway and hide from the feds”

When I typed hiatus into google it didn’t come out as “romantic Greek holiday with Justin”? Strange. Well we’re back anyway, and even though I’ve returned to England there are still a couple of “Our man in Brazil” chapters to come; mainly because I’m unemployed and in denial.

Back in October I went to SWU festival (Começa com você) in Itu, near São Paulo. The event had been hyped up as the Woodstock of South America, and despite typically retarded Brazilian organisation, it definitely lived up to its billing. Choosing to locate the festival in a cold, high-up area famous for being windy, and then opening 1 shite little road for 100,000 people to enter through, wasn’t the smartest idea ever, and the food and drink prices were steep, but the music more than made up for that.

I saw Rage Against the Machine at Reading festival in 2000, at their last ever European gig. It was, and still is, the best gig I have ever seen live. At SWU things didn’t run quite as smoothly as a slight technical problem half way through their set cut off the sound for 15 minutes. One of the locals near me got so pissed off he shouted “Rage Against the Machine is for favela kids, not playboys like me”. Despite that little setback they were still the best act at the festival. The crowd was electric; the majority of them getting their first chance to see RATM almost 2 decades after their first album was released.

The second band I’ll talk about is another one I’ve been listening to for years, and never thought I’d get the chance to see live, considering their lead singer, Bradley Nowell, died in 1996. I was sceptical about their new singer, Rome, as Brad is a tough act to follow, but he played the songs perfectly, sounded great on the guitar, and their new songs sounded good too. He also looks a bit like Oli.

The festival also had a pretty large electronic contingent, with acts such as Erol Alkan, Tiesto, The Twelves, Roger Sanchez, Gui Boratto, Steve Angello, Sander Kleinenberg and DJ Marky all playing in the dance arena. Of those, the highlight was probably Steve Angello, would dropped his remix of Perfect Stranger halfway through the set (cheers to Afrikaan Sam for the link).

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