Arena Pop Rock Festival 2018

“We created an independent event that is not intended to be a Planet Atlantis. We are rock fans doing a festival for rock fans.” The organization's speech at the end of the event answered the question I had before entering the Pop Rock Arena for the first time. The comparison with the late Planeta Atlântida SC was inevitable, either because of the date, because perhaps all the bands had already played at that festival or because it was traditionally held next door, at Sapiens Parque. But this time the attractions of other genres, such as pop and sertanejo, were not there. It was just rock. And much of the best of national rock. I mean, practically only rock, since the opening show had the reggae groups Maneva and Chimarruts, animating the audience in a slightly more relaxed rhythm. But it didn't take long for Herbert Vianna and Os Paralamas do Sucesso to speed up the beat to hits like “Meu Erro”, “Lourinha Bombril” and “Óculos”. Even wearing his traditional sunglasses, the lead singer of the group seemed happy and interacted with the audience several times, even in ballads like “Cuide Bem do Seu Amor” and “Lanterna dos Afogados”. Interspersing the main hits, the band also played several songs from the new album, “Sinais do Sim”.


Another one of the biggest national bands in activity soon followed: Capital Inicial. Even having attended another four (!) concerts by the band, I faced yet another experience with animation. With the end of the tour promoting “Acoustic in New York”, the band practically limited its repertoire to the greatest hits of their career: “Primeiros Erros”, “Natasha” and “À Sua Maneira” were sung in chorus in what was perhaps the most prestigious show by the public. There was room for some old songs, such as “Fátima” and “Música Urbana”, in addition to other relics forgotten in the collection and that were played again after years: “Tudo Que Vai” and “Todas Noites”. Until, before the last show of the first day, the rain decides to fall hard on the place. With a large part of the audience, including me, sheltered in the box or in the marquees, CPM 22 started playing for a few dozen hardcore fans in front of the stage - praised several times by the vocalist Badauí. In fact, anyone who thought, like me, that the band would restrict its repertoire to songs from past decades, is wrong. More than half of the show had songs from the new album, “Suor e Sacrifício”. Near the end of the presentation, without rain and with more audience, one of the most memorable moments of the festival took place: the band invited two wheelchair users to the stage, both from Balneário Camboriú, to participate in the last two songs of the show - Irreversível and Um Minuto To the End of the World - with the band. And they certainly took advantage of the opportunity.


The second day started with a light rain, which caused disappointment as soon as I arrived. But a very lively concert by None of Us, which surprisingly had almost the entire audience jumping on most of the songs, improved the situation. The band from Rio Grande do Sul even played songs from the new album, but for most of the show they bet on the old recipe of playing the main hits of their career. And from the public response, it seems to have been a good choice. “O Astronauta de Mármore”, “Paz e Amor”, “Vou Let Let You Se Go” and “Camila”, which ended the show after a speech by vocalist Thedy Correa criticizing violence against women, were sung with great energy by the audience. . Mixing this animation with the intimate atmosphere of his show, Humberto Gessinger and his band - with the right to a percussionist dressed in bombacha - continued the gaucho presence on stage. Most of the show was based on the album “A Revolta dos Dândis”, which revealed the band to Brazil and in 2017 completed 30 years of release. Highlight for the versatility of Gessinger, who spent the show alternating between his traditional bass, guitar, harmonica and even a small piano, creating several different moments for a show that went through the hits “Infinita Highway”, “Terra of Gigantes” and “Chorus of Bolero”.


And if the audience was excited, it was even more so with Raimundos' relaxed rock dance, with several guests and somewhat random music to cheer the audience up, such as “Love of My Life” and “Psycho Killer”. That way, it wasn't necessary to be a fan to have fun with the show, which has in “Mulher de Fases” its trump card to make everyone get off the ground. But there was also no shortage of heavy riffs for the most critical rockers in songs like “Esporrei na Manivela” and “Eu Quero Ver o Oco”. The band also invited former Charlie Brown Jr. guitarist Marcão to play “Lugar Ao Sol” and “Zóio de Lua”. In a somewhat strange decision, Urbana Legion closed the festival, a superband formed by Egypcio (ex-Tihuana), Marcão (ex-Charlie Brown Jr.), Lena (ex-A Banca) and PG (ex-Tihuana ) who recorded two unpublished songs - “Apóstolo São João” and “Mariane 2” - from manuscripts left by Renato Russo. In addition, the group played songs from the first four Legião Urbana albums, including several “Lado B” - songs that are not among the biggest hits.


It was a different way to end a good festival that brought to Florianópolis several renowned bands from the national rock scene, something I had not seen in my five years in the capital of Santa Catarina. That the festival has another edition next year, as announced by the organization - which also admitted that the public was below expectations. And not (only) to “keep rock alive” or anything like that. But to bring more diverse music options to a city sometimes so saturated with country music and electronics. Until 2019, Arena Pop Rock. Text: Gabriel Lima Images: Gabriela Amancio


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