Rock in Rio gets off to storming start in Lisbon .jpg

Rock in Rio gets off to storming start in Lisbon

SHAKIRA WAS the headline act for the opening night of Rock in Rio-Lisboa, the eagerly awaited music festival taking place in Portugal’s capital city. When she sung her top selling hits, Underneath and Whenever, Wherever, the 90,000 plus audience went absolutely wild.

During the brilliant performance, in which her excellent vocal skills and obvious dance ability were shown to the full, Shakira delighted fans by stepping down from the stage to dance closer to the crowd, taking the opportunity to speak to them in perfect Portuguese. Other artists to perform earlier on Friday were Jamiroquai, Brazilian singer Ivete Sangalo and Portuguese boy band D’Zrt.

Saturday saw the festival take on a rockier feel with performances on stage from British band The Darkness, metal legends Guns N’ Roses, Brazilian rock star Pitty and Portuguese favourites Xutos & Pontapés. The Portuguese audience didn’t seem to appreciate or understand The Darkness: their tongue-in-cheek stage show or the falsetto singing style favoured by Justin Hawkins. But then again, perhaps it does take a bit of getting used to ….

The band which attracted the most attention was, of course, Guns N’ Roses, a group that is rarely seen live these days, only including one member of the original line-up. Their performance attracted mixed reviews though, with some saying the singer’s voice had gone and others spitefully pointing out that Axl Rose seems to have gained a little weight since the band’s heyday.

Despite the fact that the group paused on several occasions to indulge in some long and tedious instrumental solos (the band later blamed the need for these on TV station, Sic Radical, which apparently needed time to edit their broadcast), the fans loved the band’s renditions of classic anthems, Paradise City, Welcome to the Jungle and Patience. Axl Rose, despite his rather more rotund appearance and occasionally failing voice, demonstrated that he is still a great showman, maintaining his legendary angry stage persona and performing with incredible energy.

Some of the highlights still to come in this year’s festival include performances by Roger Walters and Carlos Santana (tonight June 2), the Red Hot Chili Peppers (June 3) and Sting, Anastacia and Corinne Bailey Rae (June 4).

For further information and tickets, visit the festival’s official website at