One of the largest music festivals in the world, Rock In Rio USA 2015 has just announced its headliners for the two-weekend stint in the city of sin, Las Vegas. With festivals already in Brazil, Madrid and Lisbon the expansion into the U.S. has been a longtime coming. Hundreds of acts from around the world will flock to the festival on May 8th-9th and 15th-16th at the City of Rock MGM Resorts Festival Grounds.
Big name artists that have created huge fan bases all over the world are heading to RIR 2015. The first headliners to be announced are Metallica, No Doubt, Linkin Park, Deftones, John Legend and Taylor Swift(yikes). While this is not even close to the diverse amount of talent the festival draws you can expect a more formal announcement and the complete line-up in the coming months. The expansion is due to the partnership between Cirque du Soleil, MGM Resorts International, Ron Burkle of The Yucaipa Companies and the festival.
It appears that the festival is trying to grab acts from every genre to appease the average festival-goer. While this is nothing new and a solid formula for any festival organizer, the headliners seem like “strange” choices to me. I have no problem with the legendary metal band Metallica, as they are known for their exciting and adrenaline pumping live shows. The elusive Grammy Award winning ska/pop band No Doubt have very few live performances planned for next year so their set at the festival could be a rare occurrence. Sacramento based hard rock band Deftones have finally achieved major headliner status and will be a non-stop thrill ride as a co-headliner.
While these three bands are all well and good, the other three induce some slight head scratching. John Legend is certainly not a bad act and has played Las Vegas many times before, but his brand of R&B and soul music is the complete opposite of the other headliners on the bill. However, chances are festival organizers will add more acts similar to Legend or at least give him his own stage. Linkin Park is one of the most successful alternative rock bands of the late 90’s and early 2000’s. They have won numerous awards for their hybrid(I just had to) style of nu metal and rap that has propelled them into the mainstream at a terrifying pace. With all of these accomplishments it may seem like a no-brainer to have LP as a headliner but their more commercial leanings in the past years have given them almost as many dissenters as well as fans. Popular headliners in Europe, I have honestly not seen a festival line-up with LP as a headliner in the U.S. do well, but maybe this time things will be different.
Finally, we come to the real eyesore on the headliner list and that is the aforementioned pop star, Taylor Swift. I have no idea why they decided to include Swift rather then another big band or hell even a major rapper? Yes, it is true Swift has won many Grammy Awards and sold millions of albums worldwide but her fan base is much different then the others and does not connect well with the vibe of the festival. Who knows I could be wrong and she will be the highlight of the festival? I also know that many people will grimace at just seeing her name among the bigger acts. Regardless, it should be interesting to see who else the festival nabs for the inaugural Rock In Rio USA festival, stay tuned!