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Metallica has been confirmed as one of the headliners for the 2015 U.S. Rock in Rio music festival, which will take place in Las Vegas over two weekends, May 8 to 9 and 15 to 16, event organizers announced at a September 26 press conference at the NASDAQ building in New York’s Times Square. Also performing on the main stage in Vegas will be Linkin Park, Taylor Swift and No Doubt, VP Roberta Medina said. Deftones and John Legend have been confirmed for the Sunset Stage for festival debut.
At the tail end of the press conference, No Doubt, graced the podium and Rock in Rio representatives presented the band with an honorary guitar shaped like the event logo. The band posed for a photo-op but did not answer questions.
Following the press conference, Rock in Rio, staged a brief concert in the heart of Times Square which exemplified their goal of presenting a diverse variety of acts. First, Brazilian metal band Sepultura performed a song with French percussion group Les Tambours du Bronx. During the number, musicians banged tribal beats on industrial barrels and Sepultura accompanied the clamor with their own dissonant style of roaring vocals post-thrash guitars and syncopated drumming.
Then, John Mayer took the stage with his band and performed two songs. Dressed in black slacks, an open black and white collared shirt over a white t-shirt and thick-rimmed round glasses, Mayer launched into one of his first commercial singles, “No Such Thing,” which elicited raised cell phones and a rousing sing-along from the crowd, most of which caught wind about the show over the Internet.
With a full band that included two female background singers, Mayer played “Gravity,” from 2006’s Continuum. The song was far bluesier than "No Such Thing," and showcased Mayer’s fluid pentatonic guitar leads. For anyone who didn’t know the singer/songwriter could shred, Mayer coaxed some rapid runs from his wood grain Stratocaster and even finger tapped before the song’s climax.
Mayer, will not play at the U.S. Rock in Rio, according to an event rep, but will appear at the October festival in Brazil. Katy Perry is also confirmed as a performer for Brazil, but not America, Medina said.
The U.S. Rock in Rio will take place at a 37-acre facility that will be constructed on the Las Vegas Strip and will hold 85,000 fans per day. Performances will begin at 4 p.m and run until 2 a.m. The event will include two main stages – the 262 foot long primary stage and the smaller Sunset Stage – an alternative rock stage and a stage for electronic music and DJs. There will also be three locations designated to music and culture from Brazil, America and the UK. Co-sponsors Cirque Du Soleil ar expected to schedule performances at the event.
The grounds will feature a giant Ferris wheel and a 600-foot zip line constructed high abobe the main stage.
Rock in Rio launched in 1985 with a concert that ran from Jan 11 to 20. Queen, George Benson, Rod Stewart, AC/DC and Yes each headlined stages for two nights. Other performers included Iron Maiden, James Taylor, the Go-Go’s, The B-52’s, Ozzy Osbourne, Scorpions, Nina Hagen, Whitesnake, Gilberto Gil, Al Jarreau.
While Rock in Rio has continued in Brazil, the event expanded to Lisbon, Portugal in 2004. Four years later, Rock in Rio included dates in Madrid, Spain. In addition to launching in America in 2015, Rock in Rio is looking into branching out to include locations in Asia and the Middle East, Medina said.