Although São Paulo’s indie scene is often relegated to bars on bustling Rua Augusta or to the live venue Cine Joia’s occasional international bookings, the Planeta Terra festival draws a turnout of 30,000 fans eager to catch the bigger names of the genre. Perhaps anticipating the throng, Terra has changed locations for the fourth time since 2007 –moving to the spacious fields of the Campo de Marte airport in the city’s north zone. Next year’s Lollapalooza will also take place in a larger venue – the Autódromo de Interlagos, five times the size of its former venue, the Jockey Club.
Kicking off Planeta Terra with the synth-rock paulistano five piece, Hatchets, the show continues a half-hour later with the still-unannounced local winners of Terra’s online Rock on Top contest. More Brazilian artists follow, including another SP group, O Terno, the funk-reggae fusion of BNegão & Seletores de Frequência, and the twee folksy sounds of Porta dos Fundos actress Clarice Falcão, whose involvement in the sketch comedy YouTube sensation (youtube.com/user/portadosfundos) possibly lends more to the public’s interest in her set, than her too-cute first full-length album, Monomania.
The first foreign band to take the spotlight, the upstart London-based Palma Violets, bring a ferocious, garage rock-inspired sound fresh from their debut 180, released on Rough Trade, aptly carrying on in the spirit of labelmate predecessors The Libertines and The Strokes.
Much less aggressive, the Scottish band Travis, whose lead vocalist Fran Healy has always given them an irrepressibly gloomy air, return with their seventh studio album Where You Stand. Age has mellowed their sound further, and the melancholy is more palpable than ever in Healy’s voice.
In contrast to Travis’s dour approach, the Grammy-winning US hip hop-and-soul group, The Roots provide a welcome jolt of energy along with a change in style to the otherwise rock-slanted line-up.
Another internet success story, thanks to the captivating video and haunting melody of 2011’s ‘Video Games’, sultry vocalist Lana Del Rey arrives on the strength of the cinematic Born to Die record and its seemingly never-ending string of big singles and accompanying million-views clips.
The fellow US vocalist and genre-defying alt-rock veteran Beck hasn’t released a proper record since 2008’s Modern Guilt, but is reportedly mid-way through putting together a pair of new albums, one acoustic and the other in his usually eclectic style. Though he recently squeaked out a trio of singles, the man whose career was built from the 1993 smash ‘Loser’ has no shortage of material.
Wrapping up the daylong show, Britpop giant Blur is the star attraction, having been absent from Brazilian stages since 1999. Expect them to unleash all their crowd favourites like the disco-flavoured ‘Girls & Boys’, the ultra-English ‘Country House’, and the woo-hooing arena rock shout-along, ‘Song 2’.
And if the programme weren’t packed tightly enough, there’s also a Ferris wheel and giant slide for thrill-seeking hipsters requiring additional distraction.