Ratos de Porão and Raimundos command the hardcore night at Abril Pro Rock

On the night dedicated to heavy, thrash and punk rock, the veterans from São Paulo imposed their style, while the band from Brasília won over the crowd with a long list of hits

Débora Nascimento
RECIFE – Scheduled to start at 5 p.m., the second night at Abril Pro Rock –traditionally dedicated to harder and heavier music – actually began one hour later. The organizers resolved not to keep up with their renowned punctuality (which had been more intense in the past couple of years), because part of the city was watching a soccer match between Sport and Náutico (1x0), which were fighting for a place in the finals of the Northeastern Championship.

As a result, after the match was over, the pavilion at the Centro de Convenções was taken by a huge number of Sport fans that enlarged the quantity of rock fans that were already at APR. According to Paulo André Pires, director of the festival, about 7 thousand people showed up on Saturday night to enjoy heavy, thrash and punk rock.

The most testosterone-drenched night started out with Dolores Del Fuego (the name is a reference to local band Badminton’s vocalist, Felipe Vieira, who is said to have dressed up as a woman and called himself like that during one carnival). The only act from Pernambuco was in charge of a hard task: to try and make people headbang at 6 p.m.

Dolores was followed by American band The Queers. Clearly influenced by the Ramones, the band started out covering their masters. Rockaway Beach served as a tribute to Joey Ramone, deceased last Sunday.

Chico Buarque hardcore
Besides the Queers, the other surprising act on Saturday was Infierno, from Rio de Janeiro. The band played one of the tightest sets in the bill. While their CD features a mix of hard rock with electronica, the music comes out very different onstage. The heavy punch shocked the orthodox when Infierno did a hardcore version of Chico Buarque’s classic, Construção.

Then it was time for Ratos de Porão to show why, after 20 years on the road, they remain as one of the bands that enjoy most respect in the punk rock scene in Brazil. When João Gordo (fatter than ever) was spotted, everybody rushed to the front of the stage. João Francisco Benedam fired up the place with classics from albums like Crucificados pelo Sistema (1984) and Anarkophobia (1991).

Raimuindos’ mission was to wrap the party. Backed-up by successful albums like Só no Forévis 30'' excerpts and MTV ao Vivo Raimundos 30'' excerpts , the band from Brasília attracted the most fans to the pavilion. The audience ranged from teenagers to old bearded rockers and the set list included explosive hits like Puteiro em João Pessoa, Mulher de Fases, I Saw You Saying, Andar na Pedra, Eu Quero Ver o Oco, A Mais Pedida, Me Lambe and Reggae do Maneiro, as well as the hardcore version of Fabio Júnior’s 20-year-old hit Vinte Poucos Anos.

Backstage, Rodolfo (vocals), Fred (drums) and Canisso (bass) were scared because Digão (guitar) felt very dizzy when the concert finished. But everything went fine. At the end of the day, the only thing that was missing on the heavy night at Abril Pro Rock was Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, scheduled for a lighter bill on Sunday. If they do in Recife what they did at the Garden Hall stage in Rio on Saturday, the shock might be big.

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