Lollapalooza Brazil 2014: Phoenix, Arcade Fire, Lorde Rock São Paulo

Lorde performs during the 2014 Lollapalooza Brazil at Autodromo de Interlagos on April 5, 2014 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images)
Buda Mendes, Getty Images

Lorde performs during the 2014 Lollapalooza Brazil at Autodromo de Interlagos on April 5, 2014 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

The third edition of Lollapalooza Brazil took place for the first time at the Interlagos racecourse in São Paulo on Saturday and Sunday (April 5-6). The two-day festival brought fans from all over the country who fought the heat during the weekend to see their favorite bands including Muse, Phoenix, Arcade Fire, Soundgarden, Pixies, New Order, Vampire Weekend, Lorde, Nine Inch Nails and Imagine Dragons, among others. 

The festival drew 80,000 festivalgoers on Saturday and 60,000 on Sunday, a number that increased due to the venue change from the Jockey Club to Interlagos. The change also meant a lot of walking in order to get to the stages, causing the occasional "human traffic jam." Besides that, Lollapalooza finished the South American tour (after Chile and Argentina), in strong fashion. A diverse lineup brought unforgettable performances for the Brazilian public who enjoyed every minute of the concerts. 

Here are the highlights from the two-day Lollapalooza Brazil 2014:


The Las Vegas band Imagine Dragons drew a huge crowd to the Onix stage on Saturday afternoon. With booming percussion, strong choruses and an electronic touch, the quartet delivered on their hits “Radioactive,” "Demons" and "On Top of the World," the high points of the concert.

Opening the show with the track “Entertainment” from their latest album Bankrupt!, Phoenix delivered one of the best performances of the festival’s first day. The French band, who performed before Muse, incorporated colors, lights, and one hit after another during the show. The crowd danced madly with glow sticks swirling in the dark when they played “1901” and “Lisztomania.” By the end, Thomas Mars donned a Brazilian flag and launched a stage dive into the eager crowd.

Grammy winner Lorde made her Brazil debut and showed a lot of energy during her performance on the Interlagos stage on Saturday evening. The vibrant and introspective vibe of the show pulled the audience into a kind of collective trance. The New Zealand native sang almost all the songs from her "Pure Heroine" album, and the expected climax came with "Royals" in which she appeared with a flag of Brazil and was immediately greeted with cheers.

The English electronic music duo Disclosure, formed by the brothers Guy and Howard Lawrence transformed a portion of the rock festival into a rave. The bros delivered an electric performance at Interlagos stage despite the fact that they were competing with Muse, the headliner of the first night in the Skol stage. The crowd went mad at the beginning of the show when they sang the hits "F for you" and "When a Fire Starts to Burn,” showcasing flames in the screen and stage. The duo dedicated the closing song "Latch" to Brazilian F1 pilot Ayrton Senna, who died 20 years ago and is an icon in Brazil. "I wanted to say how much I love Ayrton Senna and how much is touching to play in this track. I dedicate this song to him,” said Howard.


The British pop singer Ellie Goulding, scheduled to play around 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, made certain to break a sweat on the stage. She may have lacked power in her hoarse voice, but she was in the mood for plenty of dancing and drumming. The crowd sang louder the songs "I Need Your Love," "Anything Could Happen,” which she said was her favorite track and "Burn," which closed the show with the singer already shirtless, wearing only a pink top and black leather shorts, leaving the audience screaming.

The New York-based Vampire Weekend was one of the most eagerly awaited bands of the weekend. The indie group played at 4 p.m. in the far stage Onix to a huge crowd when the sun was finally taking a break. Many preferred to be sitting on the lawn while others danced tested steps. They opened with the hectic "Diane Young" and closed with "Walcott." The songs "Giving Up the Gun" and "A-Punk" were well received by the fans, but it was during the song “Cousins” that the crowd danced and sang like there was no tomorrow. The vocalist Ezra Koenig won the crowd when he said in Portuguese: "New York is the best city of North America. São Paulo is the best city of South America. We are together.”

Arcade Fire lit up the stage on Sunday evening, closing the two-day festival and transforming the Skol stage into a big carnival. The Canadian band returned to Brazil emboldened, delivering a solid and daring performance. Embedded in electronic references, Arcade Fire’s theatrical concert had many specific references to Brazil. In the beginning of the concert, images of the 1959 Brazilian movie “Orfeu Negro” was shown at the big screen. They opened with the hit “Reflektor,” which fans sang along screaming. Before starting “The Suburbs,” Win Butler told the crowd “This song is about ‘Saudade’” (which means missing someone or something) leaving the crowd rapturous. Hits like “Afterlife,” “Wake Up” and “Here Comes de Night Time” whipped the crowd into frenzy. The band also made a tribute to Brazilian singers. They played songs songs like "O morro não tem vez" by Tom Jobim and Vinicius de Moraes, which was sung by Régine Chassagne, "Aquarela do Brazil" by Ary Barroso and "Nine out of ten" by Caetano Veloso. Before leaving the stage, Butler made a promise to the Brazilian fans. He said that if Brazil win the World Cup this year, the band will do the following concert wearing the Brazilian official outfit "You have to win,” he concluded.

The positive:

  • The three main stages, Interlagos, Skol and Onix were in the lower part of the ground, facilitating the view from various parts of the festival.
  • The food court had way more options than pizza and hot dogs. The third edition of the festival brought for the first time a gourmet space. The Chef’s Stage counted with sophisticated food options from traditional restaurants of Sao Paulo. Besides that, hawkers were scattered all over the racecourse selling drinks and food.
  • The festival had several sponsored spaces with entertainment options like roller skating, a ferris wheel, among others.

The negative:

  • Although this time the festival didn’t have the problem of the sound of one stage interfering in another, the distance between the stages turned the festival into a very tiring walk. Besides that, the 140,000 people who visited the event this weekend suffered to move around taking approximately 40 minutes between one stage to another. The strategy to spread the attractions for no conflicts of sound worked, but the problem reported by many people was the passages and narrow access roads, leaving the public without any shortcuts between the stages.
  • The schedule of the shows conflicted many times, not allowing people to see as many attractions as compared to the previous editions.
  • The cell phone signal and Internet was really bad, being impossible to share the moments of joy on social media for example. It was even harder to find a friend.