Meltdown Festival is the longest running artist-curated music festival, running from the 3rd-11th August with a wide roster of artists performing, from the likes of Dave Stewart’s Eurythmics Songbook, A Night of Studio 54, Johnny Marr, SOPHIE, Jungle… among others. The festival has been running since 1993 and was founded by Nile Rogers and is held at the UK’s largest art centre, The Southbank Centre.
Situated just on the Thames between Embankment and Waterloo, the site is one of the UK’s Top 5 visitor attractions and has an architectural history stretching back to 1951.
The Festival offers a wide range of artists including Brazilian songstress Anitta. Anitta is a pretty big deal in her home country and with over 4 million Instagram followers – you can see why. She has 5 albums under her belt (including the most recent bi-lingual affair ‘Kisses’) however in the United Kingdom, she is yet to make her mark. She’s compared often to Jennifer Lopez and Shakira but I think it’s fair to say Anitta has her own stamp: her show is completely different, and *she* is completely different and in a league of her own.
The setlist was made up of favourites – ‘Onda Diferente’ was a real crowd pleaser (and a personal favourite of mine), and what makes Anitta such a great performer is her confidence on stage. She owned the stage from the moment she strutted on to ‘Atencion’, to closing the show with ‘Show Das Poderosas’ and even when she wasn’t on stage; when she returned, her presence was felt. Her set was highly sexual – there was a lot of bum shaking, twerking and general sensuality with her other dancers. Throughout the show, there was a lot of sexual dominance from Anitta where she would grab her dancers’ bottoms, smack their bottoms or (in the case of the ‘Downtown’ performance), seductively lead her backing dancer around the stage like a puppet on a string…but what made Anitta’s sexual dominance so interesting was that the audience were in on it too…all the ladies (and men – there was one gay couple in front of me who were shaking their bottoms to a high level extreme) were involved. It was like a swirling bottom event and it was wonderful. There was a lot of energy from Anitta and the audience precipitated with their energy…when she spoke to the crowd, she went between English, Portuguese and Spanish; which in itself..is a talent.
We were treated to performances of her collaborations with Madonna ‘Faz Gostoso’, Alesso ‘Is That For Me’ (interesting lyrics, may I add), and new track ‘Fuego’ with DJ Snake…gentle note that someone in the audience did refer to Madonna as Jack Sparrow…which was highly amusing.
Aside from the sexual confidence, Anitta does have a great set of pipes on her and slower moments during the show were refreshing – the Jazzy number ‘Voce Mentiu’ added a real breath of fresh air to the high-energy show and the track itself is a really, lovely little song with a backing video of the male collaborator Caetano Veloso.
Anitta is very proud of her Brazilian heritage and the audience were part of that culture as well which made for a really great event. It’s almost baffling to think that this lady is getting 2 million people to see her at a Pride event in Brazil when she’s playing a 3,000 seat venue in London! The metrics don’t quite make sense but it was a wonderful spectacle and a reminder of her wonderful Anitta’s discography is.