Rock in Rio USA: The 15 Best Things We Saw at Pop Weekend - Rolling Stone
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Rock in Rio USA: The 15 Best Things We Saw at Pop Weekend

Taylor Swift, Bruno Mars and Charli XCX crash Vegas to close the Brazilian festival’s United States debut

Rock in Rio

Rock in Rio's 'Pop Weekend' brought Taylor Swift, Bruno Mars and Charli XCX to the Las Vegas Strip.

Ethan Miller/Getty

Founded in 1985 with a lineup that included Queen, Rod Stewart, AC/DC and James Taylor, Rock in Rio made its United States debut last weekend, bringing in bands like Metallica and No Doubt for two nights of rock & roll in southern Nevada. This past Friday and Saturday, the festival went pop, outdoing itself with a lineup that included Taylor Swift, Charli XCX, Ed Sheeran, John Legend, Big Sean and a group of rogue, roving bagpipers.

Rock in Rio's pitch was a global one; in addition to the two main stages and the EDM enclave, there were three different spots for music from diverse backgrounds. Yet the sum of the parts was a decidedly Vegas cacophony — just ask the 20 couples who got married on festival grounds. And what screams "Las Vegas Strip" more than Bruno Mars pumping ceaselessly amid palm trees and beer vendors? These are the 15 best things Rolling Stone caught at the festival's second weekend. 

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