Primavera Day 1 – Caribou, Echo and the Bunnymen, Poble Espanol, May 25th

Barcelona – While the official Primavera Sound did not start until Thursday, there was a series of concerts on Wednesday night that was located offsite, but still under the Primavera Sound moniker. The two acts that played that night included Liverpool act Echo and the Bunnymen and Canadian band Caribou. We were there for both.

Anyone following the career of Echo and the Bunnymen will have known that the past few years, the group has been doing a variety of tours featuring some of their most popular albums. For Primavera Sound, the group decided to perform tracks off their first two critically acclaimed albums – Crocodiles and Heaven Up Here. Taking the stage shortly after 8:30 at Poble Espanol, the band quickly greeted the crowd, which was around 3000-4000 capacity before launching into a hard rocking set. Ian McCulloch seemed less grouchy than usual, perhaps inspired by the massive crowd in the beautiful venue. Poble Espanol is an outdoor open-air architectural museum, so it felt as if the band was playing in a town square from old century Spain. It was quite a scene.

Most of my knowledge for Echo and the Bunnymen comes from their latter, more poppy albums such as Ocean Rain so I was taken by a bit of at how much harder the first two albums were. Tracks like Rescue and A Promise generated a huge response and McCulloch’s still got that voice and hit most of his high notes. The man was in pretty good spirit Wednesday night and even did some arm movements that could constitute as dance moves. While personally, I would have preferred more of a greatest hits show, I guess I have seen that already and it was nice to see some early Echo and the Bunnymen material and see where the origins of the band were. An encore featuring hit songs such as Bring on the Dancing Horses ended off a solid hundred minute set and was pretty much a great way to start off a music festival.
– Ricky

After a solid set by Echo and the Bunnymen(and after the departure of several of their fans (who care not a whit for that newfangled electro stuff), Caribou took to the stage to end of the night.  And what a show it was.  Dan Snaith and his three bandmates put on such a tight, joyous energetic set that was totally impressive to behold.  Never having seen Caribou before, I didn’t quite know what to expect, but when I heard it would be a full band performance, I figured it would be something worth seeing.  Seeing a solid electronic musician perform solo is one thing, but a full band performance always takes things to the next level.  Snaith and band had great chemistry onstage and sounded pretty tight.  I really enjoyed watching the interplay between the bandmates as they played so close together despite being on a fairly large stage.  It was like watching them jam together in their practice space, that’s how close together they were.  Caribou’s set was the perfect way to end off the night and a great way to start off the festival.

Caribou- Odessa by pipppo

Posted on by Paul in Primavera

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