Primavera Sound: Einsturzende Neubauten, Odd Future, May 28, Parc del Forum

Barcelona – Einsturzende Neubauten.  For those of us who don’t speak German, it’s not a band name that rolls off the tongue easily.  Nor are they an easy band to listen to.  Pioneers in the genres of noise and industrial, I went into this show expecting something pretty extreme.  Actually, what I was expecting was some dour, overly serious Germans making a heck of a lot of noise.  What I got was noisy, yes, but also rather tuneful at times and not terribly serious at all.  Frontman Blixa Bargeld was actually quite hilarious, showing off his sense of humour right from the beginning by addressing the crowd with ,”Hello, non-soccer fans!” (The Champions League match was also going on that night)  I suppose when one plays music in a genre that is often classified as “noise,” one probably would have a well developed sense of the absurd.  He later made a point of bringing everyone’s attention to the fact that the photo pit was clearing out, semi-singing, “The photographers must leave now.  They always leave after the third song.  This is why you never see pictures from later in the set when we all get naked.” 

Making noise of a decidely different variety was heavily buzzed LA hip hop collective Odd Future.  I had heard a lot of the hype about this group and was determined to check them out to see if they lived up to it at all.  And to see if they said anything horribly stupid and offensive.  Arriving early for their set at the Pitchfork Stage (otherwise known as the sticky floor and pools of urine stage), I caught the last bit of another well-hyped performer, James Blake, who was performing a DJ set.  Blake’s down tempo material seemed like an odd appetizer for Odd Future as it’s not exactly the kind of thing to get the crowd pumped up.  Also, I found it strange when he slipped his own material into the set.  Of course he’s entitled to and probably expected to, but when he’s standing right there and I’m hearing him play a recorded version of his own voice, it is a little bit weird.  After Blake finished up, I heard some more incongruous music played over the PA, like Elliott Smith.

While I do think that Sara Quin has a point about them, I had heard good things about the energy Odd Future put into their show, so I figured since I’m here anyways, I might as well see  for myself.  And they did display a lot of energy, jumping and running around the stage and encoraging their fans to shout out their various slogans (not that they needed much encouragement).  They didn’t quite live up to all the hype, but then again, it would be hard for anyone to really live up to that kind of hype.  That said, they did put on an enjoyable, high energy show.   Sure, there’s a lot of (valid) criticism of these guys, but at the end of the day, they probably don’t care, as evidenced by the fact that they dissed Pitchfork, the very outlet whose stage they were playing on.  Odd Future basically come across as what they are: a bunch of young guys having fun on stage, regardless of who they may piss off in the process.

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Posted on by Paul in Primavera

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