Primavera Sound is pretty much the gold standard for music festivals. Why? Let’s see
- Located in a gorgeous city, easily accessible by public transit
- On concrete, so no messy mud pits
- Too many food options to count
- Always amazing lineup
- You can see the sea from the grounds, its actually right beside the water
- Never have to lineup for bathrooms, because they are quite organized
- Starts at night, so you can do touristy stuff during the day
And it goes on and on. You really need to go. Unfortunately, I was only able to get tickets for one day and was too cheap to get tickets for other nights. So here is a brief recap of one of the nights. Knowing how I write, lets use the world “brief” loosely.
Suede – Night Thoughts
My favourite band performed their new album in it’s entirety as one of the first must see sets of the night. While not my favorite Suede album, Night Thoughts is still an extremely solid album and watching it live in a theatre while a music film plays in the foreground was very unique. The lead actor in the movie reminded me of Alex Ovechin which made me laugh because man, they always get eliminated by my Penguins. “Outsiders“ and “I Don’t Know How to Reach You“ are very good tracks, but I don’t know how I feel about them playing behind a screen while a film plays in the foreground. Still, I appreciated the experience. It’s like, I really like Caesar salad, and this one time in Morocco, I had a deconstructed Caesar salad. It was still Caesar Salad, but not exactly the same, I still enjoyed it but part of me just wanted a god damn Caesar Salad.
It’s hard to believe it’s only been three or four years since I saw Daughter in a tiny venue at SXSW, and now they are playing a massive stage at Primavera. Their new album is excellent. Halfway through one of the new songs, the crowd started singing along and Elena Tonra broke into the biggest smile mid track and my heart just melted. It’s always nice to see good artists make it big without compromising their work.
Food break – I had a pork sandwich from a food truck. It was only okay, the meat to bun ratio was not to my standard, but I had to remind myself – Ricky, you are in Europe, bread is the star here. Bread is the star.
Air – It’s been six years since I last saw Air, and actually, six years before that so I guess I see Air once every six years. That’s information you don’t need to know, but now you do. They played a low key set that was peppered with hits and the end of the set featured the 1-2 punch of “Sexy Boy“ and “Kelly Watch The Stars,“ which served a notice as to how ahead of the time Air really was back in the day. They closed it off with “La Femme D’argent.” I can’t think of a better band to play to the setting sun. Sleek, polished and timeless, Air is always a must attend show.
Food Break 2 – Because I am a pig, I had another meal here. Ramen. I saw a ramen food truck and thought, why, I must try this!. Never try ramen from a food truck, it was subpar and just a grade better then cup noodles. They claimed to have cha siu but when I got to the meat, it was just meat cubes. That is not cha siu. Sad.
Dead Buttons – Stumbled on this Korean bluesy rock act at one of the tinier stages. It’s odd to see a Korean act where it wasn’t five hot girls in mini skirts prancing about but these guys were actually quite good. Clearly inspired the Black Keys, they are worth a look.
Floating Point – Not entirely sure who they are, but they were a tight instrumental band that played a pretty hypnotizing electronic set. One of the keys for this band was that they were playing Rayban stage, which had a bunch of places for people to sit down, which was an offer I simply could not refuse.
Tame Impala – Drawing one of the biggest crowds, it’s hard to believe I saw Tame Impala at the Horseshoe just a few years ago. Their brand of psych rock has really taken over, although I still feel like they lack that anthem that would make them truly worthy headliners.
John Carpenter – Yes, THE John Carpenter, of horror movie fame. He played his famous soundtracks with a live band and man, does this dude have swagger. Wearing sunglasses, chewing gum and dropping some classics on synth – I want to be this cool when I’m in my sixties. I heard the Halloween theme live, so that’s pretty fucking awesome.
LCD Soundsystem – WHERE ARE MY FRIENDS TONNNNIIIGHT. Man, LCD Soundsystem is a band that is 1000x better live then on album. When it’s live, those eight minute tracks that always seemed a bit too long on cd JUMP to life and you really do understand what they are trying to achieve. Their percussion section is so strong you have no choice but to move. They haven’t missed a beat since I last saw them and their set was filled with anthems and hits. I don’t even know if half the songs they had were actual hits, but live, with that band and James Murphy growling into the mic, they were hits to me. It was just one gigantic dance party cumulating with their epic song All Yr Friends. Part of LCD Soundsystem’s charm is that their lyrics hit you in places you don’t expect when you least expect it. There’s a certain element of now to it that I can’t really explain, but at the end of the set, when James asks you where are your friends tonight? I was very glad to have at least two of them there with me, even if they were lost in the crowd. Now if only I could have found that crying kid at the end of their documentary.