Primavera Sound: Flaming Lips, San Miguel Stage, May 26

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Barcelona – The first night of Primavera Sound was a mixed bag of eclectic music that featured the likes of Big Boi, Of Montreal, Grinderman, Girl Talk and Interpol. With such a wide variety of music, it was no surprise that the most eclectic of them all, The Flaming Lips would be the headliners for the evening. The Flaming Lips live show has been well documented, everyone knows about the space ball walk, the massive confetti guns, the gigantic laser hands and the throng of dancers that are placed on each side of the stage during the show. These things are now expected staples for a Flaming Lips show – everyone knows it’ll happen and everyone expects it to happen. Having said that and having seen them live not even a year ago, I still left the Interpol show early to grab myself a good spot for the Flaming Lips show at Primavera Sound. While those things are no longer a surprise to me, they are still undeniably awesome.

Before the show started, rumors were swirling about what type of show that Oklahoma band would play – they were due to play their album The Soft Bulletin in July so a bunch of us had hypothesize that they would get a preview of that show. We were wrong. Regardless, their was a collective buzz in the air as Wayne Coyne took the stage before the show to announce that the show would feature heavy strobe lights and that if you were uncomfortable, you could simply look away.

The show started shortly after 2 am with the now legendary space ball walk. It’s an old Lips trick that has started off every show for the better part of the decade but remains enthralling every time. To see the look on a fan’s face when they see this for the first time is absolutely priceless. The spirit of the crowd was taken even higher when the opening notes from She Don’t Use Jelly were played, setting everyone at the San Miguel stage into a sing along frenzy. Much of the show played out much like their show in Toronto last year and still, it was great. I could always sing along to an acoustic version of Yoshimi and scream out to the Yeah Yeah Yeah song. Wayne Coyne once again had the crowd in the palm of his hands.

The highlight of the set was the inclusion of Race for the Prize during the encore, a song that had been left off their show last year. It was clearly a highlight for everyone at the show as well, as the crowd went mad at the opening sequence of the track and started singing along to the song well after it was over. The hour and a half set ended as expected with the always emotionally overwhelming Do You Realize, a song and performance that can warm all the cold hearts in the world with it’s sheer magnificence and power. I could see this song in concert a hundred times and still spaz out when the opening beats of the song are played with the massive lights and confetti cannons blasting. It’s truly one of the great concert moments you could ever have, which its only fitting because whether the tricks are new or old, a Flaming Lips show will always be amazing and this Primavera set was no exception.

Set List
The Fear
Worm Mountain
She Don’t Use Jelly
The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song
Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, Pt. 1
See the Leaves
Pompeii Am Götterdämmerung
What Is the Light?

Race for the Prize
Do You Realize??

Do you realize by Flaming Lips by Mr. Goma

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

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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

6 Reasons to get excited for Primavera

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Barcelona – Primavera Sound is finally here, and luckily enough, the Panic Manual will be covering this annual festival in all it’s glory. I feel like there’s not the usual round of excitement you get with North American music festivals on the internet, so here are some reasons to get excited for Primavera.

Pulp is Reuniting

Need I say more? the legendary Britpop band will be playing their first show since announcing that they are reforming for 2011. It will be crazy, the singalongs will be epic and Jarvis will show us he’s still got the stuff. I’m already drinking more water so that I can release more tears of joy whenthey take the stage.


What a great place to have a music festival, forget Palm Springs or Chicago, Primavera is taking place in Barcelona, and the venue is RIGHT BESIDE THE SEA. You know what that means – post festival swimming! Did I mention that Barcelona is considered one of the culinary capitals of the world? The food is great, the weather is tremendous and it’s a festival by the sea. What more can you ask for?

Girl Talk at 5 am

So unlike other festivals, Primavera does not start at noon and end at 11. These people know how we work. Stay up late and wake up late. The first show at Primavera doesn’t start until 5 pm and the headliners don’t play until well after midnight. The last show on Friday night? Girl Talk. DJing at 5 am. Sure everyone will be tired, but if there’s ever a time to dance the night away and see the sunrise, then this will be the night.

The National, Flaming Lips and Belle and Sebastian

Three acts that been around for awhile that always, ALWAYS put on a great live show. The National have been playing a lot of high profile festivals lately, so they have undoubtedly become masters of the festival show. Flaming Lips…are just always amazing live and I’m sure Wayne Coyne and the gang have something in store for the Barcelona crowd. Belle and Sebastian are recieving a nice revival in popularity with their excellent album Write about Love. Being ableto see all these bands without scheduling conflicts will undoubtedly enhance everyone’s viewing experience.

The return of Fleet Foxes

After blowing people away with the sweet harmonies two years ago with their debut album, the Portland group is back with a new record and Primavera Sound will be one of the first places that Fleet Foxes will be showing off Helplessness Blues. I am sure that all indie fans will bath in the bearded groups awesomeness.

Primavera starts today. I am pumped.

Pulp Countdown (Tres Días!!!): Disco 2000

Posted on by Ricky in Primavera | 1 Comment

Barcelona – THREE DAYS! That’s all that stands between me, and Pulp. In concert for the first time in over nine years, this Sheffield band is a mere 72 or so hours away from reintroducing themselves to the public in a big way.

Disco 2000 is a song I consider the most important in my life. It changed everything. Before Pulp, I was a fairly normal music listener, just taking whatever was in the top forty. After hearing this song, I went down the path that any indie music fan takes – the one where you find music you like, instead of having music given to you. Surprisingly enough, I caught Disco 2000 on Muchmusic one Saturday afternoon when I was watching some special they had called “Red Hot Much” or something. Anyways, I was blown away by this song. It was super catchy, clever and had a wonderful hook that just stayed with you far after the song was finished.

After hearing that song, I went about looking up this random band named Pulp, then I went to HMV and bought the cd and after a few listens it was over – I was a Pulp fan and thus began the great music odyssey that has cumulated with me in Spain about to hear a song that led me down the path that I have taken. It’ll be awesome.