After a few days of resting, here we are finally, like every year, to tell you about the facts, the lives, the surprises and the mood of this latest edition of the Primavera Sound.
Let’s proceed with order. Our triduum started early on Thursday morning, at the Day Pro Stage in the center of Barcelona, where my compatriots Shijo X managed to wake up and captivate the audience with the bewitching charm of their trip-hop.
Later in the afternoon we decided to move to Parc the Forum, where we started with the live acts of two of the most famous Spanish groups, or better, a Catalan one and a Galician one. At Ray Ban Stage Barcelona-based band Mishima put on feet, mostly for their local fans, a classic and respectable indie-rock show which maybe did not shine for originality but which surely made us regret a bit not knowing the lyrics. An hours later, at the bigger Mango Stage, La Coruña-based group Triangulo de Amor Bizarro managed to intercept a less local audience thanks to the international afflatus of their shoegaze-veiled noise-rock.
Triangulo de Amor Bizarro playing at Mango Stage.
After this Iberian start, we tried to have a quick dinner but we were stopped by the first big surprise of the Festival: Arcade Fire performed an extra not-scheduled show on a small stage near the entrance. They played a small setlist rich of old glories from Reflektor (like Afterlife or the title track) but they also presented new tracks from their upcoming album (like Everything Now and Creature Comfort). They were placed on a 360º stage and the crowd was distributed around it, while in the background the sun was setting on Barcelona’s skyline. It surely was a relished surprise and it permitted us to enjoy Win, Regìne and their fellows in a intimate environment.
Still amazed by the unexpected performance we moved to Pitchfork stage, to not miss the colourful and enthusiastic psychedelic show of Oxford-based Glass Animals. Their set made us almost forget of Solange, playing in the exact same moment at Mango. We hurried to the other side of the Forum just to catch the last few songs of the US songstress while looking for a good spot for the next live in front of the Heineken Stage.
Bon Iver started its concert drawing fully from his latest work, 22 A Million. The tracks of the album, rich of autotune and electronic details, resulted incredibly touching and hearth-felt in their live version, and the feelings were tangible and overwhelming during a particularly intense version of 715 – CREEKS. Justin Vernon’s old glories found a place in the second part of the concert, and we cannot avoid to mention the new tasteful live versions of Perth and Minnesota. Eventually the artist, visibly moved, wished us his goodbye with a stirring solo version of Skinny Love.
After a brief pause to pull ourselves together we enjoyed Aphex Twin ‘s enveloping and hypnotic set from quite afar, probably not impressed enough because of the late hour and with our minds still stuck on the previous concert.
Later we moved to the Ray Ban stage for the final act of our first day: Tycho‘s exhibition. The Californian artist mixed wisely a first part full of songs from Awake and Dive with a second one dedicated to his last album Epoch, released the last year via Ghostly International. His captivating chillwave and his stunning visuals surely were the best way to end beautifully the first day of Primavera.
All photos by Giacomo Cortese.