The Primavera Sound Festival set along the Mediterranean Sea in an urban park in Barcelona, Spain marks the triumphant evolution from summer touring festivals to summer destination festivals. Primavera Sound in its 10th year has perfected its current formula of hosting promising indie musicians alongside pioneering artists, all in a multicultural European city located along the Med and guarded by the Collserola mountain range.
As for the venue itself – the Parc Del Forum is exactly the type of urban park that pulls off an incredible music festival. I must point out that the venue is quit dynamic, as it was hosted an Andalucían Fair a month ago which largely consisted of Sevillana Dancers and Seafood restaurants. For Primavera, the park fit 10 stages across the entire grounds, which all had a unique format and size, and provided comfortable space to get close to the stage, sit within an amphitheater, or just lay out on the grass.
The thousands of attendees from all over the world echoed the diverse lineup of artists hailing from across the globe. However, without a doubt the Spanish vibe was undeniably present from the Sounds from Spain mini-festival held at one of the stages to the delightful gazpacho and jamon iberico tasting.
Across the three day festival – I was lucky to see great sets from many bands, some whom I have seen before and other I plan to see may more times and hopefully next year again at Primavera Sound.
Day 1 – Thursday.
I could clearly hear Patrick Stickles’ of Titus Andronicus voice pouring out of the Pitchfork Stage all the way to the entry gates as I geared for the first set of the weekend. Titus Andronicus brought their album “The Monitor” to life on stage with their anthemic songs and the crowd responded with sing-a-long and a constant flow of fist pumps. I would be remiss in not mentioning the last time I heard Patrick sing was at a community center in Glen Rock, NJ over 9 years ago while still in high school – he’s been rocking for a while. . Later at the same stage the Smith Westerns brought their groovy garage-rock feel to the stage – reminding everyone once again to rock and have a good time.
At the Ray-Ban Stage The XX lulled me
lodic songs came out as clean and precise as they do on record, but I think their sound would exude an even greater “cool” in the small club format or perhaps a church basement in North London. Next up, Kevin Drew of Broken Social Scene implored the crowd to have a good time and drink lots of water, and while the crowd hesitated to swap in H20 for San Miguel beer, they responded to the furious guitars, drums and vocals of BSS. I think at one point there were 10 people on stage all clearly maestros of their own instruments and somehow managing to produce cohesive songs filled with crescendos. “It’s All gonna break” and the new instrumental sensation “Meet me in the Basement” showcased their loud building sound across guitars, strings (provided by Owen Pallet), horns, and drums and skill to sooth
e and rock a festival.
By the time BSS finished their set, almost all fans migrated towards the San Miguel stage for one of the weekend’s headliners Pavement. Opening with their semi-commercial hit “Cut Your hair” the audience lit up to Stephen Malkmus’ shredding guitar and echoed back their own “ooh-ooh-oohs”. Pavement supplied a giddy crowd a run through of classics from Slanted and Enchanted and Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain. During “In the Mouth a Desert” the audience couldn’t cease jumping, dancing, and mirroring the huge grins strewn across the members of Pavement.
Pavement’ set could have been the perfect nightcap if Delorean didn’t have a 2:30 set scheduled back on the Pitchfork stage. I took in one more set from these Balearic-dance rockers hailing from the Basque region of Spain. Their songs like “Seasun” and “Endless Sunset” reminded us all that we were in Barcelona, Spain, steps away from the Me
diterranean Sea, and embarking on a great summer.
More to Come on Friday and Saturday from the Primavera Sound Festival.