Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Primavera sound 2011

Boy, we can do much more… boy we can do much more, we can do much more together. I'm still in the thrill of it all. Primavera sound 2011 has been one of the most riveting musical experience of my life. Twelve long hours to get to the sun and palm trees, tapas and cervesas but above it all, an outstanding line-up where the only artists missing were Thom Yorke and his mates. The park del Forum is a massive space, all made of concrete with a fantastic view upon the seashore. I started my musical journey with Sufjan Stevens, who offered us more than a show, a spiritual trip in his own world, with his inner/out theories, love, his muse and inspirations. Projections, angel wings, fluorescent outfits and dances, balloons… he's just  a gifted musician or genius and blew me away. Him and Jonsi would form a great pair I'm telling you. After two hours of magic I had to come back down to earth and run to the next gig held by The Walkmen at the Pitchfork stage.

The band seemed to be at home, I was glad to see so many people being into them, swinging onto their typical vintagy sounds, oh I love them so much! They played forty five minutes only, I'd always ask for more from them but that was enough as they played On the water as an introduction and finished by the memorable All hands and the cook. A crucial choice had then to be made between seeing Caribou for the first time and the cute face of Paul Banks again.

Interpol won and I followed my friends to the Llevant stage, thinking of my friend Emmy who should have been there with me. On our way to the last important event of the day, The Flaming lips, we had a very special encounter with the singer of The Walkmen, Hamilton Leithauser. As we were hanging out next to the San Miguel stage, I spotted a familiar face in the crowd, the poor one -obviously drunk if not more- was lost, searching for his friends. How sad. He had to sign on my homemade-walkmen-fan-tee-shirt before I gave him my phone so he could spend the rest of the night with his friends. (special thanks to Hannah who has dialled the numbers for me as I was a little to ecstatic at that time). I had problems being in touch during the whole stay in Barcelona but weirdly and fortunately the calls to the US were made without any issue and I have now three numbers from the band members (including Paul Maroon!) in my phonebook. Ah! - I'm pretty sure I'll never use them because of my eternal shyness but still, that's something :)
And day one was over.

On the second day, we met some really cool guys through a site called tastebuds.fm (check it out!) - they performed some amazing planks - just a pity I did not photograph them with my own camera! I saw a bit of The National, spending more time chatting/loosing friends/queueing for the toilets or getting a four euros beer on the way. I ended up seeing Low which was genuinely good, I'm glad I've seen them live finally. Last but not least, Explosions in the sky gave us a beautiful gift, flirting with their astonishing melodies i felt moved from head to toes and so were all the other people around me. I may have been on my own at that time but never felt lonely, as if music feeds my hunger, thirst and heart at the same time. The only moment we were (all) alone with only music to wake up our senses. During the concert I found Hannah who said beautiful things to me and it also made my day even though the night was far from being over...

Day three.
I could already feel the anxiety of reaching up the end of the festival, the end of a beautiful moment, beautiful people met on the way but the day was probably the best line-up I've ever been to so I could only jump on the last train and enjoy the feeling of the wind and salty breeze, chills and thrills, beats and melodies eyes closed to enjoy every single second of it.

The tallest man on earth - obviously not related to his height - opened with a truly great set of acoustic guitar and seduced me straight away. He sounded much better live than what I had listened to previously on his albums, I might go back to them and have a whole new approach, it actually changes everything. You cannot keep on listening artists you like without seeing them performing live, it doesn't make any sense. Warpaint followed and I was really eager to see these chicks live as I adore their songs. I fell in love instantaneously with Theresa Wayman who's so damn sexy on stage (!), I wonder if she's going to let grow her fringe as she cannot see much right now but it suits her so well. They performed in late afternoon, on a quite windy day, facing the sea and singing along a great audience. I wish I'd been a sparrow for a minute to witness this from above.

Long walks and wanders, I saw a bit of Fleet foxes but was more obsessed at getting that nice little book which would constitute a great souvenir to come back with. After that I headed to the RayBan stage for Einsturzende Neubauten (easier to write down than pronounce!)  and I finally understood why I should have seen him way before the festival. Jesus he's the boss! Oscillating between silences, screams, creepy noises and unique homemade sounds - which is what you'd expected from a German post industrial band - I was literally in awe. Such elegance, charism and sense of humour should not be allowed. Probably one of the best times of the festival… Let's do it a Dada, in The Garden! My dearest Polly Jean Harvey was the next to be up, and came as the most beautiful angel you'd like to see coming down to earth just for a kiss on the forehead. Although the stage was packed and could only see her through other people's crap cameras (damn you guys are annoying, at least switch of the sounds and don't bother using the flash, especially if you are at miles away from the stage!) but she had so much presence. The uncountable number of people and the lack of food made a girl fainting on me, quite a scary experience I have to say so I played the medics for 15mn at trying to get her inanimate body out of the crowd so she could come back to reality, then running to get her a bottle of water so she could feel a bit better. After this event I got back to PJ who seemed to take great pleasure in playing most of her last album, Let England shake, that I absolutely love, combined with songs from White Chalk, ethereal beauties to be heard, she's such an amazing songwriter and artist. (pardon my spooky portrait, cannot ask much from my tiny camera!)

As a music festival can be compared to a marathon, I did my best to make it on time for Mogwai, one of my favourites; they did not disappointed me and I still wonder if they played Hunted by a freak as I have had this song in my head for the last three days. I really love their music, was skeptical with their last album Hardcore will never die but you will but changed my mind quickly. I guess it's actually a good thing they dare to try something different and it just confirms how good they are. Another great performance of Mogwai fears Satan - although the one I saw some time ago at Hammersmith was quite epic and of Batcat, of course. Great talented guys, who speak with modesty and sincerity, I love this.

Last exodus to the main stage where Animal Collective was due to be on for 2am. This is one of these bands I almost never listen to at home but enjoy so much live. I was expecting more stuff from the previous albums like My girls, Grass and the Purple bottle (I arrived a bit late though so I might have missed some) but they gave a nice set, not a mind-blowing one but well.
Two regrets: I wish I'd seen Caribou playing, I wish my favourite artists had played more, that was too short! But one thing for sure, if next year's line-up can compete with the 2011 one, then I'll be back to Spain sometime at the end of May 2012!