Jul 14, 2018

Primavera Sound 2018

At the end of May I ventured to Barcelona for my first ever visit to Primavera Sound. Pound for pound I think it's the best music festival in the world and one I have always wanted to attend. When this year's lineup was announced I just really felt the need to go. And go I did. I had been to Barcelona previously in 2016 and loved the city so going again was an added bonus. I had a fantastic time and would thoroughly recommend it as a festival destination.

The festival takes place in a huge park near the centre of the city. Although it's more of a concrete space with ample room to move than a park. It's right near the water and at the end of May the weather is perfect for an outdoor festival. It's easy to get to as there are plenty of transport options from downtown Barcelona. There were plenty of food and drink outlets and despite the crowds wait times were never too long. There weren't many bottlenecks and I thought it was relatively easy to move around. Sound was excellent, clear and bright. And on the two biggest stages there were huge screens, so even if you were a distance from the stage you still felt part of it. Crowd was a good mixture of ages and styles and even though there are always a few annoying types it was generally a good vibe with people there to have a good time. If you wanted to you could go for a week and have music each day. Monday and Tuesday there are a few free concerts in the city and even the Wednesday when the action moves to Parc del Forum it is free. It really cranks up though on the Thursday, Friday and Saturday, with music running from about 5pm all the way through to 5am. So you need stamina for sure. But I somehow managed. On the Sunday there are more free concerts in the city but my schedule was Wednesday to Saturday.
Wednesday night was all about one band only. Wolf Parade. My all time favourite whose presence started the idea for the trip. I had seem them twice before but many years ago before they embarked on their hiatus. So even though it was a only a short festival set I was thoroughly and totally entertained by these all time greats. The songs from their comeback album sounded great and of course they gave us the classics. Such a pleasure to see them live again after all these years.

Set List
You Are a Runner and I Am My Father's Son
Fancy Claps
Soldier's Grin
Valley Boy
You're Dreaming
Grounds for Divorce
Weaponized
What Did My Lover Say? (It Always Had to Go This Way)
Shine a Light
Baby Blue
This Heart's on Fire
I'll Believe in Anything

The highlight of Thursday was definitely the magnificent guitar stylings of The War on Drugs. The Philadelphia band are at the peak of their powers and they provided for glorious sight and sound.

Set List 
In Chains
Pain
An Ocean in Between the Waves
Strangest Thing
Nothing to Find
Knocked Down
Red Eyes
Under the Pressure
Eyes to the Wind

This day I also enjoyed the talents of Vagabon, even though she only played for thirty minutes, Sandy (Alex G), Rostam, which was the worst crowd I experienced of the whole festival and lastly Vince Staples had a huge amount of people going nuts.

Friday I think was my favourite night of the festival. It started a bit later but what a start with the truly magnificent Father John Misty. He is so great live and was once again. He also played four new songs from his just released album and they sounded great. I followed him up immediately with always superb The National. Truly of the world's greatest bands. But the total highlight came through at 2am in the morning. For an hour Ty Segall and his incredible Freedom Band tore my face off with a truly ferocious set. I love Ty so much and he is a true pleasure to see live. Just magnificent.

Set List
Wave Goodbye
Fanny Dog
Finger
Squealer
Candy Sam
Every 1's a Winner
Despoiler of Cadaver
Warm Hands (Freedom Returned)
My Lady's On Fire
Alta
Caesar
Love Fuzz

Saturday was a smorgasboard of greatness. So much to see and delight. Car Seat Headrest was the most talented act I saw and I loved their set. But they only played for 45 minutes and the sun was still blazing so it probably wasn't my favourite. Melbourne favourites Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever were a delight and after a few years it was great to see Deerhunter back in action. The glorious Beach House were superb as usual and a great way to close my festival experience but I would say my pick of the night were the eternally great Grizzly Bear.

Set List
Aquarian
Losing All Sense
Cut-Out
Yet Again
Fine for Now
Ready, Able
Mourning Sound
Sleeping Ute
Two Weeks
While You Wait for the Others
Three Rings
Sun in Your Eyes

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