Cruïlla Barcelona 2016 – 8th July 2016 (Parc del Forum)

The enclosure of the Forum in Barcelona hosted again this weekend a new edition of Cruïlla Barcelona festival, the ninth in its history with a luxury lineup where we could find Robert Plant & The Sensational Space Shifters, Damien Rice, Alabama Shakes, Crystal Fighters, Vetusta Morla, Bunbury or Love of Lesbian, among others. Nearly 30 degrees and a blazing sun greeted us on Friday midafternoon with the concert by Cat Power as first contact with the festival, being her show one of the great disappointments of the festival. Regardless of the little respect of an audience that never stopped talking and that spoiled  the delicate proposal from the American, on this new style taken by Chan Marshall we miss the madness on the stage of her early years, becoming her show an excessively flat proposal during 70% of the time. Nevertheless, she left unquestionable quality pills as "Song to Bobby", "The Greatest" or the covers "These Days" by Nico or "Blue" by Joni Mitchell. The same general hubbub was the main protagonist of the great concert by Damien Rice. Accompanied only by his guitar and with a staging similar to the one he gave at the Primavera Sound 2015, songs of the British had as background continuous conversations of a public more aware of explain their friends how was the beginning of summer than the musical proposal, causing even that the artist himself "joke" with the possibility of performing the next show at the Catalan capital in a theatre.. For remembrance remains his hilarious opening speech at "The Professor & La Fille Danse", magical "Nine Songs" or the overlapping of instruments and layers on the spectacular closing "The Blower's Daughter".

Damien Rice - Cruilla Barcelona 2016

Photo made by Xavi Torrent and provided by Cruïlla Barcelona 2016.

With our luck, the musical level would be maintained with the great show of about an hour and a half that the Aragonese Enrique Bunbury offer just minutes after, where accompanied by his usual great band Los Santos Inocentes, presented songs from his long discography, both with Heroes del Silencio as well as from his already long career outside the band that made him get known. "Iberia Sumergida", "El Camino del Exceso" or "Avalancha" gave goosebumps to the great legion of fans with shirts of past tours by Heroes that thronging the front rows, while "El Extranjero", "Infinito" or "El hombre Delgado que no Flaqueará Jamás" would be the most chanted in a second part of the show more focused on his solo records songs. However, there would still be time for a legendary end with "Mar Adentro", "Maldito Duende" and "Lady Blue", that became the perfect clossing for the gig of the day on the first day of the festival. Many expectations had been deposited at the concert that would offer later the British Crystal Fighters, even though it's true that their show was the party that they use to gave, their sound was not so good, with the guitar of Graham Dickson in a thunderous volume that masked the voices of the band. Thus, after a long introductory txalaparta solo by the Basque brothers Ugarte, was time for hits like "Solar System", "Love Is All I Got", "You & I" or "I Love London" but this time without the role that Eleanor Fletcher or Nila Raja accustomed accompanying the almost imperceptible voice of Sebastian Pringle, a fact that didn't  seem to matter to a majority of the public that danced and jumped throughout the show..

Enrique Bunbury - Cruilla Barcelona 2016

Photo made by Xavi Torrent and provided by Cruïlla Barcelona 2016.

In what would become a surprise for the one who writes this lines, Vetusta Morla would be the ones responsible for raising again the level of the festival. Over the years I have seen many concerts of the band from Madrid, always leaving the feeling of dedication but also of monotony and plain sounds that used to overbored me, but their show on Friday was a cyclone of  strength and quality in equal parts. With a sensational Pucho, who even dared to fumble through a few phrases in Catalan, the Tres Cantos guys offered a first 45 minutes exceptional, where despite the excessive volume of the guitars attendants could enjoy the songs with more spirit from their latest album as "La Deriva", "Golpe Maestro" o "Pirómanos" alongside classics like "Maldita Dulzura" or "Sálvese Quien Pueda". When everything was going well, the microphone from the frontman of the band began to randomly fail slashing the sound in some songs, tarnishing so a concert that went from highest to lowest due to the technical issues and that despite all, left us a  magnificent taste in the mouth thanks to the emotional encore "Los Días Raros". Night was running out, and in a fact to thank the organization of the festival for, the most danceable rhythms took the stage with live proposals as Rudimental or Bomba Estereo, instead of the tiresome DJ sessions that abound at the end of the day on the rest of the European festivals. British demonstrated that despite not having in concert all the collaborations that help they on their records, maintain an attractive proposal that comes closer to the funk and soul than to the Drum 'n' Bass who they are used, but after a few minutes the initial surprise turns to lethargy because of the abuse of some repetitive rhythms. Quite the opposite of Colombians Bomba Estéreo, Who made that all crowd that were at stage Time Out went mad thanks to their electro cumbia style, and whose end of the concert will be only defined as an apotheosis by concatenating "Fuego" and "Fiesta" to the delight of a public who said goodbye to them with a deserved ovation.

Vetusta Morla - Cruilla Barcelona 2016

Photo made by Xavi Torrent and provided by Cruïlla Barcelona 2016.