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Primavera Sound Barcelona 2024 – 30 May 2024 (Barcelona)

31 May 202411 min read

After three days of concerts in different venues around the city, Primavera Sound 2024 started this Thursday with the bulk of its programme, with three themes persisting among the audience: the lack ofhow it will be the festival without Steve Albini, the feeling of more space and less crowding than in other editions, and the high price of beer (last year it was already €4.5, so we don’t see it as such an outrageous increase…).

Primavera Sound 2024 - Pulp

Photo of Pulp by Eric Pamies courtesy of Primavera Sound 2024

Work commitments made it impossible to get to the Parc del Forum before 19:00, so unfortunately for us we missed concerts of Catalan band Mujeres, Voxtrot or the Andalusians Derby Motoreta’s Burrito KachimbaBut any feeling of bad blood was quickly dispelled, thanks to the fantastic performance of the Scottish band Arab Strap made at the hot Cupra stage. Their return at the height of the pandemic, after 16 years without recording, with the majestic As Days Get Dark (2021) delighted fans avid for the guitars and dark atmospheres presented by the duo led by Aidan Moffat, so despite playing at last year’s edition of Primavera a la Ciutat, the release of their new album a few weeks ago I’m Totally Fine with It Don’t Give a Fuck Anymore (2024) was more than enough reason for them to return to the festival. It was this album that was the focus of much of his show. In fact, the opening set featured up to three songs from the album like “Allatonceness“, “Bliss” and “Sociometer Blues“, with Aidan moving back and forth on electric drums or singing at a breakneck pace. Between bass lines and distortions that create walls of sound that don’t seem to fit in with the sunny Barcelona afternoon, the Falkirk band gradually increase the tempo until they end their set on a high note with “The Shy Retirer” and the most powerful track of their latest work “Turn Off the Light“.

MANNEQUIN PUSSY - Primavera Sound 2024

Photo of Mannequin Pussy by Gisela Jané courtesy of Primavera Sound 2024

In the same vein of rawness, but from a different perspective, we came across probably the concert of the day. The Americans Mannequin Pussy, who had already turned Primavera Sound 2017 upside down on Sunday’s closing day, were in charge of offering a punk rock manual in the little more than 65 minutes that their concert on the Plenitude stage lasted. Beyond the undeniable charisma of sublime Marisa Dabice sublime, It’s worth noting how much the band benefited from the presence of Maxine Steen on the guitar, which gives them a punch that makes the tracks from their latest album, I Got Heaven (2024), sound great in a live setting.. The first part of the concert was focused on this album, with a middle section featuring “I Got Heaven“, “Loud Bark” or “Of Her“. From here, visits to their previous albums to end the concert between pogos and elbow kicks with “Pigs is Pigs“, “Emotional High” and “Romantic“.

AMYL AND THE SNIFFERS - Primavera Sound 2024

Foto de Amy from Amyl and the Sniffers by Eric Pamies courtesy of Primavera Sound 2024

With a continuity of anger and strength, it was time to approach the main stages to see Australians Amyl and the Sniffers, who had left such a good taste in our mouths on the same stage two years ago. With a very similar setlist and an incredible Amy Taylor in both energy and vocals, the show went by quickly, led by the bass lines and a thunderous rhythm from the drums. With the release of their eagerly awaited new album just around the corner, I was personally hoping for some new tracks in addition to the ones we have already heard “U Should Not Be Doing That” and “Facts“, but still a concert with “Got You,Snakes” or “Hertz” is still a bacchanal of power and punk rock. Amy’s own runs around the pit in the closing song “Some Mutts (Can’t Be Muzzled)“, will remain in our memories with her photographer behind her trying to follow the singer without much success…

Vampire Weekend - Primavera Sound 2024

Photo of Ezra Koenig from Vampire Weekend by Sergio Albert courtesy of Primavera Sound 2024

We only had to move a few metres to the left to take our place in the front rows of one of the headliners of the night, the Americans Vampire Weekend. It is gratifying to see the musical evolution and mass growth of a band that, at the same festival in 2008, gave us a concert full of dancing and good vibes late at night on a stage located where Plenitude is now, but with its back to the sea. Accompanied by a few musicians on stage (saxophone, violin or African percussion) who are able to convey the subtlety of their records, the band led by Ezra Konig reduced the remaining anger in the atmosphere with pop and the incredible feeling that nothing is wrong for almost 90 minutes. In a setlist that almost equally covers their already extensive discography, “White Sky” and “Holiday” were a safe bet at first, under images on giant screens of works of art in various museums, and then gradually delivered hits like “Unbelievers” or “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa“. The show would falter a little because of the length of “Sympathy” and “New Dorp. New York“, which turned into a kind of multi-instrumental jam session, quickly picked up speed again with the concatenation of “Campus” and “Oxford Comma“. “Gen-X Cops” demonstrated live why it can already be considered one of the band’s new classics, with the crowd humming its characteristic opening rhythm, while the last few minutes were a succession of hits in which “Cousins,A-Punk” and “Harmony Hall” showed why Vampire Weekend is a band whose quality and talent have earned them a place in the indie Olympus of the last two decades.

PULP Jarvis - Primavera Sound 2024

Photo of Pulp by Eric Pamies courtesy of Primavera Sound 2024

In fact, we hadn’t seen Pulp live for more than a decade after their second split in 2013. It was one of those concerts that will be remembered for a long time, with an enthusiastic audience for the Sheffield band. With Jarvis, as usual the perfect master of ceremonies, the first surprise was that the band would be accompanied on stage by violins and stringed instruments, which meant that the first song on their setlist “I spy” sounded with an incredible majesty. Despite his 60 years, Jarvis showed incredible vocal and physical levels, as we could see in the following songs, “Disco 2000” and “Mis-Shapes“, who proved that Pulp’s songs have an uncanny ability to sound fresh and relevant even 30 years after their release. “Something changed“, the concatenation of the two “Weeds” or the perfect combination of violins with the band in “F.E.E.L.I.N.G.C.A.L.L.E.D.L.O.V.E.” served as the perfect interlude for a second part of the concert that can only be described as sublime.. “This Is Hardcore,Do You Remember the First Time?,Babies” and “Sunrisetook us back to the mid-90s with nostalgia and Britpop., while there was still time for a couple of encores in which the band jumped on stage with the classic Pulp logo on the screen as if they were neon lights. The encores kicked off with ‘Like a Friend‘, only to pick up the pace with ‘Underwear‘ and unleash madness, including pyrotechnics, with a massive karaoke on ‘Common People‘. When it all seemed to be over, The band paid tribute to their concert in Barcelona by performing the song that gives its name to one of the city’s most emblematic venues, “Razzmatazz“, song that was especially sung by the local crowd, who appreciated this song which the band had not played live since 2002.

PULP - Primavera Sound BCN 2024

Photo of Jarvis Cocker from Pulp by Eric Pamies courtesy of Primavera Sound 2024

So, a remarkable first day of Primavera Sound 2024, marked by the fury and power of female-fronted bands such as Mannequin Pussy and Amyl and the Sniffers, and in which the headliners such as Pulp and Vampire Weekend did not disappoint, offering two concerts of very high quality, especially the British band Pulp, who showed why, after 30 years, they are still a reference for pop beyond melancholy.

Victor Ramos

Fanático de la música desde que mis padres me ponían a Eydie Gorme y Los Panchos o el Discotuna por la A2. Intenté tocar varios instrumentos, pero soy muy torpe con la mano izquierda, así que ya sabéis el resultado final. Fan del britpop, Post-punk, el rugby y el baloncesto...


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