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Primavera Sound Barcelona 2024 – 31 May 2024 (Barcelona)

1 June 202411 min read

After Thursday’s excellent day, marked by outstanding performances from Pulp, Amyl and The Sniffers and Mannequin Pussy, On its second day, Primavera Sound 2024 prepared to welcome the big headliner of this edition, the North American Lana del Rey, who along with her compatriots The National and the presence of actor Keanu Reeves with his band Dogstar were the main attractions of the day.

Lana del Rey - Primavera Sound 2024

Photo of Lana del Rey by Sharon López courtesy of Primavera Sound 2024

Teaching in public education means that, although one of your top priorities is not to miss the Scowl concert for anything in the world, you arrive at the Parc del Fòrum when one of the most talked-about overlaps of the day has already started 10 minutes ago. While festival classics Yo La Tengo were performing their new album This Stupid World (2023) on the Amazon stage, a few metres away one of the festival’s biggest media attractions was on stage with his band Dogstar on the small Plenitude stage. It’s not every day that Neo, John Wick or Johnny Utah from Point Break play a festival, so those who weren’t queuing for the front rows of the secluded main stages probably stopped by to take a photo of Keanu Reeves will be playing bass at the Primavera Sound 2024 with his band Dogstar.

Dogstar - Primavera Sound 2024

Photo of Dogstar taken from the official Facebook profile of Primavera Sound 2024

Sounding close to 90s grunge rock, their show was effective and managed to transcend its mediated component. In the last part of their show we had the best moments where we even got to enjoy their cover of The Cure’sJust Like Heaven“. Taking advantage of the proximity, we were still able to enjoy about half an hour of a concert by Yo La Tengo, with the Hoboken band doing what they have been doing for over 30 years and countless Primaveras, offers you remarkable and seamless concerts in which you will always find a moment that will take you from rage to absolute peace and quiet.. Between the constant changes between the bass-drums-keyboards of Georgia Hubley and James McNew, their last few minutes went from the delicacy of ‘Stockholm Syndrome‘ to a bacchanal of distortion in ‘Tom Courtenay‘ or ‘Blue Line Swinger‘, ending the concert on a high note.

Yo La Tengo - Primavera Sound 2024

Photo of Yo La Tengo by Eric Pamies courtesy of Primavera Sound 2024

Amidst the constant movement of people trying to get a good spot for Lana del Rey, we decided to go to the Cupra stage to see Canadians BadBadNotGood again, after the good taste they left in our mouths years ago at the Dutch festival Best Kept Secret in 2015. In an evolution that has taken them towards less experimental sounds, jazz has given way to sounds closer to soul or funk, that, together with the sextet format they present on this tour, allows them to grow, for example with much more pronounced percussion and a greater presence of guitar sounds.

BADBADNOTGOOD - Primavera Sound 2024

Foto of BadBadNotGood by Gisela Jané courtesy of Primavera Sound 2024

It was time to approach the main stages to meet the crowd before Lana del Rey started. Competing with last year’s Rosalía show for the biggest audience in the festival’s history, the start of the concert was marred by the fact that it started almost 25 minutes late. After that, a bittersweet sensation with a first part of the show that was surprisingly good thanks to a stage set more suited to a stadium show than a festival, with multiple dancers, balconies, lights and pole dancers. Also in her favour was a brilliant first part of the setlist. with “Doing Time“, ‘Summertime Sadness‘, ‘Cherry‘ or ‘Pretty when you cry‘, but unfortunately the low volume in her voice and the overexposure of some of her backing singers, which covered up the American’s shortcomings in these opening bars, weighed too heavily on the first 35 minutes of the concert.

Primavera Sound 2024 - Lana del Rey

Photo of Lana del Rey by Sharon López courtesy of Primavera Sound 2024

With ‘Born to die‘ the show seemed to turn 180º, with the Manhattan native taking more of the lead vocals and growing more confident as the songs progressed. From a superb instrumental section, with a strong presence of drums and electric guitar, the concert gained momentum in songs such as ‘The Grants‘ or ‘Did you know that there’s a tunnel under Ocean Blvd‘, but above all in an amazing last 15 minutes where we could enjoy ‘Norman fucking Rockwell‘, ‘Video Games‘ and a shortened version of ‘A&W‘ because the slot reserved for the concert was coming to an end. So we are left with the great feeling of what could have been a memorable concert, and was simply a good one due to the various failures of the first part, which weighed like a burden, but a 10 for Lana del Rey herself, who did not hesitate to go down to the front row of the audience and spend 15 minutes talking and taking photos with the fans, showing a humanity that few stars at the festival had before.

The National - Primavera Sound 2024

Photo of The National by Clara Orozco courtesy of Primavera Sound 2024

We didn’t even have to move 5 metres to enjoy the front rows of what has become a festival classic. Seeing them almost every two years, and never having a bad concert, makes us lose sight of the enormous quality of The National‘s live performances, be it in a venue like last Wednesday or yesterday on the main stages of the festival. With a setlist full of hits in the first half, the band led by Matt Berninger, who yesterday was particularly ‘funny” gave away songs like “Sea of Love“, “Don’t Swallow the Cap“, “Squalor Victoria”, “The System Only Dreams in Total Darkness” or an emotional “I Need My Girl” in the first 35 minutes of the concert. From this point on, the concert entered a kind of in-pass where the presence of the already distant “Abel” and where the new songs “Alien” or “Smoke Detector” didn’t manage to connect with the crowd, but thanks to the energetic presence of the Dessner brothers on guitars, the show quickly returned to its former strength with songs like “England“, “Graceless” or “Fake Empire“.

Brutus - Primavera Sound 2024

Photo of Brutus taken by Víctor Ramos from the audience for Indieófilo.

We have no idea what happened in the last 15 minutes, as there was only one red dot on my festival schedule, the simultaneous performance of the Belgian band Brutus on the tiny Steve Albini stage, so we skipped the hordes of people on the main stages and crossed the whole festival to meet them. And boy, was it worth it! The band led by Stefanie Mannaerts gave us a hard and rough show full of every kind of rock-metal-hardcore you can imagine, perfect for the nightly hours we were in. Focusing mainly on their incredible latest album Unison Life (2022), the band from Leuven sounded great, with a perfect synchronisation of string elements with their singer’s drums. After a brilliant start with the delicacy of the first a cappella verses of “War“, The show had its first highlight in the chain of “Miles Away,Brave” and “What Have We Done“. With the crowd fully immersed in the Belgian band’s darkness and packaging, ‘Space’ would lower the atmosphere with its more rock-like touches, while the final burst would be the ferocity ofDust” and would end up with perfectly synchronised distortions of “Sugar Dragon“. Undoubtedly the best set of the day and a total tribute to this Belgian trio, from whom we are already looking forward to hearing new material.

Disclosure - Primavera Sound 2024

Photo of Disclosure by Christian Bertrand courtesy of the Primavera Sound 2024 organisers.

As if on the musical antipodes of the Flemish band, we would close the evening with the English band Disclosure, whom we discovered as almost imbebes when they were just starting out with their concert at the Pitch festival in Amsterdam in 2013. With a completely different approach to that of the time, the South Londoners were accompanied by a live band with a majestic horn section to focus on the greatest hits from the first part of their discography and to get an audience hungry for electronic rhythms dancing.. So we could see that ‘White Noise‘ is still a hit that can make a dead man dance and that ‘Latch‘ or ‘When a Fire Starts to Burn‘ are taken to a new level with the presence of live musicians.

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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