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Monday, June 2, 2014

Primavera Sound 2014 in brief, day 3

And a new Primavera Sound 2014's chapter comes right away. Friday 30th was, on paper, our biggest day, but did it meet the expectations? Here's the answer...

The Good
Manic Matt at PS14
Photo: Bloodbuzzed
The National: 6th time seeing "my" band live and I'm still impressed. At PS (their second time at the Festival) they didn't have the best of sounds, as a matter of fact, Matt had issues with his mic all night, and I don't know if they consciously decided to go for the big stadium-Festival's overtly huge sound on some tunes, one that swallows the amount of subtleties (drumming, path changes, additional instrumentation) that make The National stand out from the rest. Having said that, their thunderous version is equally hard to match: 'Abel' was a real punk explosion with Matt going nuts, 'Squalor Victoria' and 'Sea of Love' where blistering, while 'Afraid of Everyone' and 'Conversation 16' where unstoppable beasts. But what makes The National incomparable is that, along with the strength comes the heartbreak, in the form of 'I Should Live In Salt', 'This Is The Last Time' and personal favourite 'About Today'. Need even more? Well, they brought to the stage Bon Iver's Justin Vernon to help with the climax of 'Slow Show', and later on the show, they invited Hamilton Leithauser and Paul Maroon from The Walkmen, paying tribute to them. Two of my favourite bands together? Hamilton singing 'Mr November' with Matt? The sound didn't do justice to the mind-blowing moment, and I had the feeling there was another song (maybe 'Vanderlyle'? just imagine Hamilton, Justin and even Sharon Van Etten singing it) that was left behind because of it. But anyway, another fantastic show from THE BAND...

The Bad
It pours over Bloodbuzzed
Photo: Bloodbuzed 
Rain: We enjoyed the show of Murciano Total under sunny skies, but we had to run for shelter after just three songs of John Grant's gig, which had started in the most promising way (have to check this man immediately).Then it poured for more than an hour, providing memorable (mean it in a depressing way) images of a food area completely collapsed by thousands of people looking for cover. The Forum is quite a nightmarish venue with bad weather.
Strange day indeed: The rain, being wet for too much time or moving throughout a swamped Fòrum, these are not the organisation faults. But that, combined with a frustrating timetable, having to decide between Sharon Van Etten and Slowdive, or Pixies and The War on Drugs, missing Hamilton Leithauser, Lee Ranaldo, The Twilight Sad... when there were several empty spots on the day (due to Jenny Lewis and The Julie Ruin's cancellations) made the BIG day for us somewhat disappointing.  

The Queen
Slowdive, when spacey-guitars hits...
Photo: Bloodbuzzed 
Slowdive: Technically, this spot would be reserved to The National, but this was my first time watching Slowdive live. 'Avalyn', 'Catch the Breeze', 'Machine Gun', 'Souvlaki Space Station' and the immense 'When the Sun Hits'...there are tones of (music) gold there, folks. Besides Rachel Goswell looked pretty moved, and the crowd was, surprisingly, as respectful as the ecstatic music of the band deserves. I finally saw Slowdive playing, and it was exactly the amazing experience I had dreamt their shows would be. Hope it's not the last time...

Brief of the last "big day" of the PS14, Saturday 31st about to come!

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