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Friday, June 3, 2016

Primavera Sound 2016 in brief, days 1 & 2

Here we are, in the frantic, exhausting (adding some Primavera Pro activities) but always remarkable Primavera Sound Festival days. So, like we always do, here are our quick chronicles of what's going on for us within this 2016 edition. To begin with, the first couple of days, the opening day, Wednesday 1st, and yesterday's first "big one", Thursday 2nd. Let's begin!

The Good
First Day Pro: First time attending, and finding it pretty interesting. Liking the mixture of conferences (I attended a couple on the not very bright future of music journalism with members of Billboard, Stereogum, Pitchfork and Intro) and music (the plan is watching several gigs there). Letting aside the criminal midday sun, the CCCB is a comfortable and interesting place to be.
Núria Graham: Precisely, my first gig at PS16 was Núria Graham on Wednesday... and what an incandescent talent she is! Alone, just armed with her guitar and haunting voice, she can be effortlessly epic, lightweight poppier or St.Vincentnesque in a matter of seconds.
Ms. Graham, young magician. Photo: Bloodbuzzed
Spanish indie: Also on Wednesday, our main interest of the afternoon at the Fòrum was my beloved Doble Pletina, who nailed it despite the hour and the huge stage for their minimalistic indiepop proposal. But to my surprise, the real winner of the afternoon (at least for me) was Sr. Chinarro, who managed to deliver a very powerful set, combining some of his expected greatest hits with several strong takes of new album 'El Progreso', that were the real highlights of his show. A veteran glowing.
Sr. Chinarro, still progressing after so many years. Photo: Bloodbuzzed
Algiers/Protomartyr: Although their gigs weren't perfect they are two terrific bands. Algiers couldn't beat their mindblowing set at Primavera Club (the bar was so high with what they did at Apolo) but they are such a fierce presence, musically, lyrically, live, you always have to rise the white flag with them. Same can be said about Protomartyr. A very fun mess, with Joe Casey being such a chaotic yet ravishing frontman. Will follow closely.
Protomartyr, indeed it shakes, wildly. Photo: Bloodbuzzed
The Bad
Massification: PS might die due to success. Going to "Mordor" (H&M and Heineken stages) is always a punishment, but this year, even on Wednesday Primavera stage was incredibly full. Can't even imagine what's going to happen today with Radiohead's gig...
El Último Vecino: Sorry, just don't get it. And the live show hasn't improved a single bit...
Primavera Sound on strike: Living pretty far from Fòrum (as almost every person in the city who is not a tourist)? What about having to deal with a combined strike from subway and bus on the days where Primavera takes place? Nice, very nice... Years complaining on how ridicule are the lame transportation options every night of the Festival and now this...

The Queen
Daughter: I really don't qualify as a Daughter fan (not that fond of their records, my previous live experiences with them have been so-so), but what happened yesterday evening at Heineken stage was really something. An incredible mass of people gathered (the whole Mordor esplanade, scary and impressive at the same time, as Elena Tonra pointed out), to listen such a subtle music proposal. It's true that Daughter opted for some "muscle" at times, like the forgettable 'No Care', but the whole majority of the gig was simply arresting, with incredible moments as the surprising, very respectful silence (there's hope! there's hope!) while the quartet delivered 'Smother', the affecting power of 'Human', 'Youth' and 'Numbers' or the dreamy bliss of 'How'. Add that you can't help it but fall for Elena's adorable shyness and you have it: a wonderful, bewitching gig.    
A very joyful Elena. Photo: Bloodbuzzed
Brief of the second "big day" of the PS16, Friday 3rd, coming very soon here!

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