Blur conquers Primavera Sound

The British band met all expectations as headliner of the festival with a macro-concert crammed full of well-known hits. The younger sister of Beyoncé, Solange, the post-dubstep king James Blake and the eclectic quartet Django Django were also the main acts of a very intense night.

Anna Pérez

May 27, 2013 06:55 PM

Barcelona (CNA).- The second chapter of Barcelona’s Primavera Sound Festival overcame the persistent forecast of rain, blew away the grey clouds and made way for the stars – some of them brighter than others. The britpop band Blur, whose comeback to the city had raised many expectations, didn’t disappoint at all their massive audience, nor did the R&B and hip hop singer-songwriter Solange Knowles. However, the Breeders’ sisters did not pay tribute to their album “Last Splash” on the occasion of its 20th anniversary, and The Jesus and Mary Chain suffered a watered down beginning to their performance.

Festival-goers learnt from Thursday’s evening temperatures and summery dresses and very-short-shorts were changed for warmer clothes, more suitable to the cold wind and the sea humidity. Despite this, Primavera Sound kept its hold on the highest concentration of hipsters that Barcelona experiences in a year.

The afternoon started with the Catalans Dulce Pájara de Juventud, the humorous yet critical band Pony Bravo and a dishevelled Kurt Vile & the Violators, who played to a loyal public. After these performances, people crashed on the floor to take advantage of the sun’s final rays. A few lucky ones made their way to the Rock Deluxe Auditorium to hear the dazzling Daniel Johnston, whose bipolar disorder and schizophrenia turn songs into unique pieces. At the same time, the English indie-rock quartet Peace was performing on the Primavera stage, crowning their show with the hit “Lovesick”.

The crowd then set out on a little journey to the Heineken stage, the biggest and furthest one, to see Django Django’s performance. This band of former art students, particularly difficult to classify, delighted the increasingly cheerful public with their use of synths and such varied instruments as coconuts – and they seemed to enjoy themselves as much as the audience. People ran wild with “Default” and “Life is a beach”, and kept chanting the songs’ simple choruses. Everyone’s voices, along with the worrying clouds that were rapidly spreading over their heads, gave the scene a mystical, surreal atmosphere.

It was half past ten, and time for Solange. The younger sister of Beyoncé satisfied her fans in front of the Pitchfork stage, right next to the sea, by giving them good doses of R&B and funky tunes combined with suggestive hip movements. The Deal sisters, members of the alternative rock band The Breeders, were performing by then a concert held to commemorate their legendary album “Last Splash”. However, this nostalgic trip nosedived due to the band’s lack of enthusiasm.

The Jesus and Mary Chain and Local Natives’ also overlapped. The former, legendary post-punk and rock band, offered a two-way performance with an apathetic start and a vibrant second part. The indie folk of Daughter was coming next, yet the delicate and futurist soul of James Blake captured most of the attention. An epileptic light display and songs like “Limit to your love” made it a calm but unforgettable concert.

The most awaited band of the night

“Street’s like a jungle”: the first sentence of Blur’s popular song “Girls and Boys” echoed on the huge Heineken stage and stragglers had to run to join the group’s audience, of more than 15,000 people. They haven’t played in Barcelona for 10 years, and were clearly willing to perform a great comeback. Very few went to see the Swans or Glass Candy: most of the festival-goers were dancing to the rhythm of “There’s no other way”, “Beetlebum” and “Coffee and TV”. “Sometimes is great doing this. Tonight is one of these moments”, said singer Damon Albarn after asking the public to say “hola to la Luna” (hello to the Moon). People kept singing the chorus of “Tender” once it had finished, so Albarn shouted “You want more?!” and the public was gifted with an explosive succession of “Country House” and “Parklife”. The band also played an elegant version of “The Universal”, but there was something missing: the group couldn’t leave without making people go mad with “Song 2”.

Stampede. Many festival-goers headed to the central stages to recover with a succulent but ecological burger or a few Thai noodles (the food was also hipster) to withstand The Knife’s bunch of electro pop and minimal techno. Many others went home or back to the hotel in turn, so that they get the most enjoyment of the final ones.

Band of Horses cancelled due to a transportation problem, and were replaced by Deerhunter, who already played last Thursday. However, other stars such as Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Crystal Castles, Hot Chip, My Bloody Valentine, Wu-Tang Chan and, at a more local level Antònia Font and Los Planetas, closed this 2013 Primavera Sound Festival.