Festival Recap: Day 3 of Primavera Sound

Photo by Eric Pamies

Photo by Eric Pamies

Last Saturday in Barcelona was the last day of the main festival of Primavera Sound. For me, while day three was still filled with big names to catch on its program, was definitely the underdog of the day-by-day breakdown, but it turned out to be possibly my favorite day. I caught classic acts in new ways and newer acts in classic ways. Follow the jump for coverage of the last main day of the 16th edition of Primavera Sound.

Saturday had me changing up my daily routine in order to make the most of my time in Barcelona. I started the day early at Primavera Al Raval at the CCCB in the heart of the city in order to catch Robert Forster of the legendary band, The Go-Betweens. Going into this set, I knew it would be a small amount of time for such an artist to perform, so I wasn’t sure if we’d get to hear many classic hits from his old band or if his set would be all of his new, solo material. But once Forster took the stage five minutes early with his full backing band, I knew no matter what he played, things would be alright. We were graced with an even mix of new and old, and the crowd was delighted by all the man did. While this was a small set, it remains one of my favorites of the weekend, and I couldn’t stop a dumb grin from spreading across my face through the whole set.

After this set I made my way back to Parc Del Forum so that I could catch my favorites,

Photo by Eric Pamies

Photo by Eric Pamies

Wild Nothing, with their early set on the main Heineken stage. Having just seen a killer set from them at The Mohawk a few weeks back, I knew exactly what they were capable of, but was a little worried that the big stage would swallow the intimacy that makes their dreamy pop so striking. While I still think that Jack Tatum and Company would have benefitted from a later set on a smaller stage, their performance was tuned and precise as they rolled through singles from most recentLife of Pause, the early crowd near the front dancing along with hits both new and old. In the end, this set showed maturity and season from the band.

Next up was another legend in Brian Wilson performing Pet Sounds. I’ll admit, I didn’t have

Photo by Eric Pamies

Photo by Eric Pamies

any real expectations for this set, because after I didn’t get to see this performance at Levitation, I let my hopes for ever seeing the Beach Boys perform live in any capacity slip away. What I got instead was a wonderful early evening experience. The European crowd, even fairly far away from the stage, ate up every classic number from the big band, even though Wilson himself wasn’t involved too much in the limelight. Dust from the gravel floated through the air as groups danced and sang along to numbers like “Surfin’ USA” and “Fun, Fun, Fun,” “God Only Knows” and even “The Monster Mash.” It was a delight to see these classics performed for such a gracious crowd and it was a memory I’ll not soon forget.

The headliner for the night, Sigur Ros, were incredible and completely and totally captivating. The band has recently stripped down from their large band to a mere three, butIMG_0384 it was nothing short of a huge performance. These three started behind a metal-appearing mesh, making them barely visible as they played the first few songs; it was clear from the beginning that they meant business, and were there to impress. And impress they did, their set was dramatic; quiet at once and then building to loud crescendos, after they stepped out from behind the light-screen and took their places at the front of the stage, they had the audience completely ensnared with their orchestral rock music. While the lighting and visual aesthetic were the perfect accompaniment to their beautiful music, I found myself closing my eyes andjust letting the music hit me in waves. It was a spectacular set.

This was not where the night ended for me. I made my way to watch Ty Segall and The Muggers close down the house. He brought his weird antics to the stage along with his fuzzy rock. Ty went down into the crowd to do a little surfing, and the mic wound up in the hands of a fan who kept singing the band’s songs while Ty was lost. Ty let him keep the mic, then he invited the fan to take his place on the stage while he stood in the crowd at the front of the grate, linking arms with his fans. The lucky fan pranced around on the stage and conducted the band for a jam. Ty even managed to defy the time restrictions trying to be imposed on him and played an encore song, ending the night, and the festival, on an excellent note.

Thanks for the folks at Primavera Sound for creating a wonderful lineup, lovely setting, and beautiful festival to experience. If you can, or you find yourself in Spain, make sure you get yourself to Barcelona for a weekend that feels a bit like music heaven.

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