The homecoming from the Primavera Sound is hard to stand because – all of a sudden – you have a feeling of injustice thinking about a life that it’s not always like that: with the sea on one side and a lot of live music on the other.
But everything has to come to an end and – getting older year after year – everyone should know this. What is it left? Memories and a bunch of photos shot in the few moments of lucidity (more or less).
Let’s start with order to not get lost from the very beginning (or at least just a little bit).
It’s hot. Not so much actually, the climate is perfect because of the sea breeze.
The venue, Parc Del Fòrum, is just where it has to be and the first thing to do is running to the beach. When will you have again the opportunity to listen to Four Tet’s dj-set while you’re having one of the first swim of the year?
While the Spritzes and the sun start doing their work, I decide to walk towards Nightcrawler that makes me craving to drive at 200 km/h on an highway.
Looking at the distance between me and the big stages (the Seat and the Mango), the idea is not so bad. But sadly I can only count on my legs so I start walking…I’m ready for the crowd that will keep on growing because of the 2 most wanted lives: the hypnotic Björk and the demigod Nick Cave.
Passing by the food area (huuuge) I feel a yearning that I satisfies with an Asian Bao (those super-good steamed sandwiches full of things, as some kind of healthy burger).
Feeling better, I reach the battlefield that lies between the two super stages (the farer from the beach).
The crowd’s tension – first messy, then more and more solid – increases while the time of Björk is approaching. It’s dark now and everyone seems to hold his breath and count the minutes (because the timeline is so “Swiss”).
The stage is dark when on the maxi screens some wonderful flowers start blooming. Then She appears, wearing a vagina-dress and a mask that resembles some strange botanical element. Björk is magnetic and everyone is stuck, eyes on the performance. The goddess’ voice overwhelms the field and conquers all the things left to conquer…
A few notes before the end, I decide to cross the sea made of people to get nearer to the opposite stage. I don’t want to lose the beginning of Nick Cave, I took the kleenex for no other reason. The live is super gritty and the Bad Seeds are always at top. As everyone thought, because of the last live shows, Nick lets some fans climbing into the stage: joy and emotion. The demigod’s aura is at its maximum now and Push The Sky Away gives finally sense to my pack of tissues.
Shaken by these two atomic bombs and by the indescribable quantity of little stones in my shoes, I fumble around towards more fair parts: the Bacardi Live for exemple, where a beautiful lawn allows to take a rest or just seat down listening to the music. Mount Kimbie are playing one of my favourite song, Marilyn. They’re slightly dull for my lacking but I get the chance to take a break.
It’s late and on the first day I can’t lose all my energies but – after the spatial dj-set – I don’t absolutely want to lose Four Tet’s live. It will play at the Rayban that is a sort of amphitheater with seats and a big cavea.
To get there I have to pass by the Primavera Apple where Nils Frahm is playing wonderfully. I listen to a few songs, then I resume my path.
Four Tet never lets me down: the tracks (white relaxing actually) of the last album (New Energy) are remixed with mastery becoming perfect for the time and the audience.
This seems a perfect conclusion of the Day 1 for me and, super satisfied, I’m ready to come back home.
I wake up at lunch time and – except for a little bit of hunger – I have one-track mind: Floating Points‘ dj-set that is already started at the Xiringuito.
I decide to eat some tapas in a bar and I go straight to the seaside. I foretaste the great 80’s-flavoured tracks so different from the live shows of the dj-nerd: perfect with the warm weather and a Spritz in one hand.
I lay down in the sun, cradled from all the things that I wanted and ready to recharge energy and vitamine D for this second day.
While I study the schedule, I take note of the sacrifices I’ll have to make but I don’t feel upset. Today I will explore the zone accessed by the huge marble staircase, where the Pitchfork and Adidas stages are.
I begin with John Maus that is super energetic and succeeds to make me dance even under the burning sun. I know that few steps away Yellow Days is almost ready with his powerful and – at the same time – sweet voice: perfect when the sun goes down. There’s no rest here and – jumping from one stage to the other, both comfortable and near – I look for a great place to enjoy Sevdaliza‘s show and at the same time be ready to sneak through at the right moment. She’s Junoesque and beautiful with her sensual moves…With her an huge bouquet and an astonishing performer.
So why do I want to leave? Because at the Mango stage The National are almost to begin and, after that masterpiece of Sleep Well Beast, I don’t want to lose them for any reason.
I start running faster at the first notes of Nobody Else Will Be There and, in spite of the crowd, I manage to reach the barrier. I’m stuck from the first to the last song, enchanted by Matt Berninger’s voice.
Dazed and happy, I run to the Rayban to not lose Thundercat and his irrepressible energy.
At the end of his live I understand that it’s the right moment to nourish myself and I decide to explore the vip area near the Primavera Apple where the burgers seem fatter.
From here, with a glass of wine in the end, I relax myself listening to Charlotte Gainsbourg.
I still need to rest so I go back to the Rayban where Cigarettes After Sex are ready to begin. Super wimpy but what I wanted is a break so everything’s perfect.
With my vital batteries charged at the maximum, I need for speed and I know where to find it. Ty Segall is ready to rape his guitar at the Primavera Apple stage. My thinly concealed punk soul is so happy I could cry and leaving the field – for listening to the last two songs of the crazy Arca – is a trauma. But the Pitchfork comforts me with a lot of zest for life and people dancing totally unchained. The right preparation for my landing to the Bacardi stage where Âme II Âme is ready. A well-balanced but powerful set. Classy, something similar to a rave but dressed in suits.
Tiredness is in again but at the Rayban – that by chance it’s not far from the exit – Black Madonna is rocking the stage and a hop or two are mandatory.
Now It’s ok, I can leave with my conscience at ease right in time for the metro’s opening.
And the last day is finally arrived. On the beach Dekmantel Soundsystem and Palms Trax are playing and everyone is telling me it’s something wonderful but I woke up later and I don’t want to rush. I move quietly for the first lives but I know that the best will come after the sun goes down.
Today I have no intention to approach the big stages. I’ve never went inside the Warehouse, the only indoor stage. Someone told me there’s Jonsi of the Sigur Rós now and I suddenly think “why not?”. I found myself lost in a complete darkness. I can only see the lights of some phones. Then the projectors go in and the Sigur’s peculiar and immersive sounds. But on the outside there’s sun and life and I don’t want to lose the last rays.
After an Ariel Pink in shape but too much “old-style rocker” for me, I decide to eat something now because later I’ll have no free time. A kebab – sided with some very very light fries covered by (again!) kebab meat – seems the perfect choice to have the necessaries energies till the very end.
While I bite my last fry, I hear the first notes of Slowdive…fortunately the Primavera Apple stage is right next to the food court and reachable with a little run. What I see and listen is a beautiful live, singed and played perfectly. I’m thrilled and happy and – before going to the Bacardi for an exciting “hat trick” – I stopped for the Grizzly Bear at the Rayban but, in my opinion, they don’t make the grade.
In the “most dancing stage” two lives and an half are waiting for me, as far as I know: Claro Intelecto, Onehotrix Point Never and Jon Hopkins (I have the intention to abandon him at the middle of his set to go listening to the Beach House, because I love both of them and, in the last year, I’ve seen Jon more than my mother).
Claro Intelecto is a good start and, with his minimalism, succeeds to make everyone dance. When he leaves, the stage is prepared for Onehotrix and, already from here, the crowd is open-mouthed. Keyboards, drum, a cloth for the projections. Yesterday his new album was out and the set we’re about to see is something unreleased, unreleased and beautiful. The images, his voice, the keyboard’s player: everything is absurd and astonishing. The audience is stuck and taken by the knees: a spell. The only consolation, at the end of this majesty, is that Hopkins is arriving and – we all know – he always makes things right. Sure enough he starts as a ticking-bomb with some bloody good visuals and a crescendo so powerful that I cannot leave for the Beach House.
At the end of the set, dazed by this trifecta more than thrilling, I cross the bridge back again to reach the lovely Rayban stage where at 3 a.m. The Blaze will burn down the atmosphere. From the bridge I begin to hear an echo of the Beach House that are finishing their set with the last two songs (my favourite ones, luckily). With this magic in the air, I go down the terraces faster and faster: no chance to stop now. An insane backlight and here they are. The french duo is there, one in front of the other, with wonderful lights, then flames, and faces and that sound that, in a matter of a bunch of months, has conquered everyone.
The night could end here but there is the Roman dj and producer Donato Dozzy, ready on the seaside, at the Desperados Club. To not lose a fucking thing a take the long way round passing by the Pitchfork stage where Lindstrøm is playing some 80’s tracks and by the Bacardi, where there is Vril, the peak dj of Warp label.
Everything is so beautiful I could cry and even the dawn collaborates with this festival that makes everyone happy, Primavera after Primavera.
Text and Ph: Aurora Bartiromo