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had an awesome time. Obligatory post-festival analysis/nostalgia:
The Dismemberment Plan - I was 3 rows from the front, and where the London show in November felt cathartic and momentous this was just pure joy
Cloud Nothings - great live, moshpit was so much fun and being amongst hundreds of people shouting "I thought I would be more than this" and "I'm learning how to be here and nowhere else" felt like a genuine Moment.
The National - feverish, intense, as great as ever
Superchunk delivering such an exuberant set in the evening sun, got proper chills from Trees Of Barcelona
Other bands I really enjoyed - Neutral Milk Hotel, CHVRCHES, Spoon, The Range (only about 100 people there though which made for a pretty weird experience), Sky Ferreira (once they got the sound sorted), Pixies (solid hits set), Twilight Sad, Mogwai (the last band we saw, was great sitting on the hill and having my face melted)
Other good things:
The site was awesome - really liked the architecture (much more than the Gaudi stuff in the city if I'm honest), good stages, great backdrop... pretty good drainage, too
Apart from the early issues on Wednesday, the sound was consistently great across most of the stages (except Sony/Heineken if you were too far back, where it was a bit muted)
SO MUCH TAPAS (off-site)
Barcelona in general being lovely
Being able to get hipflasks in - more drunk for less money, score
The world's most efficient, queue-free male urinals
Really friendly atmosphere and good crowds for the most part
Less good bits:
The daft weather (still got a dry Thursday and Saturday, mind)
Lack of non-rain-related water
The worst nachos known to man, and generally mediocre on-site food (except for the churros, I want a churros stand on my street)
Arcade Fire - they got going eventually but the new stuff really is so gash and a lot of the old stuff sounded a bit detached and hollow
Don't really get the Speedy Ortiz love
Watched The Ex cos one of my friends wanted to see them, not a fan
Would definitely go to Barcelona again over Porto I think - just so much more going on musically, and I'd really like to go back to the city (we did Sagrada Familia, Ramblas, Parc Guell and some general wandering but I feel like there's loads more to go back for)
God I'm so tired why am I on the internet I need to go to work tomorrow :/
I had a virtually religious epiphany eating them one night
Had a sub par burrito from them on Thursday, thought the nachos would be better, could not have been more wrong.
The pizza next to it was good though!
John Grant - kept the crowd brilliantly engaged despite the terrible weather while he was on
The National - brillaint and insense as always
NIN - ninth time I've seen them and one of the best (a lot better than the O2 the week before, I thought). Pretty much my whole group had never seen them before and everyone was converted
Pixies - my first time seeing them and they were a lot better than I was expecting. Perfect setlist, and didn't seem to be going through the motions at all
The Dismembermet Plan - didn't know these guys at all beforehand, thought they were excellent
Spoon - also didn't really know them and enjoyed it a lot.
Sharon Van Etten - I think she's a little depressing on record, but the live show was great
Also: Midlake, Sun Ra, Metronomy, Loop, Dr John, SBTRKT and Godspeed were all varying degrees of good/very good/great.
St Vincent - not bad by any means, but she was one of the acts I was most looking forward to, and I found her a little flat. Not sure why. Will certainly go see her again though.
Moderat - Also kind of flat. Did they have a screen set-up that was supposed to look like a 3D projection or something? In which case I was standing in the wrong place, as that didn't really work.
Arcade Fire - my third time seeing them and I think they're getting worse on every tour. I'm not the biggest fan, but I was with people who absolutely love them, and we were all very disappointed. It was just ponderous and lifeless and not engaging at all. The new songs are too mid-tempo to work well live, and go on too long. And I'm sorry, but they really shouldn't let Regine sing, as her voice is horrible.
Cut Copy - I quite like them on record, but man were they terrible. Amaturish and pretentious. Like some sort of art school pastiche of a band.
By far the best sound I've ever experienced at a festival or outdoor gig. Pretty much every artist could be heard perfectly wherever I was standing.
The food in the festivasl was mediocre bordering on bad. I was expecting it to be a lot better. The food in the city on the other hand was almost universally excellent, even in really touristy areas.
Lots of (mostly very clean) toilets and bars meant very little queuing.
Some of my friends were quite bothered by all of the concrete and lack of grass, saying they had sore bacsk and feet, but it didn't bother me too much.
Why oh why was there only one type of beer available in the ENTIRE festival? I realise sponsorship is a big earner for them, but couldn't there have been one ale tent or stall or something. Or even just cider as well as berr. And more than one wine truck. I don't think I'll ever be able to drink another pint of Heineken in my life.
I actually thought Arcade Fire were pretty great, never seem them before but always wanted to. Quite like the new record though some songs are a bit meh, but I thought their set was a very cool festival experience and the crowd around me were loving it and singing along to everything. I enjoyed the new songs a lot and the old ones were great, I also liked how they played seemingly forever.
I enjoyed St Vincent a lot, and was really looking forward to her as well so that was very pleasing. Still not completely convinced about her weird choreographed robot dancing stuff, maybe that's where the flatness comes from?
Other great things were Slowdive, Television, Cloud Nothings, Real Estate, The National (though sometimes they got a little boring :-o and did anyone else think Matt Berninger was in a weird mood? I guess he was just incredibly drunk). I liked QOTSA, Loop, Ty Segull and Metronomy as well and the Pixies to an extent but to me they seemed a bit uninspired and not very loud (??) because QOTSA were really loud the night before. Frank sang some of the songs a bit weird and the people around me didn't seem that into it which frustrated me because I couldn't get any closer. They were much much better and enjoyable when I saw them in Manchester last year, I think their gig performances are better than their festival ones. Something about the smaller intimate indoor venues works more effectively and the people are crazier too.
Also I liked that there was no grass, no mud and no slipping over! Woo!
I didn't mind the Heineken but it was an overload, I do remember seeing a beer on tap that wasn't Heineken though but I think it was hidden away so you couldn't see it.
One of, if not the best outdoor gig sound quality I've seen in my relatively short gig-going life. For sets that I really wanted to see in the main area but 'missed' to queue for headliners (e.g Queens of the Stone Age, Kendrick Lamar) you could hear the sound very well right at the other end of the large outdoor arena section (though of course you had to watch the screens), so I didn't really feel like I had missed those acts at all
I think Loop on that stage is the loudest band I've ever heard outside. I walked right to the end of the prominatory while they were on and it was still very loud all the way out there.
... I could do without negotiating 680 "OMGZ I really can't wait for this" posts in order to find out how the festival was :P
Charles Bradley, Earl Sweatshirt, QOTSA, Haxan Cloak, Pional, Ty Segall, Factory Floor, Islands, Grouper (@ BARTS) Superchunk, Mogwai, The Twilight Sad in the Parc.
Speedy Ortiz, Arcade Fire, Pixies and depressingly enough Cloud Nothings.
Conan Mockasin despite the fact that I genuinely really like him.
The former was much less impressive live than on record (although some of my friends thought he was good), while Metronomy I find kind of wet on the album but were a lot of fun in person.
This was my first year – I was surprised at how big the festival is, but you can tell it has been running a long time as it's really well organised.
Agree with other comments that the sound system is impressive, with little or no bleed from other stages.
Best bands for me were:
– Future Islands
– War On Drugs
– Arcade Fire
– La Sera (in the Rayban unplugged hut)
Also Blood Orange were great fun and I caught a bit of FKA Twigs which sounded immense.
Definitely agree that the food options on site are pretty poor. Fortunately Barcelona itself has loads of good restaurants.
All in all it's a really great festival. Not sure I'd want it much bigger though.
but I didn't enjoy the main stages at all, and that includes the ATP stage. Sony/Heineken too far away regardless of where I was stood, and the ATP lineup (with a few exceptions) didn't suit a stage/space that big.
Good: Haxan Cloak in the Boiler Room (trouser-flappingly awesome), Colin Stetson, Grouper at BARTS, Shellac at BARTS, Mogwai, Charles Bradley. Spending time with my friends in a wonderful city at a really friendly, well-organised festival.
Bad: Generally everything on the main stages, bar Slowdive actually.
Awful: Arcade Fire. Their hearts just aren't in it anymore, are they? Don't get me started on Win Butler's big rockstar moves...cunt.
In fact everything I saw in the Boiler Room tent was cracking. Loud and bassy.
-NIN - First time I've seen them, stunning.
-Arcade Fire - Haven't seen them since Neon Bible, thought the newer songs worked well, they looked to be having fun, and everyone around me was into it
-Dismemberment Plan - Went to see them because I got bored of Godspeed. Don't know any of their stuff, but thought they were great
-Twilight Sad - Meant to leave their set halfway through for Slowdive, but couldn't tear myself away. Love this band a lot
- Slowdive - Because of above, disappointed to miss half their set, but got there for Souvlaki Space Station into When the Sun Hits, so not the worst timing
- Spoon - but wish they'd brought some brass with them
- Pixies - Felt like they were going through the motions.
-Speedy Ortiz - Was looking forward to these, thought they were a bit dull though.
- Cloud Nothings - Definite caveat that I was towards the back due to wanting to leave for NIN, but their set felt more lacklustre than previous times Ive seen them
- John Grant/Winged Victory - Missed them both due to rain/disorganisation. Pretty annoyed about that
- VIP area in front of stage - Don't think its fair that VIP tickets get half of the main stage areas to themselves.
Overall, Primavera has delivered again. Will almost certainly be back next year!
so..apologies for that in advance.
i used the preferential front-of-stage bit for the national, volcano choir and a bit of nine inch nails but it felt a bit wrong/weird - especially when that area was half full and there were thousands of people straining to get near the front. they could probably be rid of that.
otherwise the VIP business was good - rucksack, 3 free drinks and then 2 euro beers (up from free to 1 to 2 over the last 4 years though) and cheaper wine all weekend as well as somewhere to sit, some shelter, some ok food options, great views etc.
i'd recommend spending the extra monies for 2015 - though if you buy when they come out they cost no more than a standard ticket does later on.
massive highlights for me -
superchunk at sunset being perfect and joyous
twilight sad in the park breaking my heart
volcano choir - both sets - absolutely glorious
second half of arcade fire - singalong for wake up was glorious
NMH - just really special
sharon van etten - astonishing as ever
john grant in the storm - and the rainbow that followed
shellac, future islands, winged victory...all great
pixies were a little disappointing
left NIN for mogwai - wise, wise choice for me personally
cut copy closed it up for me beautifully though we nearly missed our flight home...
warpaint and midlake were bobbins
i love the city, love the festival, had a phenomenal time as ever (5th year in a row) and can't wait to go back.
i liked it.
A Winged Victory For The Sullen
Cloud Nothings (main festival show)
The Mark Eitzel Ordeal (both shows)
Ty Segall (Apollo show)
Having not been to Barcelona in the previous 2 years, my reservations about the festival have only increased: it's held in a glorified carpark, its mind-numbing sponsorship, way too much soundbleed from other stages, the Sony/Heineken arena has grown too large to be enjoyable, and the whole VIP apartheid system. Unlikely to return ...
It was my first time
The Ex - Saw them be stunning at a tiny venue in Brighton the other week, if anything this was even better, perfect start to the festival and I really got my dance on. Of all the late 70's survivors (The Fall, Wire etc...) I think it's these guys that are releasing the best records and doing the best shows ATM.
Shellac - Only seen them once before and I was turbo pissed and barely remember it. My word they are good. It was properly loud even sat up on the 2nd tier. We unfortunately left early to make it into the BJM gig which didn't happen.
John Talabot - Afro influenced baleriac house. Outstanding set.
Jamie XX - Perhaps I was tiring by this point (4AM) but I'm not sure I really like what he plays too much. Another time perhaps.
Colin Stetson - That inside venue is absolutely great, caught 20 mins apreciated the skill, probably couldn't handle a full set.
Follakzoid - Perfect afternoon krautisms.
Sun Ra - Gig of the weekend. Their use of the auditorium was outstanding with the brass mingling with the crowd. Space is the Place my friend!
Neutral Milk Hotel - Not being a huge fan I felt I had gatecrashed a party. Sun Ra had also just blown my mind. Too crowded and the sound was crap where I was (which was a fair way back owing to catching the end of Sun Ra.)
Future Islands - It was ok. Are people really raving about this??
Queens of the Stone Age - Heard the whole set and watched on screen whilst waiting for Arcade Fire. Decent enough - I still haven't really got over Kyuss breaking up though.
Arcade Fire - An odd one, almost perfect setlist I thought, equisitely performed but I just didn't feel a great connection with it despite being close.
Disclosure - Great light show, some good moments musically but as a whole ok.
Julio Bashmore - Great set to close the first night
Due to a monemental fuck up with our accomodation we had to move appartment meaning I missed Holter in the Auditorium (which must have been one of the best gigs of the weekend), John Grant & most upsettingly Dr John.
Sharon Van Etten - Unfortunately missed her playing Give Out but a decent enough set, she's a lovely presence.
War On Drugs - 30 minutes of fucking about before they came on meant I missed most of their set to see the Pixies. What I did see was stunning, especially the first track off the new record.
Pixies - First time seeing them and loved it. Shut up and play the hits.
The National - Caught the first half hour and was pleasantly suprised, especially that track that goes "You Should Know Me Better Than That."
Deafheaven - I get what the fuss is about now, best of the "hipster approved" BM bands I've come across.
KVELERTAK - They are like a genetic engineering experiment to create the world's greatest metal band. Most sub-genres represented, unbelievable fun.
Jesu - Beautiful and crushing in equal measure. Suprise of the weekend.
Jaguar Ma - Really? They're like a bad Primal Scream/ Stone Roses rip off.
Wolf Eyes - Started off with about 500 people there, ended up with 100 if they were lucky. Loved it but 10db more and it would have been transendental.
Laurent Garnier: Is there a better way to see the Bacelona sun rise? I'm not sure there is. Outstanding set.
Television - Obviously going through the motions but everyone needs to have seen the track "Marquee Moon" live. Verlaine is a serious player!
Earl Sweatshirt - Really, really enjoyed his set. Big fan of the record but generally don't get on with hip hop live presentation.
Connan Mockasin - He's not the world's greatest live performer is he? Choade My Dear and Forever Dolphin Love were all kinds of lovely though.
Sean Kuti - Glad to see his all of his old man's fire and rage if not more. A bit ashamed I've ignored his records and will be rectifying that. Danced my socks off.
NIN - 16 or 17 years since the last time I saw them. Massively impressed, great light show and Reznor is a superb front man. March of The Pigs took me back to my teens!
Ty Segall - This man is the ultimate party starter. Superb tight set, great moshpit. How much longer is Mikal Cronin going to be in the band for before he focuses on his own stuff though?
Foals - I haven't seen them since before the first record came out. My God they've grown. They'll be headling this type of festival in 2 or 3 years.
Black Lips - No better way to close a festival. I was singing Bad Kids for the next 2 days.
Daniel Avery - Took a while to get going, once it did he was outstanding.
I genuinely can't believe they managed to fit so much into such a (relatively) small place. The logisitcs are genius. Only 2 gigs felt too crowded (Arcade Fire and NMH)
Food - not great
The marketplace was ace, I bought too much stuff though
Beer options would have been nice
Didn't queue for the toilet once
Plenty of bars -almost uniformly poorly run though.
Liked the beer vendors in the crowd
Barcelona is a humdinger of a city but probably won't be back for a few years. Want to give OFF a go next year I think.
Shellac and The Ex was a bit impossible so we decided to just head early to John Talabot/Jamie XX. Huge queue that moved really fast.
John Talabot - brilliant. huge house set and probably my favourite electronic set of the weekend.
Jamie XX - sounded good, but i was slowly getting more knackered and headed off home.
Warpaint - kinda shit live, aren't they? loved the new album but vocally it's still weak. main stages are still a bizarre place to put this band.
Neutral Milk Hotel - watched from the very, very back. didn't ever have an epiphany about this band and they sounded good.
Future Islands - glad i saw the end of them instead of neutral milk hotel. fun for the last twenty minutes.
Chvrches - i didn't expect to watch the entire set, but they were bloody brilliant. absolutely nailed it nowadays. the song where lauren doesn't sing was the huge highlight.
Arcade Fire - i don't get it. played a pretty killer setlist with a lot of my favourite songs but it totally washed over me. turned down a ticket for earls court off the disappointment.
Disclosure - pretty, pretty good. cool light show and nice to see them in a place not full of dicks.
Lunice - took a good while to get going, but finished pretty strong.
Speedy Ortiz - love the album, but just seemed a bit lost here. new songs sounded promising.
The Twilight Sad - sounded immense. always a band i should have checked out before, as a lot of our group are huge fans. big surprise.
Slowdive - the best band of the weekend. sound was perfect and we were stood in a really good area. found it quite emotional actually.
Pixies - a band going through the motions really. waited nine years to see them and ultimately didn't care about them.
The National - as intense as ever. definitely now a 'headliner' now. enjoyed matt going awol during terrible love and yer man justin vernon coming out for slow show.
!!! - sassy. a lot of fun, but would have loved to see them on a smaller stage.
Factory Floor - my ears still hurt from standing next to the speakers. dense, heavy bass. love the album and its even more intense live.
Superchunk - just the best band aren't they? can they just be prima's house band? please?
John Talabot - more please. think i preferred his earlier set but he's just so good. glad i queued for the boiler room.
The Dismemberment Plan - great set. thought i'd never see them again after last year. loads of dancing at the front for emergency and i/change tracks.
Cloud Nothings - jfc this was busy. sounded good, but the sound was just a bit weak from where i was (basically on the stairs) so decided to get some average nachos.
Mogwai - went from lying on the hill to sitting on the hill to standing at the front. first time i'd seen them and i forgot how good they are. so glad they're headlining simple things.
Black Lips - caught a bit with a mate. lost her and all my friends for the rest of the festival. was fun, but not really my thing.
Cut Copy - nowhere near as fun as i thought this would be :(
Daniel Avery - great set to close it off. all my friends were dancing to kelly clarkson at dj coco's set and i kinda felt jealous.
I've been attending since 2004, and this year has been my least enjoyable (still good though) It's fair to say Primavera is getting too big and arrogant for it's own good. That damn "Primavera is 15" advert pissed me off.
Despite not having VIP I managed to get a decent place for all the bands I wanted see, even that Angel Olsen club show.
La Sera (ray ban hut thing)
Not So good:
Having been to Barca twice I wouldn't say it's better but it *is* better in a shit load of ways. My two cents:
- GREEN! GRASS! Hills! Meaning you had great views of the 2 main stages
- Food and drink was ace and well priced though the queues for the former were pretty bad at times, never had to queue for a beer
- There was always loo roll in the girls looks and I only had to queue once for about 3 mins
- Transport to and from was a fucking piece of piss and really well managed, no waiting for the first metro even if you want to go before, though I pretty much stayed til the end every night
- Porto itself is pretty wonderful and deffo shows it's charm through being there a few days. We stayed right in the centre and there were so many bars and great places to eat. Could have easily stayed another 2 days just exploring the city more, ie more port and wanted to go to Serralves but didn't have time
- The crowd was a mixed bunch, plenty of people who didn't really seem that much into whatever they were watching so when you got down the front it was a bit quiet but thankfully not loads of talkers / picture takers at all, in fact I don't think I encountered anyone who was pissing me off like that which is a complete rarity in the UK
Important stuff: BANDS
- Spoon: lovely set full of hits
- Haim were alright
- Kendrick Lamar jfc what a guy
- Slowdive were incredible and I now need to retrospectively get into them
- GY!BE were mind-blowing and I was stood behind some dude who was clearly their biggest fan and really going for it which made it even better
- Trentemoller: fuck off you shit cunt
- Mogwai: great as always
- Todd Terje: insanely good
- The National: great but more Alligator pls
- Slint: yeah they were good
- !!!: didn't enjoy them at all
- Cloud Nothings: the set of the weekend for me. Amazing
hopefully will get early bird tickets for next year. I had a great time.
IT DIDN'T RAIN IN THE ENS
but cheers Primavera I did take one of your lovely free raincoat things. Also: those lovely picnic bags!!
I was only half watching them anyway as I'd met up with a pal I'd not seen for years but I just didn't get them :(
I was a bit over-tired and over the festival by that point though so may not be the best judge (which is why we left to go to an amazing gay bar)
John Grant (made me cry the big bastard), Kendrick and Todd Terje were my faves. Lovely crowd again and the rain held off for the festival. Good times.
Spoke like he was hoarse then he started singing and WOAH - also, more costume changes at Primvaera please