Salamanca Diaries: Primavera Sound | Three days at Barcelona's indie music festival

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By: Sarah Pilar

Imagine you’ve decided to take your life in a new direction and sign up for vocational school (you broke ass mothafucka). Imagine that school is a Hipster Training Facility (as in the Prima Sound vid spot below). Now, picture what the first day of school at this Hipster Training Facility would be like…everyone in their best hipster cuts. Now you’ve got a great mental picture of the going-ons of the first day of Primavera Sound.

[insert-video youtube=UpXITADT_hg]

I’m just joshing, I don’t mean to be that critical.

Primavera Sound takes place in Barcelona (and later in Oporto, Portugal, where tickets are cheaper cause less bands attend), in a venue called the Parc Forum that is on the sea. As in, at some stages you could see waves rolling in the distance.

Seven stages hosted over 200 music artists during the four day festival. The line-up ranged from 80s and 90s post-punk: My Bloody Valentine, The Jesus and Mary Chain, The Breeders, Dinosaur Jr to Spanish alternative, ie.. Los Planetas, to  contemporary indie/alternative: Phoenix, Local Natives, The Postal Service, Deerhunter to good ol’ hip-hop, o mejor dicho the mutherfckin Wu-Tang Clan. Aaand than there was that stage that played nothing but techno music. clarooo. :/

I went  to the show with a group of besties from Madrid, where I live. Actually, Juliana was supposed to leave her pueblo–emm,  Valladolid–for a hot minute to be with us, but as usual she bailed citing lack of funds y tiempo…aún te quiero, putaaa.

One night we are waiting for a friend getting beer near this one stage when my friend T. asks “would you rather-have to stand in a box with scorpions in it for five minutes, or spend 24 hours in front of this stage?” My friend B. answers without flinching, “the scorpion box, the scorpion box…”

The festival was pretty laid-back. As laid-back as you can get with thousands of people all trying to go from one stage to another to see their favorite bands. Getting to the front row of most concerts wasn’t difficult if you got their early-kind of and tried to weave yourself through the knot.

How do I even narrow down the three days I spent there to a few snippets of best-of moments? The stand-out acts for me, were, of course, the old-timey bands that I never thought I’d see live, like My Bloody Valentine and The Jesus and Mary Chain. The Breeders gave a particularly great performance of Last Splash, and after they performed Cannonball, one dazed dude near me said “Well, I just got to hear my mobile ring-tone in person.”

Deerhunter gave a show that rocked you to your core, with Bradford Cox getting down on the stage at the end of the performance and seemingly trying to play his guitar with his shoulder-blades. And during Wu-Tang’s set, an old-school hip-hop DJ was brought out to educate the crowd on what authentic hip-hop Djing actually sounds like. Let’s just say that the crowd was not disappointed especially when the DJ started scratching the records with his FOOT.

By far the most entertaining performance was The Knife. Given the nature of their music, they only actually sang one or two songs live, but the rest of the time a dance group was on the stage outfitted in dark sparkly robes and dancing in some weird and spectacular ways. Their play with motions and synchronized movements made it seem that you were watching a scratched DVD for minutes on end. One guy behind me remarked, “Esto es la cosa más modernillo que voy a ver en toda mi vida.”

Would I go again? Probably. This time with more dank. I think I might give it a couple of years, but if you’ve never experienced a music festival on this sort of scale before, go for it!


Check out more diggs:

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Salamanca Diaries : Music Videos to Make You Rethink Spanish Rap + ¡Don’t Date El Rapero!

Salamanca Diaries: Tres Ya No Son Multitud | XXXmas En Valencia, Spain

Salamanca Diaries: Churros Españoles | Top 10 hottest spanish celebs

Salamanca Diaries: A Night Out in Valladolid | Bar Fight with Los Rojos

Salamanca Diaries: Ups and Down(er)s in sevilla, Spain with my american ex