Primavera Sound 2014 – Saturday Recap

Old & new came to Primavera Sound on Saturday....
Primavera Sound 2014 Recap

Primavera Sound 2014 - Saturday Recap

Once again we find ourselves at the end of spring and once again it’s the time for the Primavera Sound Festival in Barcelona, May 29th to 31st, arguably one of the very best (if not THE best) music festival in Europe, trying to mix the best of both worlds: The space of a big festival with a line-up that always looks for quality even though in the last years bigger and bigger names have been headlining it.



Kronos Quartet

The day started with Vivian Girls bassist Katy Goodman, now immersed in her project La Sera. In it, Goodman keeps on exploring the immediacy of pop, the ambient of early ‘80s punk and Californian rock. But this time, we could feel she’s on a turning point, on the verge of making her music much more mature and complex at the same time as she seems to be relying more and more on external influences. The next few months, now that she has released her third record in this project, will confirm this.

Dum Dum Girls


Then, Television (with Jimmy Rip on guitars duties since Christopher Lloyd’s departure, several years ago) played Marquee Moon in its entirety but not in its running order. The repertoire lacked that genuine, ground-zero music, spark in some moments (basically on “Friction” and the solo section of “Marquee Moon”), but the rest of the gig was excellent and curiously for yours truly, the songs of the second side of the record (“Elevation”, “Guiding Light”, “Prove It” and “Torn Curtain”) were the melodies that held everything together and that revealed the complexity and timelessness of this record. In Marquee Moon, Television have an eternal piece of art, just like Peter Hook has it with Joy Division’s creations. And they both know it.

Earl Sweatshirt


Mark EitzelThen when we made the only visit to the auditorium of this year to watch the one and only Mark Eitzel, who gave the best gig of the festival by really far. Helped by a drummer, bassist and pianist, the American gave a lesson to the less than 200 hundred people who attended the gig (most of the audience was watching either Spoon or Caetano Veloso, good by all accounts but not for us, the former due to sheer mediocrity, the latter as she visits Spain from time to time). A lesson in humour, in proximity, in pain, in irony, sarcasm, savoir-faire and so forth. With Eitzel there are no tricks and no non-sense. Eitzel is a brave artist, either with or without his band and he can prove it easily, almost effortlessly, putting a knot on the audience’s throats since the very first minute.

The Dismemberment Plan

Godspeed You! Black EmperorGodspeed You! Black Emperor Mogwaimay work better in a smaller environment than the notably big ATP Stage but their sheer intensity, introspection and, overall, endless skill to link all the songs in their setlist constituted the bridge between the quirky and bad-tempered post-rock of Slint and the intense, electric yet more accessible songs by Mogwai. The latters played right after (well, after an hour-gap, actually) Godspeed in the same stage and knowing they were in a festival, they made the necessary modifications to their setlist, discarding the slowest numbers of Rave Tapes (QRO review) and including the show-stopper “Mogwai Fear Satan” and the rocky “We’re No Here”. In the end, both bands offered the best of their respective points of view, becoming a real alternative to Trent Reznor and co.

Kendrick Lamar

Ty Segall

Nine Inch NailsNine Inch Nails were by far the best band on the Sony Stage and all accounts tell their first 15 minutes, the most electronic of their set, were some of the very best in the PS ’14; Cloud Nothings seem to have stopped being some The Smiths copycats, hallelujah!; Volcano Choir impressed with extremely precise execution that, on the other hand, lacked some emotion; Chromeo transformed the Ray-Ban Stage into a big party; and Black Lips have grown up and while they may not be as fresh as before, they gained depth and strength.


-words: Abel Cruz
-photos: Jayne Yong and Abel Cruz

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