Finally this Friday we could live a normal day in the first edition of the Primavera Sound Madrid festival, after the suspension of the concerts on the first day due to rain and the transfer of its headliner, Blur, to La Riviera. It was a normal day, or almost. The access problems, traffic jams and queues delayed many of the attendees. To get to the venue where the festival takes place -no trace of mud or puddles-, the City of Rock in Arganda del Rey, some 40 km from the capital, several itineraries could be chosen. After entering, too. The concerts on Friday were divided into two invisible, imaginary itineraries, symbolized by their two headliners, Depeche Mode y Kendrick Lamar, who also almost took over from one stage to another, both placed together in the main area of the venue.
Since Beth Orton took the Plenitude stage at six in the evening to offer a concert very similar to the one experienced in Barcelona just a few days before (‘I’ll be your mirror’ -I will be your mirror- was the motto of an ambitious edition of Primavera Sound that repeats in the capital almost the same ‘line up’ in both cities, borrowing the phrase from that beautiful song by The Velvet Underground), an invisible thread began to unravel that was uniting a series of proposals that culminated in the concert of the more veterans of the day.
Depeche Mode, just as they did in Barcelona, they alternated their greatest hits with some of the songs from their most recent record, ‘Memento Mori’, published ten months after the death of the group’s third leg and, they say, one of its engines, Andy Fletcher. ‘Word in my eyes’ sounded this Friday in his memory, at a concert that has been delayed for half an hour precisely to give time for attendees who were stuck in the access funnel to the venue to enter. ‘My cosmos is mine’ and ‘Wagging Tongue’, two of the cuts from the new album, served to start a concert that has sounded like a perfectly greased machine, the one that has been running for four decades, seasoned with the poses, the energy and the the hip movements of the group’s leader, Dave Gaham, who constantly demanded more emotion from the public.
Immediately followed the group’s great hits such as ‘Don’t say you love me’ or ‘Everything counts’, which the attendees, many wearing T-shirts and combing their gray hair, chanted excitedly. An hour and a half of concert that ended, in an encore, with some of their essentials: ‘Enjoy the silence’, ‘Just can’t get enough’, ‘Never let me down again’ and ‘Personal Jesus’.
After more than 40 years active, the band led by Dave Gaham remains fresh and creative, and has been the one that summoned the most public Friday of Primavera Sound Madrid, but it is inevitable that the cloud of nostalgia fly over the festival sky. And it is that cloud that was accompanying the thread of the itinerary led by the British, an itinerary that includes groups that can almost be considered classics at Primavera Sound, that have shaped their brand and in which they have performed on other occasions, combined with others who drink from the same sounds or were born and grew up in parallel to the festival.
sound of the 90s
In this itinerary we also find The Delgados, who had to wait three minutes for the last song by Beth Orton, on a stage located right in front, to start their concert. The Scotsmen, who formed the band in the mid-90s and broke up in 2005, fed up with receiving good reviews but little support from the public, have returned to remember those songs from the late 90s that started from the British indie so fashionable at that time. but with orchestral arrangements. In Madrid they were accompanied by a string trio (violin, viola and cello) as well as a transverse flute, with whom they reviewed some of their songs for an hour.
Moldy Peaches, another group that has reunited after 20 years and that already went through Primavera Sound in 2002, follows this same itinerary and has been another of the performances on a Friday in which you had to be in constant movement from one stage to another, as usually happens in these appointments, to have a map of what is happening in the venue, with almost no time to see the groups finish. The Americans, with their powerful sound halfway between Weezer and The Beastie Boys, appeared in Madrid with their customary homemade costumes making the attendees dance with a tribute to Tina Turner included in the middle of their ‘Nothing came out’, at the which interspersed various phrases from ‘Private Dancer’ and ‘We don’t need another hero’.
I followed that thread that marked the nineties itinerary Japanese Breakfastwas one of the freshest and funniest proposals of the afternoon, the band of the director and author as well as Korean-American music Michelle Zauner. Zeuner and his contagious dance cheered up the spectators who were already getting closer, waiting for the big names of the night, with their songs, also inspired by the 90s.
canadians Alvweisswho despite their youth follow that sound that characterized the indie of the 90s by groups like Belle and Sebastian and Nation of Language, another young group with a sound from 30 years ago, are other groups from a more nostalgic itinerary, or more classical from Primavera Sound.
The rap king
The meeting between the two itineraries of the night took place around half past eleven on Friday, when the last note of ‘Personal Jesus’, by Depeche Mode, was followed by the first of ‘The Heart 5’ and then ‘N95’. ‘, of Kendrick Lamar, in the first performance he has done in Madrid in his career. The most valued concert at the Primavera Sound in Barcelona (where she had already performed in 2014) was also one of the high points of the day on Friday in Madrid. On the Estrella Damm stage, located to the left of the Santander where Depeche Mode had performed, the youngest audience pushed and chanted the rhymes of a Lamar that he appeared alone on stage and that he did not stop rapping without losing the flow or the lyrics of what he sang in the hour and a half that his concert lasted.
Faced with Gaham’s histrionics, Lamar, the latest Pulitzer winner in the musical work category, is a rapper who performs sober on stage, without any kind of decorations, but also without musicians. Some visual effects and a small dance group would join him throughout a recital that included some of his most celebrated songs from his acclaimed latest album, Mr Morale & the Big Steppers and from previous works, such as ‘Maad City ‘, ‘DNA’, ‘Humble, Money Trees’ and especially, ‘Family Ties’, in which he had the voice of his cousin Baby nowho had just performed at the festival before Depeche Mode.
And while youth bounced around with Lamar, the punk rock from another flagship group of the 90s, Bad Religiondid the same with the older audience at another crossroads.
Lamar’s itinerary, that of proposals outside the Primavera Sound brand, had begun at six in the evening with the New York salsa group The Axers. At the same time as Beth Orton, Los Hacheros would dance salsa, Cuban son, guaguancó and a few more rhythms to the hundred or so people who were already around the stage where Lamar would be crowned hours later.
Some mars volta energetic and thunderous -so much so that the sound slipped into the concert of The Gabrielles, on a nearby stage, while trying to create an atmosphere of soul and rhythm and blues that called for a little more intimacy than the expansive and sonorous proposal of the Texan band.
However, the itinerary that began on Friday with salsa, went through the progressive rock with Latin influences and the most personal of Mars Volta and was crowned with the hip hop of Baby Keem and Kendrick Lamar, closed the night delivered to the electronic music. The emotional and at the same time danceable proposal of Fred Again.. first, accompanied on stage by his videos of fake singers that complete his performance so much, and Skrillexwith whom Fred Again.. just toured, afterward, they completed the alternate itinerary.
After suffering a fire that made him have to stop for half an hour at his concert at Primavera Sound in Barcelona, Skrillex offered a session halfway between the darkest rap and electronica with flames on stage, but this time they were no more than the coup de effect that was intended. There was even a nod to flamenco in this brooch, with a start that included the ‘Volando voy’ by Kiko Veneno that Camarón de la Isla immortalized in his famous ‘La leyenda del tiempo’.
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