At the end of May, Barcelona's Primavera Sound festival celebrated its 15th anniversary with another stellar line-up and plenty of memorable performances. Cool Music Central was there for the third time, our first visit since 2010, and what follows is our personal highlight reel from three days full of music at Parc del Fòrum.
Here are the bands that stood out for us on the first full day of the festival, on May 28th, presented not in order of appearance but on our subjective level of enjoyment:
Howe Gelb's band, nowadays an international mix of musicians from Tuscon, Arizona, and various (mostly northern) European countries, took to the Ray-Ban stage late in the afternoon and, as the sun was setting, delivered an awesome set of dusty, country-tinged, folk rock comprising mostly of tracks taken from Giant Sand's latest album "Heartbreak Pass".
For the mind-blowing finale though, Gelb took us 30 years back with a roaring take on "Tumble and Tear", one of the best tracks on Giant Sand's very first album, the great "Valley Of Rain" from 1985, when a lot of his current band mates were not even born yet!
Giant Sand - Tumble and Tear (live @ Primavera Sound, May 28th, 2015)
Hiss Golden Messenger
You can say we were in the mood for Americana sounds on Thursday, as another performance we particularly enjoyed was that of Hiss Golden Messenger, also on the Ray-Ban stage. The North Carolina quartet delivered a spirited set in the hot, early afternoon sun that included several of our favorite tracks off last year's album "Lateness Of Dancers". They closed their 40-minute performance with "Southern Grammar" which you can watch below:
Hiss Golden Messenger - Southern Grammar (live @ Primavera Sound, May 28th, 2015)
I had never had the chance before to see The Replacements live, one of the greatest bands to come out of the '80s US punk scene, and thankfully I caught what it turned out to be their second to last performance of their reunion, as a few days later Paul Westerberg announced from the stage in the Porto edition of Primavera Sound that this was the group's final live performance. So, even from a distance from the stage (not a very punk-rock thing, but it turns out you need to buy VIP tickets to have a chance to get close to the festival's main stage), we got to enjoy some of the many all-time classics of The Replacements, including this one:
The Replacements - I Will Dare (live @ Primavera Sound, May 28th, 2015)
The Black Keys
The duo from Akron, Ohio, has enjoyed wide success in the last few years which led them to the top of the bill on Primavera's main stage. Quite a large crowd gathered near midnight to listen to an almost 90-minute set from The Black Keys, mixing songs from their latest work "Turn Blue" with several tracks from their older albums. The biggest cheer of the night, and quite a bit of dancing as you'd expect, came when they played their two "El Camino" hits, "Lonely Boy" and "Gold On The Ceiling" which you can watch below:
The Black Keys - Gold On The Ceiling (live @ Primavera Sound, May 28th, 2015)
There's been of course many other entertaining performances on the day, some of them we couldn't catch due to scheduling conflicts (or due to exhaustion - the festival stages are even more widely spread now that the site has expanded), some others we've had to watch briefly to make time for something else. Below you can see photos from the performances of The Thurston Moore Band, Spiritualized, Cheatahs and Twerps from Australia as well as a video of them performing "Back To You" from their latest album "Range Anxiety":
|The Thurston Moore Band|
Twerps - Back To You (live @ Primavera Sound, May 28th, 2015)
Around 1:30 in the morning, after almost 8 hours of live music, we had to crawl back to our hotel room to the droning sounds of Sunn O))) to gather our strength for Day Two of the festival. Stay tuned for part 2 of our Primavera Sound 2015 coverage...