Saturday, June 13, 2015

Primavera Sound 2015: Highlights from May 29th

Part 2 of our highlight reel from Barcelona's Primavera Sound 2015 festival - check out photos and videos from the performances we've enjoyed the most on the second full day of the festival which took place at Parc del Fòrum on May 29th, plus a couple of new bands from Australia we saw at MACBA, the Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona.


It's been nearly 16 years since the last time I saw Sleater-Kinney live, firstly on the main stage of Reading Festival in 1999, playing a great set early in the afternoon, and then again a few days later at London ULU as part of the celebrations for Matador Records 10th birthday. 

In the time that passed since these two unforgettable performances, the band released three more excellent records after that year's "The Hot Rock" (my Album of the Year for 1999), went on a ten-year hiatus during which we've had many exciting projects, musical or otherwise, from all three of them, and reemerged triumphantly this year with "No Cities To Love", an album that proves the magic is still here and their special chemistry still works wonders.

Without a doubt, Sleater-Kinney's hour-long set at Primavera's Heineken stage was amongst the festival's top performances, combining highlights from their new album with some of the finest tracks they've given us over the past two decades. Their set went as far back as 1997 for "Dig Me Out"'s dynamite title track and "Words and Guitar", while all their '00s work was well represented with 2006's "The Woods" taking the lion's share. The only minus point for me of an otherwise faultless set was the complete omission of the numerous gems to be found on "The Hot Rock" (I think "Get Up" would have been perfect for the finale). I guess you can't have it all in just one hour, but we did have all of the following:

Sleater-Kinney's complete set list: Price Tag, Jumpers, Bury Our Friends, Oh!, Surface Envy, Ironclad, What's Mine Is Yours, No Cities to Love, Fangless, Rollercoaster, A New Wave, One Beat, All Hands on the Bad One, The Fox, Words and Guitar, Sympathy, Dig Me Out, Entertain, Modern Girl.

Sleater‐Kinney - No Cities to Love (live @ Primavera Sound, May 29th, 2015)

Sleater‐Kinney - Dig Me Out / Entertain (live @ Primavera Sound, May 29th, 2015)

The Julie Ruin

You can say that the second day of Primavera Sound was dominated by ex-riot grrrls who are now riot women and prove in action that 40 is the new 20. Kathleen Hanna was in excellent form throughout the 45-minute set of her new band The Julie Ruin, hopefully an indication that her health problems are now behind her, and along with her band mates, including former Bikini Kill partner in crime Kathi Wilcox, delivered a scorcher of a set, full of positive energy.

Check out below "Oh Come On", one of the best songs in a set list that included the following: V.G.I., Lookout, Party City, South Coast Plaza, Kids in NY, Radical or Pro-parental, Ha Ha Ha, Goodnight Goodbye, Oh Come On, Run Fast.

The Julie Ruin - Oh Come On (live @ Primavera Sound, May 29th, 2015)


It's certainly one of the marks of a good festival: you walk in with certain expectations, but sometimes the great moments come when you least expect them. Like at five o'clock in the afternoon, in the sparsely attended Ray-Ban stage, when Chicago's Disappears deliver an intense set under the hot sun. I imagine if they were on later at night, this could easily have been one of the festival's most talked about performances. Even so, they rightfully earn a place in our highlight reel of the day and convince me that I need to do some digging in their discography which so far includes five albums, with their latest release being this year's "Irreal" LP.

Disappears, live @ Primavera Sound, May 29th, 2015


The recently reunited shoegaze heroes have been steadily upping their game since their return to the live stage and it's easy to see they are now firing on all cylinders. The start of their set with "Leave Them All Behind" and early single "Like a Daydream" was truly impressive and they continued well with "Nowhere" tracks "Polar Bear" and "Seagull", but given the difficulty in approaching the overcrowded main stage to get a closer look and the fact that almost simultaneously both Run The Jewels and Death From Above 1979 were also playing, after a while I had to make my excuses and move on to other pursuits. Here's "Like a Daydream", undoubtedly one of the highlights of the day:

Ride - Like a Daydream (live @ Primavera Sound, May 29th, 2015)

The New Pornographers

If you're at a festival and The New Pornographers are playing, you should definitely find some time for them. Even with some of their key players missing (both Neko Case and Dan Bejar were not present), Carl Newman's team is a sure bet for some memorable, upbeat rock with strong melodies that's good for any time of the day or night. One of the best performances we caught at the ATP stage where also Run The Jewels, Belle and Sebastian and The KVB played.

The New Pornographers - Mass Romantic (live @ Primavera Sound, May 29th, 2015)

Death From Above 1979

The second day of the festival finished for us around 2 in the morning, after a blistering performance by Canadian noise makers Death From Above 1979 at the crowded Ray-Ban stage. We walked back to the hotel under the sounds of Jon Hopkins whose set was just beginning at the ATP stage, but after 9 hours of running up and down Parc del Fòrum there just wasn't any more fuel left in the tank for us.

Check out below some more photos from Primavera's second day featuring Belle & Sebastian, Julian Casablancas + The Voidz and The KVB.

Belle & Sebastian

Julian Casablancas + The Voidz
Earlier in the day, as part of the events of PrimaveraPro (the meeting for professionals from the music sector), we enjoyed a showcase of new bands from Australia outside of MACBA. Here's a couple of them, Klo, an electronic pop duo from Melbourne, following in the footsteps of acts like Purity Ring, and Holy Holy who play electric folk-rock that brought to my mind Band Of Horses.

Klo, live @ MACBA

Holy Holy, live @ MACBA
Check out here our impressions from the first day of the festival. Part 3 is coming soon...

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