Primavera Sound Festival: Arcade Fire, Disclosure, St. Vincent

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Primavera Day 1 281
Photo by Jenn Semler

For years I’ve been hearing that Primavera Sound is one of the best festivals in the world.

Consequence of Sound deemed it one of the best on Europe recently, giving them bonus points for having a consistently eclectic lineup, while maintaining a boutique vibe.

Arcade Fire (2)
Arcade Fire
Photo by Jenn Semler

Sharing a headliner with Coachella (Arcade Fire), there’s no doubt it’s a major festival.

But running into Win Butler the night before they show at Cal Pep (a restaurant recommended by Good Food’s Evan Kleiman and Chef Nancy Silverton, when I spotted her in the hallways of KCRW) is something that certainly wouldn’t happen in the desert. The proximity to all the greatness of Barcelona — particularly the ocean — is something you can’t overlook.

In fact, before their encore set the last night, Win said Barcelona was on his short list of cities he’d consider moving to. He also mentioned that the band played Primavera on the tour behind their first album “Funeral” and they clearly have a special place in their hearts for it.

Arcade Fire
Arcade Fire
Photo by Jenn Semler

We ran from the confetti blast of “Here Comes the Night Time” (followed by a giant group sing along of “Wake Up“) across the field to see Disclosure to end the evening.

Dancing to “F For You” literally within minutes of belting Arcade Fire with thousands of people was an ecstatic experience.

There are 12 stages at Primavera Sound. The very first thing I heard was half a song from El Petit De Cal Eril, who immediately reminded me of Beirut.

Real Estate
Real Estate
Photo by Jenn Semler

Kicking back with ocean views, the chill vibes of Real Estate matched the late afternoon mood and they even teased a little of Grateful Dead’sLovelight” before launching into “It’s Real“.

Lola Marsh2 (2)
Lola Marsh
Photo by Jenn Semler

Next we stumbled upon an incredible Israeli band called Lola Marsh. The sound of the xylophone drew me in, with whistles, hand claps and great harmonies propelling their pop ditties. Lola herself was clearly meant for the stage and having a blast, with a giant smile and flowers in her hair.

Antibalas2 (1)
Antibalas
Photo by Jenn Semler

The sun was going down and the wind was picking up so we needed a little boogie to keep us warm. Enter Antibalas, members of the Daptone family out or Brooklyn, NY and purveyors of fine percussion and horn-driven jams.

StVincent (2)
St Vincent
Photo by Jenn Semler
StVincent (1)
St Vincent
Photo by Jenn Semler

Then the ladies took over two of the main stages with Warpaint’s seductive sunset set followed by St. Vincent. You can’t take your eyes off Annie Clark, whether she’s shredding on guitar or doing her awesomely weird robot dance.

She could only be followed by the rock blast of Queens of the Stone Age, a jolt everyone seemed to enjoy.

The music went well into the morning, but I closed it out at 3am with confetti in my hair. More to come.

RR