Once again, the Primavera Sound Festival in Barcelona, Spain, Monday, May 27th to Sunday, June 2nd, aimed to be the most progressive festival in Europe, but this year things didn’t turn out to be as amazing or surprising as usual.
On Monday 27th May, Deerhunter took the Apolo stage in Barcelona. Theirs was a better gig than the one offered in 2018 (QRO recap), but I can’t help but feeling that they have lost their edge, that raw hysterical side they used to play with in the era prior to Microcastle (QRO review). Any time, a song required a climax – like “Helicopter” – they failed, and the gig was simply okay.
Tuesday started at the same venue with Cate Le Bon, but we only lasted two and a half songs there, so we directly went to see Poland’s Lonker See. The quartet achieves a solid and thunderous mix of stoner rock, psychedelia and jazz, all this thanks to an adventurous spirit that doesn’t seem to have a clear horizon. This was a treat hard to beat until we got to the Parc del Forum to watch the open-air side of the festival.
Last but not least at the Apolo was L8Chung. The Taiwanese singer-drummer offered a somehow typical far east pop, very romantic and very accessible, but played tightly and with energy. Not everyone’s cup of tea but hey, if they play in a festival near you don’t miss them.
On Wednesday nobody seemed interesting enough, not even Big Red Machine, the project of Justin Vernon (Bon Iver) and Aaron Dessner (The National), who by all accounts seems very much adapted to each other and asking Aaron’s twin brother Bryce (also of The National) to play guitar and Julien Baker to provide backing vocals, making a party of their gig.