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Primavera Sound 2008

With no mud to be found, the Mediterranean close by, and an air-conditioned, indoor stage with actual audience seating, Primavera Sound seems like festival heaven. Yet the pendulum still swung wildly for our writers at Spain’s premier musical festival.

With no mud to be found, the Mediterranean close by, and an air-conditioned, indoor stage with actual audience seating, Primavera Sound seems like festival heaven. Many of the bands play after dark, negating sunburn and dehydration (the bane of so many festivals), allowing participants to discover Barcelona by day or party till dawn. Yet, despite these pluses, the pendulum still swung wildly for our writers at Spain’s premier musical festival.


Set on the edge of the city, just a stone’s throw from Barcelona’s cultural delights, Primavera Sound offered up a plethora of bands for consumption. Some (unlike the pickled chicken heads on offer in Las Ramblas) were easier to digest than others. Our Spanish writer Pablo Amor balanced the tedious (Chan Marshall’s AWOL vocals) with the terrific (Portishead’s preference for real instruments over samples), and the good eventually outweighed the bad. (So much so, he missed his flight back to Madrid.)


His American counterpart, Cole Stryker, was offered sex and drugs but settled, instead, for the rock ‘n’ roll. Oh, and a little sightseeing as well. And while American and British bands filled out most of the bill, a few Spanish acts also left a lasting impression that made it hard for our writers to say adios to Primavera Sound.


Kevin Pearson

Sunday, June 22 2008

Brilliance and Boredom in Barcelona

There are many different ways of achieving greatness when playing live. Of course you have to have great songs, but that is not the only variable to take into account for real stage success.


The Gaudí, the Bands, and the (Not So) Muddy

You know there's a music festival in the city when fedoras and scarves outnumber baseball caps and gold chains.


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