With an attendance of more than 200,000 spectators, the Primavera Sound Barcelona 2017 closes with a line-up of luxury guest artists.

A line-up as extensive as that of Primavera Sound gives spectators the opportunity to enjoy the intimate folk of Bon Iver, who presented his electronic rupture album, and immediately after see the kings of extreme metal Slayer, or to alternate between the experimental rock of This Is Not This Heat and the wisdom of Elza Soares, indisputable Brazilian icon in an essential show in the Auditori, or to choose between the ambient electronic music of Tycho or metalcore from the veterans Converge to round off the night. In some ways the festival is like one of those kids’ books in which you can “choose your own adventure”.

Slayer – Primavera Sound 2017 – Pic by Cristian Di Stefano

At the same time as they announced their new album, “Everything Now” and via a message on the official app minutes before their appearance, the Canadians Arcade Fire inaugurated the main novelty of this year’s edition:Unexpected Primavera. On a 360º stage, the band presented some of the tracks from an eagerly awaited fifth album in which one can sense an explicit move towards disco, while a quick revisit of their great hits justified their status as generational icons. 

In the early evening, songs in Spanish were elegantly delivered by the frenetic rock band Kokoshca from Pamplona, the Chilean folk singer songwriter Soledad Vélez and the national noise-pop heroes Triángulo de Amor Bizarro. An outstanding moment was the debut in Spain of the torrid R&B superstar Miguel, one Prince’s most convincing heirs, who imbued the stage with sensuality and hints of rock. Next in line, another rising Afro-American star, Solange, exhibited her refined elegance and turned the stage into a sophisticated minimalist disco bar with an unbeatable neo soul soundtrack.

In the late hours of the evening there was the long awaited return of the collective Broken Social Scene after a silence of seven years with a concert that was an emotional indie rock eulogy. They did this with ten musicians on stage amongst whom there were well known faces from the Canadian scene including Amy Millan (Stars) and Emily Haines (Metric). In the early hours of the morning, the harder sounds of rock were represented by key names: the legendary band Slayer, who gave an amazing display of that technical virtuosity for which they are venerated in the most extreme factions of metal and the prolific psychedelic band King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, one of the most acclaimed bands of contemporary rock, whose double drum kit supplied some of the wildest mosh pit ever seen on the site.

The brand-new Primavera Bits also started Thursday doubling-up its electronic programme with a stage dedicated to live acts that went from the intellectual EDM of Marie Davidson to 90s house by Bicep, as well as DJ sets by the forward-thinking Ben UFO and Joy Orbison, renovators of UK club music. Along the same lines, but on one of the main stages, Aphex Twin gave a phenomenal technological display during which he was surrounded by an impressive array of screens and lighting in a new exhibition of his schizophrenic electronic music. Once again, he showed that he is a selector with a huge appetite who plays every trope from the electronic music genre. Also, S U R V I V E, whose members include the authors of the “Stranger Things“ soundtrack, presented their ghostly synthetic sounds that are reminiscent of John Carpenter.

And as if all this were not enough, the first day of The Backstage Parties, a meeting point for artists and the festivalgoers, that one can only gain access to if they get their hands on one of the “tokens” randomly handed around the site during these days of the festival. The dance-punk band Formation doing a DJ set; the Californian band Local Natives, who played for a second time after their triumphant concert on the opening night on Wednesday; The Molochs, hidden gem who vindicate the best Americana tradition of the 60s; and the Belgian DJThe Magician extended the dance opportunities from midnight.

The spontaneous Unexpected Primavera concerts fill the Barcelona festival with unique surprises Primavera Pro celebrates its best-attended and most noteworthy edition yet.

With the last day of the main event still to come, during which the protagonists will include Arcade Fire presenting the songs from their imminent fifth album for the first time, the indefatigable Van Morrison, the exuberant Grace Jones and the Rio de Janeiro artist Seu Jorge and his personal tribute to the sorely missed David Bowie, Primavera Sound has established itself once again as a meeting point for music enthusiasts from over 125 countries. Having sold out last January, the seventeenth edition of the festival will end Sunday 3rd June with an estimated attendance of over 200,000 spectators, shared between the main site of the Parc del Fòrum, from Wednesday’s inaugural day to today Saturday, and all the concerts and activities within the framework of Primavera a la Ciutatduring the week.

Since the presentation of its line-up at the end of November, Primavera Sound has been looking to the future by backing a series of artists whose promising success is potentially boundless despite their relatively short careers so far, by bringing together a selection of bands that exemplify, above all, a major generational handover. All of this has been confirmed by The xx and their vision of how pop should sound in the XXI century, Bon Iver as one of the most innovative folk singers in a heart-rending concert, Solange exemplifying the inimitable creativity of the Afro American music community and Mac DeMarco confirming his status as the great indie idol of the millennial generation.

The xx – Primavera Sound 2017 – Pic by Cristian Di Stefano

As well as having become a shop-window for some of the bands of the next few years, Primavera Sound has always leant towards atypical names. In the Auditori Rockdelux there have been unforgettable spectacles like that by the veteran samba renovator Elza Soares, the undecipherable mystery of the avant garde New York artist Annette Peacock and The Zombies, legends from the 60s who performed “Odessey & Oracle” in its entirety on the occasion of its fiftieth anniversary. For today, Saturday, there will also be the coming together of the young flamenco singer Rosalía and Raül Refree and the exciting experimental project by Junun, that brings together the Israeli composer Shye Ben Tzur and around twenty Indian musicians all from The Rajasthan Express.

The space dedicated to dance music Primavera Bits has doubled-up its musical proposal with two separate stages, one dedicated to live shows by Bicep, Henrik Schwarz and Gas and the other to DJ sets by John Talabot, Michael Mayer and Joy Orbison, among other references in the genre. Electronic sounds have also left their mark on other stages of the Parc del Fòrum such as the concerts by the maestros Aphex Twin, Jamie xx and Flying Lotus.

Flying Lotus – Primavera Sound 2017 – Pic by Cristian Di Stefano

Three days in which there has been a solid local and national representation made up of highly contemporary names such as the rap collective from Madrid Agorazein, whose members include the very popular C. Tangana and on the same urban wavelength, the comeback of 7 Notas 7 Colores on the occasion of the reissue of their essential debut album. Along with them the electronic pop revelation Museless has cohabited with the singular entente between Kepa Junkera and Los Hermanos Cubero and the vigorous rock in Euskera of Berri Txarrak.

As a finale, there will be a more than abundant last burst of live music tomorrow, Sunday, from midday in the CCC Band which will continue until nightfall and beyond in the two rooms at the Apolo with the now classical closing party.

Text Source: Primavera Sound Photos by Cristian Di Stefano   

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