A brief statement on social networks, the only explanation for a truly inexplicable day, served the Primavera Sound organization to sing a mea culpa, apologize for the collapse of the bars throughout the day on Thursday and make an amendment. Said and done, a couple of tweaks in the management of the main bars of the venue and the hasty signing of more waiters was enough for the festival to return to normal on Friday. Or, at least, all the normality that can be asked of an increasingly massive event and for which the Forum is beginning to outgrow it.
In any case, the circulation of the public between the stages improved, getting something to drink ceased to be an odyssey - there was still a queue, yes, but nothing to do with what happened on Thursday - and the public was able to concentrate on what was happening on the scenarios and not around them.
And what happened on the second day of this total birthday is that Primavera Sound got back on track thanks to the brave Fontaines D.C. and a splendid Beck in his accidental headlining role. The National also returned, although in reality it seems that they have never left. In fact, it seems that Matt Berninger's have been doing the same concert since 2014. 'Don't Swallow The Cap', 'Bloodbuzz Ohio', 'This Is the Last Time', 'I Need My Girl'. Epic design, rock intensity always under control and that feeling of waiting for something that never comes.
Quite the opposite of Fontaines D.C., the best thing to happen to Irish rock (or rock for that matter) in years. With their looks straight out of a Donald Ryan novel and three albums that are like three punches to the stomach, the Dublin guys traced the intensity of their last visit to Razzmatazz with an impact live show. Twisted post punk, racing guitars, a 'Scarface' t-shirt, and walking like Ian Brown on his best days. Arms raised with 'I Don't Belong' and 'Sha sha sha' and , pogo and rampage on 'Televised Mind' and an overwhelming end to the party with 'Jackie Down The Line'.
On stage, the angry specter of all the cramps to come. If someone caught them smiling, it must have been an accident. Yes, like Mark. E. Smith. Or, for that matter, like that Steve Albini who in the middle of the afternoon was handing out hardcore bites and electric whips on one of the supposedly minor stages. All things considered, the always furious Shellac, the talismanic band of Primavera Sound, had to arrive for things to start working. Chance? It does not seem.
In the absence of The Strokes, headliners of the day who were sidelined by Covid-19, the role of master of ceremonies and host of the main stage area, esplanade also known as Mordor, went to Beck. And, at his premiere at the festival, the Californian not only nailed it, but he did it adjusting as much as possible to the circumstances with a feast of funk, blues and synthesized pop. Chaining songs relentlessly, he jumped from 'Devils Haircut' to 'Mixed Bizness' and from 'The New Pollution' to the Korgis' 'Everybody's got to learn sometime'. Elegant, sophisticated and tremendously funny, he hasn't forgotten 'Loser' either, an anthem that is about to turn thirty and remains as fresh as the first day.
Stellar was also the passage of the British Little Simz through a Cupra stage that was ridiculously small for her and on which she signed a hip hop master class with muscle and message. The author of 'Introvert' was, in fact, everything that is missing in Lauryn Hill's last live shows: delivery, energy, acrobat enthusiasm and verses at the speed of light. a prodigy
Manel from Barcelona, in the always difficult role of opening one of the big stages at a festival with an increasingly international audience, offered a hyper-focused and festive version of their latest concerts in the early afternoon: 45 minutes of hymns covered in electronics and broad-spectrum pop with 'Teresa Rampell', 'Benvolgut' and 'Al mar' alongside idem as highlights. On the Binance stage, Amaia preached for unconditionals. Or for locals, which would be the same. "It's the concert that I know of the most people who come to see me," she said to present the debut of her synthesized pop pizpireto, an almost perfect hybrid between Marisol and La Casa Azul.