Between dystopian visions and flashes of the past, the definitive tastemaker John Digweed returned to…
Photo Credit: Ismael Quintanilla III / Nicolita Bradley / Miranda McDonald / Quinn Tucker / Lindsey Byrnes / Pooneh Ghana
We attended to the debut edition of the Primavera Sound in the US last weekend, hosted at the Los Angeles State Historic Park. To say it was a great experience in all aspects is an understatement.
The Primavera Sound LA experience provided an on-point selection of big names really well balanced with unique – underground acts, and even some new discoveries for us. It was definitely a gender-balanced and musically plural event, also with a varied representation of Latin & Spanish artists honoring the City of Angels’ cultural scene.
Festival goers had so many options to attend to, such as Arctic Monkeys, Lorde, James Blake, Mitski, Cigarettes After Sex, Bicep, Stereolab, Buscabulla, Clairo, girl in red, Giveon, King Krule, Little Jesus, Arca, Buscabulla, Divino Niño, Paloma Mami, El Mató a un Policía Motorizado, Octo-Octa back-to-back Eris Drew, or Darkside (the project that Nicolas Jaar and Dave Harrington revive from time to time), among many others.
As one of the headliners, Nine Inch Nails once again proved they never disappoint as an eminence at an event of this caliber. Trent Reznor is always in full control leading NIN’s never-ending stamina. Many stated the sound was incredibly loud at their presentation, but how come it couldn’t be that way?! It was our highlight of the festival.
Khruangbin’s medley of 90’s hip hop paying tribute mainly to the West Coast followed by some 80’s ballads was just amazing…The band’s guitarist and musical genius, Mr. Speer, appeared to experience some technical issues that may have been the cause of their act getting cut short by five minutes…For a second, we thought his Strat, the only guitar he uses with no backup, finally gave in. We knew that couldn’t be the case, nonetheless, absolutely nothing could overtake the excellent show that this brilliant music trio brought up to all Primavera Sound LA spectators.
Hip hopers Terra Whack blew our minds with how fun and engaging their show was, regardless it was not of our preferred musical taste. We found ourselves cracking up laughing while making friends thanks to her music.
It was really interesting to watch Mayhem, the institution of Norwegian black metal, right at a moment when the Downtown LA sun was upon their stage. In that light, we could only admire their passion, their endurance; all that they have gone through to stay genuine as a band, and see the humility and maturity which, perhaps, the passing of successful years loyal to the genre have granted them. Talking about loyalty to his own style, we recognize it as a pleasure listening to John Talabot’s closing set at the Smirnoff Stage on Saturday.
All the DJs at the Smirnoff Stage were always on, such as the Puertorrican reggaeton pioneer DJ Playero who kept everyone dancing and behaving like it was the height of the night at around 3 pm on Saturday …Yes, a pioneer as in when in earlier than 1990 reggaeton was not even a known music genre, and when his mixtapes got spread out by record-over cassettes amongst groups of friends in the island of Puerto Rico, going on to New York and then to the rest of the world within a decade. Sangre Nueva (the union of DJ Phyton, DJ Florentino, and Kelman Duran), was a new discovery that blew our minds. They demonstrated such power over the most tricky technical multi-genre mixing, at its best. Fontaines D.C. was simply punk magic, and Surf Course was the most clean-cut energizer of the moment.
Logistically, the Primavera Sound LA experience was a delightful one. Despite rumors of long Will Call lines on Friday, it seems like the matter got solved unnoticeably quickly and efficiently. We never went through a single hassle…only convenience. It was an easy in and out, great use of the available space; the grounds were clean throughout each day. Zero lines for anything, plenty of restrooms, food options and bars, and overall great customer service. Good times were certainly not compromised by such an appreciable level of safety, inclusiveness, and overall community feeling for its attendees. Undoubtedly, the Primavera Sound crew attracted a great mix of revelers and music lovers from all walks of life, and all with excellent vibes. We truly hope this was the first out of many Primavera Sound yearly editions in the beautiful city of Los Angeles.
Check out the best snaps from Primavera Sound LA below.