Primavera Sound Part 1

This weekend I had the great fortune to attend Barcelona's Primavera Sound Festival, to which I alluded in several of the previous entries. As also mentioned before, these posts won't be getting my pictures until I am done traveling sometime after the ninth, as I don't have the cable for my digicam with me (D'oh). I am going to write as much as I can before I have to head to the airport now, and then will pick up where I left off whenever I get a chance.

Thursday night, things started off less than perfectly when I learned a little bit more about the venue logistics. While the Parc del Forum is in Barcelona proper, it is way out in no man's land, and took a little over a half hour by Metro to reach from my hostel. Upon arrival, I learned that everyone had to wait in one queue for wristbands (approximately a 35 minute lineup). Before I could get into that, I first had to do will call, which was another half an hour or so. Instead of having plenty of time to see Dirty Three's entire set, as I'd hoped, I only in about a third of the way through. They did put on a great show though. I was converted, at least.

The next big event of the night was Slint performing Spiderland in its entirity. Now, I already was fortunate enough to see Slint on the reunion tour a couple years ago, so I only watched about half before I went over to the main stage to stake out a spot for the Pumpkins, but the part of the Slint set I saw was pretty fantastic. A friend was still calling it his second-favorite show of the entire festival at its conclusion this evening.

The final point, and indeed the one that sold my ticket, was to see the reconstituted Smashing Pumpkins perform. Granted, with no Iha, D'arcy, or even Auf der Maur, one might question to what extent Billy Corgan even should be calling it the Pumpkins, but there you have it. This set was great. It was very hit-centric, perhaps more so than I would have even liked, touching on all five singles from Mellon Collie; "Cherub Rock", "Today", and "Disarm" from Siamese Dream, and "Stand Inside Your Love" from Machina. Fortunately, they went deeper than that, pulling out at least one (maybe two, I forget) cuts from Gish, encoring with "Muzzle," and playing a bunch of the new material.

At this point, you are probably wondering how the new material is. On the whole, it is good. At least one of the new songs kind of sucks, but the other four or so were in the range of above average to downright awesome. "Tarantula," the leaked single, is probably the strongest of the new stuff they played. Corgan was back to his weird outfits, which in this case resembled a very shiny version of a priest's robe. All in all I was very impressed. The only weak link, imho, is the new guitarist, whose playing is competent, but kind of dull.

More later...

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