10 things we learned at Optimus Primavera Sound
- By Greg Rose -
- Jun 12, 2012
Grandstanding comebacks, wild dogs and bats, The War on Drugs, squabbling hipsters and more from Porto's new festival. Here are 10 things we learned at Optimus Primavera Sound...
10. The xx have built the hype for their new album even higher. Their headline Saturday night set was a perfect fit with the setting and the mood at Optimus Primavera. A reworked 'Crystallised' was sublime, but it was - thrillingly - the new material that stood out.
9. Pints of sangria on tap is an acceptable drink in Porto. Try ordering that at Wireless. Stray dogs wandering around the festival are also no reason to bat an eyelid. Bats, however, are. They were loads of them.
8. Take a fine song, give it a few years of airplay and it becomes an anthem. The *trademark* dream-pop of Beach House has taken on a grandiose quality that got a car park stage feeling like an arena, in a good way. A festival standout.
7. Having an amazing stage show is only half the trick. The Flaming Lips reliably bonkers theatrics got the Optimus audience going, but after a while the magic wore off when the songs started to drag. Thumbs up for the opening though,
6. Black Lips and Wavves are two bands it is definitely more fun to be in that to watch. Both, the former in particular, put on raucous shows, only held back by the music not matching up to the antics. Having said that, the stage invaders for Black Lips were having more fun than everyone else in the world combined.
5. Hipsters like free stuff even more than everybody else. When the organisers gave out free bags, hordes of mustachioed men turned into scrabbling, squabbling children fighting to get their hands on them. When rain macs were being given away, the scene resembled an early 90s playground football sticker scramble. Classy.
4. The oldies have still got it. Suede were vibrant, filthy fun on the opening night, Jeff Mangum breathtaking on the closing afternoon. Sonic Youth's Lee Ranaldo showcased his solo album with aplomb too. The new songs sounded excellent, but a Talking Heads cover stole the show.
3. By the law of averages, if you watch about 20 bands at a festival, some of them will be awful. Step forward The Drums and Atlas Sound. It was the last night of The Drums tour and it showed: they were going through the motions. As for Atlas Sound? Not everyone with a harmonica sounds like Bob Dylan.
2. New bands - of varying ages - reigned supreme at the festival. The War on Drugs were an early standout, making an epic college rock combo that was still ringing in the ears hours later. At the other end of the experience spectrum,
1. Primavera know how to put on a festival. The beautiful setting of a scenic, seaside park, easy access to bars, eclectic line-up and few clashes, all added up to a wonderful weekend.