NACHO VEGAS – “Es hora de recapitular las hostias que me ha dado el mundo”
Nacho Vegas oponed the Auditori with the audience inside his pocket. From beggining to end, people respected the show with a silence where songs were spread as some kind of infectious disease. A disease wellcomed by everybody with the greatest of pleasures, as was perceived on the endless ovations before and after every song.
Vegas made the most of his last album, “Desaparezca aquí”, building the culminating points of the gig based on its amazing songs: “Cerca del cielo”, “El hombre que casi conoció a Michi Panero” and, above this quality repertory, “Ocho y medio”. More atention to “Actos inexplicables” was missed: it’s also a huge album (especially “El ángel Simón”, a song that should have made all the audience cry if Vegas had played it). In any case, no-one can deny that Vegas was right in his selection of a repertory with no fissures, with culminating points wisely chosen to provoke a lot of pleased groans.
Nacho Vegas lyrics hurt. And he knows it. That’s why he prolongs his songs beginnings. That’s why he push his musicians to the limit, to prove that his melodies can hurt as much as his piercing voice. It’s just this voice what still makes him special and unique upon the stage: when he sings, he has no shame on breaking the voice in a sad manner… and, when he doesn’t sing, it seems as if he’s enjoying his bohemian role, turning his words in mere groans… flaunting his exceptional and mad talent, full of sadness. His grandiloquent speeches were excellent, as the one opening “Ocho y medio”: Vegas explained that this song was dedicatedto a woman he met once, enthusiast of orthopedic legs. That woman was so obsessed that she cut off her leg to wear her favourite orthopedic. Nacho Vegas said that he wrote the fabulous lyirics of “Ocho y media” on that orthopedic leg. Audience said: ¡it doesn’t matter! He can write wherever he pleases while he keeps on giving us gigs as this.
ANTONY & THE JOHNSONS – “I fell in love with a beautiful boy”
If there’s someone who bought tickets for the festival and didn’t come to see Antony & The Johnsons, those someone must know that he or she has thrown away the money. The beauty spread around the Auditori by Antony on wendesday evening could never be descrived to those unfaithful who didn’t congregate to pay tribute to this ambiguous man. Those messianic statements shouls seem escessive, but any fortunate people among the audience can confirm the true of what I’ve said. Maybe someone would say I’ve been short…
At first it must be said that Antony brought with himself a luxury set: those Johnsons (apparently a fictitious and mutant band) composed by bass, spanish guitar, a few violins and a violoncello. The finishing touch was Antony himself playing the piano. If there’s something that can be declared about this band, furthermore mentioning their angelic and translucent sound, is that all of them have a great respect for their frontman: while playing, Johnsons didn’t stop looking for the reference of Antony and, when they didn’t have to play in some part of the song, they fell fascinated by the singer, as well as all of we were fascinated. This sound sharpness was accompanyed by singer’s perfect voice (though he was trying to play down the importance of himself saying that his voice was kinda wrong)
But this should seem not enough to explain our cult to Antony. Well, I’ve seen a loto f showman trying their shows to be spectacular, but, at last, the winner es Antony. All the gig he was showing himself nervous, shameful and innocent; but, above all, he showed as a funny man (his joke about Mariah Carey was a moment to remember). The best part is he did all of this with no effort: he’s purely kind and unaffected. The culminating point of the show was when, with his fragile voice, the singer asked the audience to whistle as birds. In spite of general effort (with an almost real owl), it seemed imposible to do it as well as Antony required, so the singer cut down his demands and “simply” asked everybody to groan in a soft and constant volume. The Auditori has great acoustics, so the general groan was amplified, freezing the blood of all the people who was doing that moment unforgettable. To finish killing us off, Antony started singing “a capella” over the peculiar sound. In one word: chilling.
That wasn’t the only moment on the gig when you could feel the grandeur flying above the Auditori. When Antony finished his show, picked up his bag and get out the stage, he didn’t imagined what was about to happen: it was not only a great ovation with people standing up. Soon, people on the upper rows started reaching the stage’s base, until it was a huge crowd clapping and claiming for Antony’s return to the stage. Again with unaffected manners, Antony came back (with his back) and gave us a sweet present: he and the Johnons covered “Candy says”, a song of his friend Lou Reed.
It is true that I haven’t mentioned any song yet, but it’s because anyone must suppose the repertory was perfect. Two first songs were kind of lazy: anyone felt a little deceived at first moment (and it was a pity, because that very first apathy infected “Cripple and the starfish”, a beautiful song from his first album). But Antony soon took off with a variation of “The Lake”, adding a dramatical ending when tears started showing off on half ot the audience faces: nobody could expect such a thing. But that was only the beggining: from that moment himns shown one after another, sometimes mixing between them ( “For today I’m a child” and “Man is the baby”: so much emotion was not good for our breath). But there’s no doubt that the best choice was the final mixing of “I fell in love with a dead boy” with the magnanimous “Hope there’s someone”. Everyone did know that the song’s ending was a sublime dramatical “crescendo”. We did know… but it didn’t keep us from pain and tears. I wish all the pain to be so sweet.
MICAH P. HINSON – “I’m packing all my nightmares and I’ll be on my way”
But not all the sourprises could be as pleasant as Antony.. Micah P. Hinson released a superb album adored by critics: “Micah P. Hinson & The Gospel of Progress” has received a lot of praises, usually followed by sourprised comments about such a intensity signed by a singer of such a short age. At last, upon the stage, Micah P. Hinson behave as an usual twenty-less pal, with all the negative clichés about a teenager kicking a guitar.
Hinson chose a set with only three instruments: guitar, bass and drums. Maybe that choice was based on a personal taste, or maybe he was obligued by a low budget. There was an obvious thing at the very first start: those few instruments wouldn’t be enough to communicate all of the melodical subtleties appearing on his album, where american-rooted country-rock is pushed to the limit. It can’t be denied that sound was correct, clean, but all the delicate songs were soon swallen by histerical riffs.
But that’s not all. Recorded on studio, Hinson’s voice is amazingly broken and moaning; upon the stage, Micah P. Hinson became a mixture of Reagan from “The Exorcist” and Slipknot’s singer: his trembling voice changed to an irritating shout with no space for the emotivity of those songs. This bad choice not only brought disenchantment to the audience, it also ended to turn the gig into some kind of joke. And it’s a pity: that gig could have been one of the best shows at the festival. I hope Micah P. Hinson will learn sometime how to translate his beautiful songs into live language.
IGGY & THE STOOGES – “I’ve been dirt… and I don’t care”
Iggy is ENTERTAINMENT. Yes, with capital letters. And, above all, with best quality capital letters. Iggy & The Stooges gave to the audience whatever New Order should have given: they moved faster and pulled it off in the end. People were gone into raptures while Iggy was flying upon the stage: it was impossible not to drown into the unhealthy atmospheres built by the Stooges and de-constructed by Iggy’s violent moves.
His blonde and greasy hair sorrounding that impossible face. His fibrous body defying time, never growing old… Iggy captivated the whole audience showing himself out of control: just after beginning the show, he jumped to fuck a loudspeaker. Then, when he had used up possibilities around the stage, he started with the audience. At first, he came down to get in touch with people on first rows, but finally he broke down security and obligued some fans to climb to the stage. All together they caused some kind of orgy at “No fun”’s end, dancing and singing on insane manners.
And, altought it should seem like such a madness would have to affect the show quality, it was not like that. Sound had no fissures, shinning specially in “No fun” and, above all, “Dirt” and “I wanna be your dog” (a hymn). There’s no doubt: while he was upon the stage, we were Iggy’s dogs.
NEW ORDER – “Every time I think of you I get a shot right through into a bolt of blue”
Everybody knew that there were two possibilities on New Order’s gig: letting affection to prevail over critical spirit, so joy was sure; or, on the other side, surrendering and accepting that New Order have never been a great band (they live from income from three or four hits). On that case, bored or irritated (depending on one song or another), you could perceive the irony on seeing those old men trying to look as young stars. I must say that I was on that second group of deceived people.
The show was devided in two different parts. The first pack of songs checked out their last album: it was boring, dull and, sometimes, shameful (specially “Jetstream”, a canned and dead song). Along this part, a lot of comments were heard about what New Order promised: a little trip around old songs not only from New Order, but also from Joy Division. Showing some apathy, finally Sumner anounced that that trip was about to begin.
But, what a pity: that was a “bad trip”. Old songs sounded as imitations without any life: melodies were stabbed with cruelty by a rythm box too updated and too much pleased on sounds nearer from massive hard-techkno than eighties electro. They didn’t know how to make the most of their hits: even “Bizarre Love Triangle” was dreadful, and Joy Division songs missed Ian Curtis voice too much. On cold calculations, New Order came back to the stage knowing that they must give the audience what we came for: “Blue Monday” (with some kind of tribute to Kylie’s bootleg). However, even “Blue Monday” couldn’t improve the situation on a show with a lot of desertions among the audience: at first it was impossible to move, but people’s exodus gave a lot of holes where disappointment could be tasted.
WHITEY – “The Light at the end of the tunnel is a train”
Whitey can be proud of starring festival’s “phantom gig”. It is possible that the show began early: it would be the only way of explaining the four songs played after the thime scheduled. The worst part is that, with only four songs, Withey showed off that his could have been one of the more shuddering gigs on Primavera Sound.
Feverish rythms enriched by long guitar riffs, no time to breath, captivating melodies easily danced… after the fucking “high” with “Non-stop” (his best hit), Whitey left the stage with no intention of coming back. And it can only be defined by two latin words: “coitus interruptus”.
OPTIMO DJ’S – “¡Ay Carmela! Buena paliza les dio”
It’s a fact: every night in every festival must be closed by a hyper-vitamin electronic session. And Optimo didn’t lack vitamins. They neither lacked a great song collection selected from bands playing on Primavera Sound 2005. One after another, with the stylus playing with an accuracy similar to oriental knives, public melted on songs such as “I wanna be your dog” (Iggy & The Stooges), “Blue Monday” (New Order) or, again, “My friend Dario” (Vitalic).
Place and moment did help. Danzka stage was revealed as the most interesting for enjoying a fresh dawn dancing without stop. A few foots away, the sea was cleaning up the ambient. People invaded stands around the stage and, while Rockdelux stage’s fairground was too big for Vitalic’s audience, this time there were the right people to enjoy a healthy dancing where you could feel positivity sorrounding you.
Sourprising the audience, Optimo showed a great sense of humor allowing some accidental, funny and exhibitionist (men) go-go’s to perform upon the stage. And that was not all: they closed their session with “¡Ay Carmela!”, the Spanish Republic hymns that so much people didn’t recognised but that made everybody smile. It was a smile not usual at six in the morning…