Saturday: Quiet Music Day
What I remember from Saturday was that bands of that day were peaceful enough for people who were so tired as I was in that moment (outfits like Kings of Convenience or Beach House were gonna play).
Missing Björk, one of the most amazing moments that day, was the show offered by Jeff Mangum. Jeff is a mystic man, best known for being the lyricist, vocalist and guitarist of Neutral Milk Hotel, as well as one of The Elephant 6 Recording Company cofounders. After disbanded the former troupe (by 1998), Mangum has been kept largely out of the public eye and only rarely he's playing acoustic sets (I really count myself lucky!). We were advised by the organization that the use of any image recording device was strictly forbidden during the show. And quickly you discover that he has something special to offer... At the very beginning, the artist claimed to his public to come closer and feel the music up to the stage itself. I've to confess that it was the most magic concert I've ever seen, not only for listening to live music that few people could hear but also for being in a place where few people could be in. The whole audience seemed to love him and some sincerely greeting words were given to the artist constantly.
One of the bands I've discovered during the festival was Senior I El Cor Brutal. They come from Valencia (Spain) and I'm sure that it's a matter of time before they grow to become a critically acclaimed band like Els Amics de les Arts or Antònia Font (read the post about "Catalan Indie Music" by clicking here). Their songs contain funny lyrics in Catalan about daily, social and political facts within an indie rock style that sounds similar to Pavement or Guided By Voices. This only involved a very small number of people (no more than fifty I think) and it impressed me a lot. If you are a Spanish music follower, please trust me, keep this name in mind… We're gonna listen more about them, seriously!
Now it was time for Kings of Convenience. The Norwegians really had a beautiful intimate live performance and they are excellent as a duo, winning the audience with their friendly and natural attitude, and a crystal clear sound that allowed the crowd to enjoy their superb talent creating unforgettable melodies.
If we wanted calmer music, Beach House was definitely the next gig to see. In fact, I noticed that it was the most expected show for the majority because all people (seriously, ALL people from the festival) were there waiting for them. The light disposition created the usually mystic ambient that both Alex Scally and Victoria Legrand tend to like (they search some kind of austerity in public).
Shellac is a band that visits Barcelona just to come to PS every single year. So, going to his concert is like an annual tradition. Who cares if they haven't recorded anything since 2007? Their particular rock based on the guitar-bass-drums equation and their constant jokes while presenting their repertoire is always enough to see them live.
Even if you don't like electronic music at all, you must see Justice live at least once in your life. It's such a great visual performance, a perfect combination of music and lights hard to explain here in words. Just see a video to figure out more or less what I'm talking about.
The night finally finished with the annual show of DJ Coco (from Apolo club) and here nobody but Spanish people were dancing and having fun realizing that the festival was on its lasts hours. Can you imagine who I met there? A friend of mine introduced me to one of the members of Kings of Convenience. I was so lucky!!
Sunday: Spanish Music Day
Here we're on the last day, which again was full of free concerts carried out in the city center of Barcelona. I wanted to start with Veronica Falls who played in the middle of the Parc de la Ciutadella with a surprisingly cozy atmosphere. Of course, they played their favourite ones Bad Feeling, Stephen or The Fountain just to put some examples.
Then I moved to another stage to see Lorena Álvarez Y Su Banda Municipal which was my discovery of the day. This sympathetic band was a kind of bizarre. It's said that 150 copies of their homemade demo is everything they needed to make a big impact on the musical scene and to soar to the level of La Bien Querida when talking about traditional folk revival. They dives into popular song and modernize them playing with lo-fi key. They were really funny and Lorena was laughing all time. She confessed to be fascinated because so many people were attending their own gig.
But the best was yet to come. Joe Crespúsculo, another Spanish indie revelation, started ten minutes before it was planned. As soon as he started, he danced during forty five minutes while he was singing electronic pop songs such as Tus Cosas Buenas or La Canción De Tu Vida. You'll notice that he has a special sort of singing as well as a special personality (he likes to collect penknives as one of his peculiarities).
Nacho Vegas is one of the Spanish indie artists who everyone is talking about nowadays (although he's singing since many years ago) because he has recently launched a new album called La Zona Sucia (2011). It was really funny to see lots of families with their little children dancing while Nacho was singing songs with references to drugs or sex. Anyway, these things happen in an open concert.
Just in the moment when Nacho Vegas was saying goodbye to Barcelona, it started a downpour and I really though that maybe I wouldn't be able to see one of my favourites of that day: Yann Tiersen. But the rain decreased the intensity in the precious moment when Tiersen began to play. The French musician presented us the best electronic version of himself. If someone was waiting for some references to the film "Amélie" surely he returned home very disappointed, because the best fans of Yann know that he hates being related to this movie (although he deserves the fame because of it). Holding the umbrella in one hand, we could listen to his latest works Dust Lane (2010) and Skyline (2011) in a very multinstrumental way. But also he played Monochrome and that's when I realized that for me the festival could never finish in a better way.