Photo Gallery of Optimus Primavera Sound Day 1 in Porto, Portugal (May 30, 2013)
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
Palco Super Bock:
Dead Can Dance
After the major music festival that is Primavera Sound in Barcelona, a down-sized and more relaxed version takes a place in Porto the following week for Optimus Primavera Sound. From May 30 to June 1, several of the acts who performed in Barcelona voyage to the northern Portugal town to play at one of three stages set up in the giant city park (Parque da Cidade).
The first day of Optimus had fewest shows out of the three, where one could catch every performers on the program. Though the sun was in full force after a good dose of rain on previous day, the chilly night fell as it did in Barcelona. But artists like Nick Cave, who immersed into the crowd several times, ignited charges of electricity, disrobing his jacket and entrancing the crowd in a half-buttoned shirt. An icon in many peoples eyes, the Australian renaissance man’s performance lived up to his legend. A good amount of the crowd had staked their spot to catch Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds while Dead Can Dance played their mystical songs next door – unquestionably beautiful set yet seemed rather long. The Tampa Bay, Florida’s melodic punks, Merchandise, felt out of their element on the same giant stage where Cave would mesmerize the crowd. While the trio gave a solid performance, their show is something that must experienced in a smaller venue, where people can dive and surf, and cut off from the blinding sunshine. Unless I am mistaken, Wild Nothing did not play their most popular song, “Chinatown”, but their shimmering pop served up well as the daylight slowly faded. By the time The Breeders came on, the solar power had dipped and the chilliness enveloped the seaside park. But the eighties band, who were performing their classic album, The Last Splash, was all warm with smiles as they took their fans down into the memory lane. Deerhunter, who holds the title for playing the most in Primavera 2013 (three times in Barcelona – one due to Band of Horses cancellation), looked like they had to cut their set a bit short. An hour long program included a healthy mix of the old and the new, concluding with the climatic “Monomania”. The unmistakable frontman, Bradford Cox, entered the stage with one of the merchandise of the festival – a garland of flowers, which he threw into the crowd after the first song. Bassist Josh McKay kept claiming that it was his birthday in which Cox disputed. Eventually, a “third-party” verified McKay’s statement, and Cox persuaded the crowd to sing the Portuguese version of the “Happy Birthday”. This was the only time one could catch singer/guitarist Lockett Pundt break into a smile. The night ended with the young English electronic sensation, James Blake. Sharply dressed, and by now, used to the big stages and the crowd, he looked as if he has been “a star” for more than just a few years. For those of us who could no longer endure the cold and sleepiness, left soon after Blake’s 3 AM stage time. But one had to find an empty taxi if the hopes of passing out in a warm bed before 4 AM was to become a reality.