Deerhoof, Peaking Lights, The Bug, THEESatisfaction, Michael Rother, Goblin, Grumbling Fur ++++ lots of fun stuff, sun, poolside, cheap food and small town living at Milhões de Festa 2015. 23-26 July, Barcelos, Portugal. Tickets (€60) on sale now.
Second Act (a.k.a. the first big day of the festival)
Yeah, so after another night of hard partying (rumors of an ambulance to the rescue still to be confirmed), we got to wake up a little late but not that late for the first concerts of the day, again at Taina and the much regarded swimming-pool. However, and I hadn’t the chance to say this yet – because frankly, who cares about the weather? – it wasn’t much pleasant this weekend in Barcelos. It missed that overwhelming heat and clear blue sky, even raining a tiny bit at some point. Still, and speaking for me, the afternoons were bearable for a swim. Also, given the expectations of a much rainy Sunday and a bit raining on Thursday, which it missed to, it exceeded the expectations. Enough weather talk, the concerts!
The premier of the day got to be Quelle Dead Gazelle, take that swimming-pool. Arriving a quarter hour earlier and seeing few people by the surroundings (pretty much the opposite not even ten hours before), I assumed wrongly that it would be a soften one. As it turned out the Milhões public is “brittainly” punctual, and even for those who’re not so rigid of their time, QDG delayed a few minutes. So what to say about this one, it started in a rage, raw and to the point with the self-titled EP opener “Lion Meets Gazelle”. And for those who were also meeting Gazelle for the first time, the rest went along much faithful to their record. It felt to me that the concert lost some of its initial strength, no matter that the guitar and drums duo ended the show in a high note. Well done, boys.
Didn’t have a chance to check them, so to compensate here’s a photo of Juba!
Not that well done turned out to be Yonatan + Igor. For their defense, I arrived late to the swimming-pool and to the last minutes of their performance, but still wasn’t much surprised. Aw whatever. We all got a bonus concert for the afternoon. Yes, it turns out that the combo Adorno and Papaya played separately! Five concerts at the Pool Stage in an afternoon, I’ll be damned. Luckily, Adorno was being much fun moments before noticing it was in fact Adorno solo. So, extra points for the larger party rock responsibility? You bet. Papaya was kinda fun as well, but much more of a screamer and noisy, thank those fully charged FXed micros. Nevertheless, impressive loudness for a trio.
The last name of the afternoon functioned as the warm-up for the next day’s more tiring performance (sneak peek) of Dan Mantle. And fortunately, the whole set was a bit chill-out clichéd. Not that there’s anything wrong with it, especially by the pool, I was just expecting to be more into it.
Don’t ask me how, but I achieved making in time for Papir! Great. This Danish jam rock band, despite being a jam band, surpassed my guitar soloing expectations. I’m not complaining, it was enjoying enhancing your ears to those guitar notes, just saying it was a bit unforeseen. Maybe I should’ve know better the band, maybe a live performance characteristic. Awakening start for the concert marathon.
Sometimes I ask myself if I shouldn’t be so praising during my concerts reviews (because it’s so much fun to cuss a few annoying acts!). But then, guys like Mikal Cronin really difficult this task. It’s surf rock, only how surf rock should (must?) be done: sentimental, uproarious in the right moments – those nagging silences before again breaking out – and, essentially, giving us a fresh approach to punk rock that still feels punk rock. For sure, Mikal is becoming more melancholic and emotional, but even so the rebel attitude, the smashing sonority, the punk, these are still there. Enough acclaim? A bit more if you allow me. Is it my impression or Mikal can really sing? He has that crystalline voice only achievable in Disney movies, probably why it stays hidden in record. The simple but necessary approach of the female drummer’s playing is antagonized by the lead guitarist’s chameleonic ability, giving songs like “Shout it Out” a much based gorgeous harmonic build-up, culminating in that chorus so irresistible to sing. Indeed, this was an early winner of the night, hell, of the whole festival as well. Really a stand-out concert of the bunch. PS: all my love to the 12-string guitars.
And then he got to witness another solo artist with band supporting putting a quality show, being Jacco Gardner. Seriously, the only negative aspect I can find is his blatantly obvious influence in the Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd, but even this copycat impression needs to be recognized as successful and principally well executed given the amount of performers – four, including Jacco with the panoply of synths, a bassist, an acoustic guitarist (and I swear I didn’t notice any pedal increment), and probably the coolest drummer of all time, although using sunglasses on your performance at night is confirmed as prone in skipping a beat or two. Once again, the build-ups were a winner, only in here they were dragged to phenomenal space jams as soon as the song was dealt with. Also, his voice is peculiar, can’t get enough of coincidental trademarks of Mikal and Jacco. All in all, once more one of the great concerts this Milhões edition got to offer, and again to alert of this precocity.
“Tó Jó” Rodrigues representin’ BB crew
But hey, dismiss my prophecies right now, because Black Bombaim + La La La Ressonance gave probably the best combo concert of the festival. The parallel with the previous edition Black Bombaim’s combo is to call, but… this went totally better different. The number of musicians onstage raised, the silence moments were by far much more, and the instrumental catharsis was much significant this time. Altered versions of both bands’ released songs were present, some jamming too, and the payoff was beautifully orchestrated anthems with their functioning running time and feel. What a huge performance, I wonder if this collaboration doesn’t decide to finish here, because it got soul inspiring out there.
Let me once again remark on the number of performers and the performance success: while in the previous case it clearly boosted the quality of it, examples like Jacco tend to say that the quality of the composition is all that matters. And then you’ve got Austra, an easy listening band who clearly bets on exciting details brought by extra people to the band. And that’s what missed to this Austra show: those extra people. How alone it felt the Katie Stelmanis singing. Not only that, the instrumentation was dry and lacking in the dancing beats department. What a bummer of a concert to watch by this time of the night. It finished better than started, at least that.
Not Metz, but Camera.
Camera at least were decided in what to do. Of course this type of insistent kraut rock is no news to the crowd of Milhões de Festa, but praise be given to those who deserve. And again, I was surprisingly pleased with their holding still feature moments before slowly explode. Too bad this one happened onstage rather than in the middle of the crowd, as, spoiler, none other this year.
No matter what I’ll say, Ufomammut put a magnificent performance and could in fact be the best concert of the day. But here’s what: why the fuck was this 600×480 pixel screen showing random footage not that much in synch with the actual music being played behind the band? But most importantly, why the volume of the whole thing was so damn… low? Yes, it was shocking, I really craved for that urge of blowing speakers and it was too few loud. I actually moved closer to the stage, and still I felt it was soft. Otherwise, as I said, the band was impeccable. Impossible not to dig this insistent much bassed metal.
Otto Von Schirach? Ninja please.
I awaited the following one in a great awe, not sure in what to stumble upon. And yes, it was weird enough the whole performance behind the turntable and MCing of Otto Von Schirach. However, I can’t lie, I genuinely enjoyed this. There’s something vicious and appealing in the middle of all that flying mess of glitches and buzzes, and showing by this Vice Stage sample, I wasn’t the only one to feel that. As for the visual aspect of it, Otto was practicing some ninja skills if relying on the outfit (on his constant jumping and pace as well). This, allied with some (more serious) screen projection of his friends in fighting crime, like a suit dressed crocodile, gave a ridiculously comic book ambient, which combined pretty great. Few moments before the greatest hits “Salpica” and “When Dinosaurs Rule the Earth”, it was time to say goodbye, and personally this was when it got the weirdest, as Otto seemed to make a bit of ceremony and take a bit long while leaving, this all while the strobe lights where still on and off. Charismatic at least.
And finally White Haus to close the day with a DJ set. I won’t be naming all the pleasant songs he chose to play, but I must say I’m pleased the Icona Pop one-hit-wonder “I Love It” was part of it, one of my many pop guilty pleasures. So yeah, the day got to end in a party, at least for those who put a sleeping end to the day, as there were a handful of afterhours options in Barcelos. How do I know this you ask? Don’t ask, don’t tell.
Photos courtesy of Amílcar R.
Me, myself and I, chillin’ at MdF, cumps
Another year gone by and here we are, August coming and still the memories of a fully enjoyed weekend at Barcelos, Braga, Portugal. Yes, it’s Milhões de Festa 2013 and its post-depressing nostalgic memories. But enough fussiness, what’s left of the past weekend? Here’s what, in the first of four parts of the festival’s journal.
Before I talk about the bands to see at the last day of Milhões de Festa, let me first introduce you to a cuppa surprises. The first I could have mentioned back then at the premier article of novelties for this edition, but the truth is that the performances will occur during these three bigger days of festival, while they occurred in the first last year. Yes, Redbull City Gang is back, now making the connection between the afternoon concerts and main site ones. I will very quickly give you the names, the locations and the time without any further analysis. I guess you’ll catch them just as surprisingly as me. So, if walking near those locations you’re listening to:
18:00 – Okkur (at Circulo Católico de Operários de Barcelos)
19:00 – Repressão Caótica (at Campo de S. José)
18:00 – Loops (at Xispes Bar)
19:00 – Vila Nazca (at Loja de Ferragens)
18:00 – Solar Corona (at Rua da Palha)
19:00 – The Classified (at Largo do Apoio)
This information is also available in our enlightening schedule of the festival, alongside with a map of Barcelos indicating all those places, a Bolachas.org and P3 partnership.
Now the second surprise, while it may be a bummer for those who will be camping, is still great: the pretty people of Coronado collective will launch a warm-up party at Xispes Bar, Wednesday the 24th, a day before the first day of Milhões de Festa! Although now we can’t decide what to call it, if “day zero” or “day minus one”, it is no matter what great news for who is really looking forward to have a great time without the burden of concerts to watch. But as it would be expected, there’re still concerts to watch in this one, as for example our fellas SAUR. Don’t you worry about who’s playing, worry instead how to spend the previous night to the first night of Milhões de Festa.
After this, only to miss talking about the artists performing Sunday. Let’s conclude it then!
Hopefully this will happen again.
Sequin is probably what was missing during these days at the pool: a feminine voice over a cute electronic pop. So necessary after Saturday’s hangout, a trigger happy mood concert this one. By this point, the following artists to perform at the pool have already played in Milhões. At least Torto’s frontman Jorge Coelho has, and if you’re familiar with his guitar skills you know this one is worth a watch. A scattered avant rock to give a more serious feel to a plenty of party local, this actually works (as past events proved), so stay focused. Another return to the festival and Poll Stage too is Long Way to Alaska. I happened to attend that concrete concert and it was alright, it felt a bit minimal on the instrumentation. Let’s see what awaits us this time, with also some new songs on the bunch, because these guys picked a great Grizzly Bear vibe, less saddening however. Finally, get ready for the return of the Hosts DJ of this Milhões’ edition!If you can’t remember who they were, DJ Lynce, DJ Pedro Beça, DJ Quesadilla and DJ TOFU are the names. Let’s hope they achieve the same or better party as Thursday night (yes, I know it will be a great party a priori), and while in it enjoy your last moments of swimming and diving with the appropriate soundtrack.
I’m somewhat disappointed that this year the Pool Stage lacks some punk bands (there’s one or another who approaches the genre, but still the number’s short this year). Malcriada could be a great get for the pool, but so it is for Taina. If the pool is too soft to cure your hangover, then fear not for Malcriada to start you a new one. And speaking of bands that are pretty much faithful to a genre per se, WASTE is in for the thrash metal. Really, as straightforward as it gets. What a manly start for Taina today. Until BiarooZ is to perform. Suddenly, here’s an electronica band giving you sampling, digital processing and full textured synths. Not what to expect at Taina. Of course, I don’t think it will be reserved a bad reception for them, it’s not unusual these genre mixings in Milhões – the main stages being an unequivocal example -, but it seems curious still for the most rock ‘n’roll stage. Whatever, they took the big hit and now Evols can comfortably play without the pressure of sounding harder to please the staying crowd. I mean, it’s still rock, but in much more sober terrain. While it might be a “no, thank you, I pass” to some, the common person who listens to a corporate rock should really dig it. But meh, Taina deserved a much more representative band to close its food stalls. But wait if you’re hungry for more.
Milhões can really choose the best bands to perform at the sunset. For this last day it’s The Partisan Seed. A one man show made of electric and acoustic guitars and, surprise surprise, a loop station. However, don’t take it for granted as a sameness act, it sometimes gets astonishingly loud, others carefully introspective. And for a fact, Filipe Mirada, the man behind the alter ego, can sing. Gentlemen, start your engines.
Another alter ego in the house! Alex Zhang Hungtai as Dirty Beaches. This Taiwanese evil Elvis Presley is no unknown to Milhões, having performed a tremendous gig two years ago in possibly the worst stage ever known to the festival, something like an unshaded river beach with some sandstorm emerging. Now given a reliable stage, let’s hope he can top that rage and dismal rock ‘n’roll few witnessed back then.
Okay, it’s becoming a little depressing informing of yet another returning band to Milhões de Festa. But hey, it’s the last of the bunch. Riding Pânico to repeat its thrilling performance and unstoppable rock, and this time supporting their new album “Homem Elefante” – Dirty Beaches also has a new record; I really shouldn’t forget to mention this info. That’s it, go crazy with those dance moves.
Time for a Siesta? Not that kind of afternoon nap, you could have plenty of that at the proper time, because like their motto says, “siesta es la fiesta!” (“Nap is the party!”, roughly and unnecessarily translated). And it really is, if the party occurs in the intergalactic space and the duo was shooting each other for ruling the whole galaxy. Don’t worry, it’s not as geek as it looks, there’s a little tongue in cheek to prog rock. In short, one of the greats of the night.
Orange Goblin? Is it some kind of horrorcore hip hop Tyler, the Creatoresque? Nope, another sludge stoner metal band coming to Milhões. But c’mon, you know these shows are always a riot, right? For Orange Goblin, expect more leading guitar and leading singing. The singer is a natural, his voice timbre is just right and by no means forced (like, you know, much others metal acts). I’m seeing some non-metal fans enjoying this, give it a try indeed.
Not in your head but onstage, Zombie Zombie to follow. After you had a laugh with this light Cranberries joke, I must warn you it’s not that kind of DJ set. What kind? You know! Half crowd on drugs and the other half figuring how to dance accordingly, no. This is much more dance moves wise. Great, by this time of the night all you don’t have to let is linger. Good god, moving on.
Hey, Jibóia next?You lied, he played last year!Well, make it a half-lie,because this time is Jibóia Experience. For those who missed Óscar Silva’s performance last year (guilty as charged), now it’s your opportunity to watch an enhancing act! I wonder who he will be bringing onstage (wink, wink, Equations wink, wink). Just make it rock ‘n’roll, there’s not much Milhões left.
Missing some hip hop in this Milhões, right? No more! Finally with Mykki Blanco. I’m just guessing this crave will favor Mykki, as if you know, the cross-dressing wouldn’t at this point of the night! Yeah, it’s weird. Milhões-weird. Besides that weirdness, don’t focus a lot on that, there’s actually good hip hop to listen. Word, ma niggas.
Just like theelectronics brand, El G is digitally yours. At least this show will turn out a lot more fun than I do. Reggaeton? Check. Cumbia? Check. Techno-stuff? Check. And there are more ingredients to this crazy Buenos Aires recipe, what a closer for the festival they managed this year. Jesus.
And here it is! All you can count this Milhões de Festa, 2013 edition. Unless there’s some cancellation ahead, bah. Whatever, enjoy your Milhões! See you there.
You too, Lil’ Rosie.
Photos by SMF
Here’s what to see at day two of Milhões de Festa, usually the most crowded of the festival, being Saturday and all. I’m just mentioning this just so you won’t be still confused about our numbers designation. Without further do, here it is, right after you click “Read More”.
Surya Exp Duo. Now, if you’d have to guess their genre just reading their name, you’d say they’re an experimental rock duo, right? And it isn’t far, just add some cosmic ambient and a few tribal drones and it’s pretty much it. Let’s hope you can find your nirvana as soon as it’s afternoon.And what afternoon will be straight ahead. Cuzo’s next and you can also expect some galactic sound, but wrapped in phased guitars and jiggling drums. The jam is strong in this one, the simplicity and power a trio does. But wait, isn’t a little bit of heaviness missing in the pool? No more! Besta to come. Much to say? Nope, not-even-two-minutes song and a brutal load of violence unleashed. As for the vocals, well, if they’d tell me that’s the devil singing, I would believe it. Best to do the exorcism in waters. Speaking of the devil (and people who canoodles kittens), I can’t even tell you how excited I am for this show of Slimcutz, Supa & J-K, who will represent Monster Jinx in a DJ set. Practically the basis of Portuguese hip(ster) hop, and not that there’s anything wrong with that, I can only be looking forward to jive along those sharped beats and fresh loops while those three boys and girl parley some words. Not a bad day to be at the pool, heh?
Neither at Taina Stage, right with 10000 Russos. I’ll explain the name of a band from Taina again, it’s becoming sort of a habit – 10000 Russos, while it translates to 10000 Russians (not even a funny name), in Portuguese it works as a pun for Demis Roussos (which is hilarious). And of course, its sound couldn’t be more outlying than “Goodbye My Love, Goodbye”: heavy artillery of drums and guitar, trying to fill the most gaps possible while you figure out to make the most of a journey for all that. A pretty strong reason for postponing the pool. Another reason could be Dreamweapon, providing us guitar feedback for snack, gulping with some safe rock. After this you won’t be hungry for more, trust me. Or maybe trying a little more to the roots menu? Because The Quartet of Woah seems the choice, since the 70s looked cool for some reason. Really, this couldn’t be more traditional: drums, guitar, bass and Hammond. To please a lot of the old and the young. Also, the transition to Perro Peligro should be one of the most effectives of the festival. This instrumental act is all but shabby: focused guitars, jumping, grove on, grove off rhythms, progressive stuff, it’s a rumble. Hope to check those guys if no unforeseen arrives.
Pay attention, you new experiences lovers: HHY & The Macumbas to start really soon. Electronic music combined with tribal percussion, horns and masks? Yeah, it’s a show. Expect to enhance in some ritual to some make-up god, and worship It. Never the sunset went more gazing. And accordingly, with the moonrise comes the metal, in charge of Process of Guilt. Don’t worry, the world won’t end and there’s more Milhões after this slap of doom metal, but feel free to evaporate some demons off yourself.
The next band to perform will be Loosers, and the concept is at least somewhat unique. Keeping post punk in mind, Loosers manage to fulfill their songs with increases and decreases of drums, buzzes and whatever they’ll pick, all this while the bass guitar tasks the quantity of each one. Should be interesting to watch, as much as the next name I had already mentioned in the previous preview, Dam Mantle, this time with a few more elements than a mere DJ set. Probably I’ll make it to both concerts, we’ll see what differences this’ll have in comparison with the pool gig.
Once again the game of “guess what it sounds reading their name”? Because this time you’ll lose, given Egyptian Hip Hop is neither Egyptian nor hip hop. It’s pretty much a influenced 80s pop band from modern Madchester. Their pair of singers also try to play a little charismatic as those bands back in the day, but fail a little. Nevertheless, this promises dancing and yelling girls, and by that we thank you.
Definitely we’re on party mode by this time, and you might better be ready, otherwise this will hit you pow!, right in the kisser – or better spoke in Spanish, ZA! En toda la boca. Very impressive the consistency of this rock beat music for only two Catalans responsible for all the stuff used. Seriously, it’s a rich sonorous fest. Quite a must-see of the night.
Back to the metal, time to Eyehategod. What to say, they’re clearly masters of the sludge, if not the. Besides that, their show always look so intense, the compounded overall of distortion is simply mesmerizing. Let’s hope the late hour won’t retract a few (as what I’m concerned, fucking not).
Whatever, if metal isn’t your awaking medicine, Octa Push will do. Time for the electronic music to take a step and teach us the choreography. I guess their uplifting music and strong bass will do well, but if this really isn’t enough for you, DJ Marfox must kill all resistance with kuduro! Oh my, you can’t say this day won’t be fun. Saturday accomplished, sirs.
And don’t you forget to eat “Panadão do Xispes”
Photos by SMF