One of the worst nightmares of a music festival – especially one that boasts as one of its highlights the stunning greenery of the park where its grounds are located – is having twelve hours of non-stop rain as its headliner. Saturday, June 9th, the third and last day of a sold-out NOS Primavera Sound, was blessed with a late autumnal weather that might have ruined the day for some, but ultimately enhanced the experience for most. We’re talking about the stoic vast majority of festival goers who endured the most annoying of elements for what it seemed like forever to witness a rare local apparition of the biggest headliner of the circuit, one of the least divisive big acts of the scene, the constant top performer while most big names go through phases.
It’s that time of the year again! The seventh edition of the Porto edition of the Primavera Sound festival brings along the seventh edition of our printable timetables you all know and love, and, with it, our seventh preview of the lineup.
Meanwhile, we have also published our usual headliner-free Primavera Spotify playlist (check the end of the post) so you can check out some of the smaller names on the lineup that deserve our seal of approval. We tried to achieve a balance between local artists, songwriters, indie pop/rock, electronica and stuff you cannot really fit in a single basket. Some have been around for a while (Shellac, Wolf Parade, The Twilight Sad…), others are quickly establishing themselves as household names on their genres (Waxahatchee, Thundercat, Amen Dunes…) while others are still giving their first steps on festival lineups (DJ Lycox, Jay Som, Fogo Fogo…). All aboard.
Thursday, June 7th
First day usually means people are not coming to the festival early because they’re either working or being a tourist in downtown Porto and we obviously cannot blame anyone who decides to do something else in the limited time they have in such a beautiful town you don’t see every day. But, as we will see, this year, some of the most interesting acts play fairly early, starting with Fogo Fogo (SEAT stage, 17:30) paying homage to Cape Verdean funaná, followed by the unique songwriting of Waxahatchee (NOS stage, 18:20) and the classic indie rock of the Scottish band The Twilight Sad (SEAT, 19:15). Later on, after headliners Father John Misty and Lorde, Lisbon dance outfit Moullinex (Super Bock stage, 23:20) opens the dance floor of a very energetic last third of the day.
Friday, June 8th
Again, there’s way too much stuff to see right from the start: local stoner mammoths Black Bombaim (Super Bock, 17:00) give way to one of the finest songwriters on the festival this year. Amen Dunes (SEAT, 18:00) is back with an unmissable new record, and while you’re still cherishing what you’ve just seen, Zeal & Ardor (Super Bock, 18:50) will provide a challenge even for those who thought they’ve seen it all. There’s nothing wrong with mixing gospel and blues with noisy metal. Then, even though the overlapping acts are strong, don’t even think about missing the reason why we all sign up for this, the annual celebration of SHELLAC OF NORTH AMERICA (Super Bock, 21:00). Then, as the night starts to cool off, you can be sure you won’t feel cold dancing to the sweet kuduro-ish tunes of DJ Lycox (Bits stage, 23:00) in the new electronic stage of the festival, before immersing yourself in the world of Thundercat (Pitchfork stage, 23:30), the coolest and grooviest bass guitar player around.
Saturday, June 9th
You don’t need to understand Portuguese to appreciate the pop melodies of Luís Severo (SEAT, 17:00). Then stick around for Aussie indie rockers (with a touch of twang) Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever (SEAT, 18:00), the nightmare of anyone that makes printable festival timetables and has to adjust column sizes to adapt to long band names. Young songwriters Vagabon (Pitchfork, 19:00) and Jay Som (Pitchfork, 22:00) also make their first appearance in Portugal and are not to be missed, but the latter has a mountain to climb, playing at the same time headliner Nick Cave takes the stage and at the same time Wolf Parade (SEAT, 21:45) finally play their debut show in the peninsula, thirteen years after the seminal Apologies to the Queen Mary. It’s a tough call, but we’re sorry, Nick. And good luck trying to choose between The War on Drugs and Nils Frahm later on. We’ll just leave you with a small playlist with a few songs you should listen to.