Primavera Sound Day 3
Thee Oh Sees
We recently came back from a little trip to Austin, Texas and SXSW where we went to watch some live music, and among the bands were Thee Oh Sees. We saw them play at Hotel Vegas every night. Standing in the front feeling like a Justin Bieber-fan was the most common feeling I had
that week. But it is impossible to not blush. John Dwyer is cute as hell, damn talented musician and, actually, a role model. All bands he
has been in, (Coachwhips, Pink and Brown, Landed, Yikes, Burmese, The Hospitals, Zeigenbock Kopf, Sword + Sandals) has been weird but good, but please John, don’t get restless with Thee Oh Sees. Let’s stay forever.
A teenage kid trips over the fence at the front and this big guy immediately grabs his head and put him down to the ground. The band
stops playing, this isn’t Titanic. Dwyer says HEY MAN DON’T DO THAT TO A KID! The problem is, the guy doesn’t understand English. So he keeps on abusing him and the band gets silent again, Dwyer goes SERIOUSLY MAN!! and you can feel his frustration – here we are – 5000 people standing by the ocean, doing what we love, and what we get is an idiot trying to beat up a little kid instead of doing his job.
The show goes on, and it is that classic Thee Oh Sees-feeling, did someone accidentally touch the pitch-button? My feet are moving faster and faster and suddenly I am dancing as in a Fatboy Slim-video. When Minotaur ends the show, after the band has found out they have more time to play, I hear Wu Tang Clan somewhere far away. They are a good example of everything that Thee Oh Sees isn’t.
Later on, Phosphorescent enters stage to entertain all Will Oldham-fans at Primavera. Last time I saw Matthew Houck performing at
this festival, he brought a big band which caused a jazzy feeling to the set. This time, it’s a smaller set-up, which suits him better. For
old time Phosphorescent-fans, this is a true delight. All the hits are being played, and Matt encourages us to sing along with most of them.
The audience are, as always, people who look like him. Bearded men, and yes, a few 25-something couples as well. But let us rest in peace.
We need this band to get a break from everything provocative in the music business. Matthew Houck is a nice, humble, happy and sweet guy
who is here to help us get on with our lives. I might be the only one in this crowd who is quite obsessed with his music, but that’s fine.
The music is quite harmless.
If you haven’t heard Pho before, put on the tune ‘Los Angeles’ really loud, close your eyes and imagine what it would sound like when thousands of winedrunks are singing it together on a windy festivalnight.
That’s how the whole show felt. Thanx Matt, great as always.
Cayucas is the band with the weird band name that rhymes with maracas. It makes sense. It’s a group of neat boys playing sunny songs with african influences packaged in a more traditional British hipster suit. A bit Vampire Weekendish but different. We had worked up quite big expectations for this show. While drinking cava on the balcony in our house before leaving for the festival, we pumped it up so loud we were afraid our neighbours would complain. Luckily they didn’t and we arrive to the small Vice stage just in time. There’s not many people there yet so we can easily get some space in the front, just a few meters from the band.
They use a Rhodes piano on stage and it’s soft sound blends well the bright and edgy guitar melodies. The drums works out in various ways to fit this unique style of music. The lead singer has a perfect pure voice and sings bitter sweet about high school lovers, all to a beat that could have been picked up from a 50’s version of Top of the pops. Everyone, I mean e v e r y o n e dances and claps their hands and the audience fill the role as a brand new band member! It’s like we are their new percussion section. Happy happy, joy joy!
*Mac De Marco *
Later we catch Brooklyn act Mac De Marco. He has his cap on like always, turned backward, and big holes on his worn out jeans. He sticks his tongue far out of his mouth as he does his crazy face and just goes with the flow. He is simply a charming and cool dude, and his caribbean indie music sounds the same way. It’s a lot about flow and good vibes. Since I saw him the last time in Austin at SXSW he seems to have developed into an artist with a stage personality that you can count on in the long run. The sound could have been a bit better but I’d be surprised if this isn’t an artist we will see and hear a lot more about in next couple of years.
As someone in the audience throws a pack of cigarettes on stage, as a gift celebrating the bass player becoming a father later this year, they of course need lighters as well. We see a rain of lighters coming to their rescue and as they all lit up their new cigarettes, the fun vibe gets even better and they make sure to get the party started.
Roll The Dice
Roll the Dice is a massive apparatus, a system of functions. They stand facing each other (just like Fuck Buttons) and work like two cogs in a giant wheel or a steam locomotive going insanely fast towards the future. The smoke on stage feels like clouds of dust in a dirty desert. The two Swedes wear braces and high waist trousers and it’s like it all takes place in an old western movie.
It’s a monotonic and harsh electronic sound production, a travel over dark grounds. Two mad men or two geniuses. Two profiles and two backs leaning over their analog synthesizers, that’s all we get to see. Sometimes it’s like they try to tame one beast each and maybe that’s it! The base is so massive that the backdrop curtains and textile roof almost blows off the ATP stage.
Thursday, 30. May 2013