In Spanish, “primavera” means spring, but like Barcelona’s inaugural LA version, Spain’s Primavera Sound Festival hit the town this past (late) summer weekend, there was nothing seasonal. Groups were flourishing though, especially for those of us who like the idea festivals and the musical discovery they promise, but who know only too well the commitment they require in terms of parking, walking, schedules and expenses. We largely avoid big parties these days, especially since COVID isn’t entirely a thing of the past. But outdoor events held on the expansive grounds of Historic Los Angeles Park in Chinatown are always painless enough. The metro stops nearby and the layout is easy to navigate and cover fairly quickly on foot. The beautiful downtown skyline doesn’t hurt either.
As a Nine Inch Nails fan, Saturday was this writer’s chosen day to attend the event and Trent Reznor did not disappoint, playing an impeccable and fervent game. mix of numbers from the band’s catalog, the climax of which saw him put a captivating new spin on perhaps their most popular track, “Closer” – rearranged with an even more sultry (if you ask us) ruminative reference Pretty hating machine jewel “The only time”. He felt livinggood.
After some great bouncy sets from bands we’d never researched in depth, like DC Fountains and Surf Curse, we had that magical moment that anyone attending a fat bill festival hopes for: we’ve discovered a new favorite band. . Too bad we don’t know how to pronounce them. Texas Khruangbin (Thai for “airplane”) was the sonic and aesthetic vibe we find ourselves in these days, making funky, jazzy, soundtrack psych rock with global influences. It’s the kind of background music we like to write about these days, but live they hit in a whole different way. Their set during Primavera was a fucking glam-rock disco show, and we still think of the mix they made by mixing Spandau Ballet, Chris Isaak and Michael McDonald with Rick James, Snoop and Dre.
Many of the bands that played all three days of Primavera (see the gallery above for a look at Lorde, Arctic Monkeys, PinkPantheress, Clairo, Stereolab, Kim Gordon, Mayhem, Amyl & the Sniffers and many more) played at Coachella or other music festivals, but for those of us who don’t necessarily have the stamina or desire to stay in the climate change-era sun all day, Primavera offered an alternative relaxing that was always filled with musical sensations. We hope they come back next year.
Photo gallery photographers (for Primavera Sound):
Ishmael Quintanilla III
Editor’s note: The disclaimer below refers to advertising messages and does not apply to this or any other editorial article. LA Weekly Editorial does not and will not sell content.
Advertising Disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting LA Weekly and our advertisers.