Primavera Sound 2014, Part II: new musicians to look out for

After a somewhat lengthy hiatus involving breakups and moving apartments, I am finally back to provide you with part nummer zwei of my Primavera Sound write-up: happy little surprises from the festival. Whether it was by way of recommendation or sheer luck, when I happened upon these acts, they were remarkable enough to somehow divert my attention from excitedly running from stage to stage to see all of my “must-sees.”


#3 – YAMANTAKA // SONIC TITAN

This was, by far, one of the most interesting live bands I’ve seen in a long while. They were all dressed in what seemed like traditional Japanese kimonos, donning huge hand fans and Geisha-white face paint. For some reason, I expected them to be a joke, but I was definitely taken by surprise. Their odd mix of traditional chant-singing, noise, and metal is creative, to say the least, and incredibly ambitious. Yet somehow–judging by the pleasantly stunned looks in the crowd, anyway–they’ve made it work.


#2 – Berlinist

A really cool aspect of the Primavera Sound Festival is that they organize free public concerts in the park after the main festival featuring a number of musicians from the festival, as well as a few more local acts. One of those Barcelona natives was Berlinist (yes, the name deceives). I’d heard a bit about them beforehand, but it was a treat being able to see them live in this setting. Their ethereal, echo-y music is not something you’d expect would fit into a hot, sweaty post-festival gig in the park, but I think that their brand of dreamy, piano-driven orchestral pop was just what the doctor ordered for those of us recovering from a wonderfully arduous last few days.


#1 – Boogarins

Boogarins opening for Neutral Milk Hotel's Berlin show at the beginning of August
Boogarins opening for Neutral Milk Hotel’s Berlin show at the beginning of August

Boogarins was another one of the bands featured at Primavera Sound’s free park concert series, although they also scored a spot at the Vice stage on the last day of the fest. Boogarins is a psychedelic rock band comprised of three young Brazilian guys with long, floppy hair and not a care in the world. In line with their 60s-inspired sound, they began doing the band thing as young high school kids in the basement of a small-town home. Watching them live is such an uplifting experience because they look as if they couldn’t possibly be having more fun than right at that moment, playing their music for an audience of strangers with eager ears. After being booked for tons of shows and festivals in Europe and the US, as well as earning the title of opening band for the Neutral Milk Hotel reunion tour (!!!), they’re clearly a force to be reckoned with.


* * * * *

All of this talk about festivals is making me excited about Torstraßen Festival this weekend! If you’re around Berlin tomorrow, make some time to head out to this klein-aber-fein festival that takes place at venues along Torstraße. Highlights from that coming up…

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