Arcade Fire

Primavera Sound

Parc Del Forum, Barcelona

2nd June 2017

An incredible day to close out this years festival, with a monstrous line up that doesn’t fail to impress. A fitting end to another outstanding edition of Primavera Sound!

On the final day of this years Primavera Sound, there is another rumour flying around the site and this time all clues point to HAIM. However, unlike previous days there is only a stage and set time no band announcement, so the 3:00am slot on the Ray-Ban stage is where the first glimpse of todays special guest will happen. For ourselves its an early start with the second of two shows from The Magnetic Fields as Stephen Merritt continues his fifty song memoir.

The Magnetic Fields

Today is songs twenty six to fifty, arriving inside the auditorium which sits just outside of the main festival site is the rather elaborate stage setting for Merritt and his band. Armed with his plethora of quirky and interesting songs he takes to the stage and picks up where he left off the previous day, his eclectic sound instantly endearing him to so many. The multi-talented and multi-instrumentalist is the best way to start any day at a festival. The likes of Eurodisco Trio, Surfin’ and Cold Blooded Man are firm favourites but also showcase the diverse nature of this latest Magnetic Fields record. We leave feeling ready for the final day of partying at this years Primavera.

Opening up the main stage today is Songhoy Blues, whose very unique and individual style gets everyone dancing early on. Their impassioned speeches between tracks also seeking to unite everyone in the crowd who are excitedly watching on, their style crosses so many genres and when you couple that with front man Garba’s exquisite dance moves and their set quickly becomes one of the most unforgettable of the entire weekend. It’s an uplifting and intense set and they’re a band already tipped for the top but on this evidence it’ll not be long before they’re headlining stages like this one!


On a stage directly adjacent to the one which Songhoy Blues had just finished on, Pond take to the stage in a rather emphatic mood. With new album The Weather receiving acclaim across the board, it sees Pond back on form and tonight is no different. Opening with 30,000 Megatons its an ecstatic start as singer Nick is straight into the crowd spraying water and causing general chaos. As their set goes from strength to strength, with a heavy reliance on The Weather old favourites like Giant Tortoise and Sitting Up On Our Crane still shine through in this rather ecstatic set as it continues the party atmosphere of the final day.

One such band who were also in a rather visceral mood was Royal Trux, their set is one of the most eagerly anticipated off the entire festival as the band take their places. Jennifer Herrema then emerges on to the stage before bursting into an excited rendition of The Spectre, it kicks off an incredible set from Royal Trux with some of the sleaziest rock and roll around it’s hard not to be in awe of this amazing band. Heavy riffs combined with Herrema’s inimitable style it is the perfect combination, with their tracks still sounding as fresh and dirty as ever we’re left bowled over by Royal Trux on this occasion.

Royal Trux

Peering over the top of the Ray-Ban stage into its breath-taking natural bowl the crowd that has amassed for Angel Olsen is equally astounding. Her frank and honest tracks have pulled in one of the largest crowds of the weekend, as fans are in fine voice especially during tracks like Shut Up Kiss Me and Woman. It is an impressive set though from the mild mannered Olsen, she embraces this huge crowd and it really shows as she flourishes throughout. This is by far the most confident and excitable that we’ve ever seen her, making for a truly wonderful set.

One band who are all to used to the big occasion are up next with Teenage Fanclub receiving a hugely warm welcome as they take to the stage. Blake and the band appear to be in particularly high spirits as they keep spirits high with a career spanning set, plenty of old favourites to keep the crowd happy including the likes of Sparky’s Dream and Start Again. It’s an exciting and passionate set from one of the most loved bands around, It’s packed with huge crowd sing-alongs throughout. Arguably the perfect festival set from Teenage Fanclub on this occasion.

Teenage Fanclub

At the other end of the festival though another well-loved artist is readying herself to take to the stage, Grace Jones is a living legend and tonight she undoubtedly proves it. Opening with a cover of Iggy Pop’s Nightclubbing she dances around the stage in a variety of flamboyant headdresses, all the while the crowd stare on in amazement. Her ability to hula hoop and sing is nothing short of astounding.

Her own tracks like Williams’ Blood and My Jamaican Guy are given the opportunity to shine among other covers in particular Roxy Music’s Love Is The Drug. Grace Jones could not have done any more, her entire set is impeccable and she is a true entertainer. We’re left completely spellbound by her, it is by far the highlight of the festival. Especially as she closes out on the incredible Slave To The Rhythm.

Grace Jones

As she leaves the stage, the stage adjacent is quick to light up this time for the arrival of Arcade Fire. Their eagerly awaited headline set is merely moments away, Arcade Fire know how to put on a show but to follow Grace Jones is a tall order for anyone, the band rise to the occasion with new track Everything Now featuring early on. Followed by a slew of older tracks including the re-appearance of Neon Bible, it’s a set that takes in all aspects of the bands career.

It’s yet another uplifting set as Arcade Fire are incredible live and it goes without saying tonight they make it look so effortless. They close out their main set with Rebellion (Lies) and it rounds off an exceptional performance and they then return for one final hurrah with Windowsill. A truly mind-blowing performance as always, but this isn’t the end of the festival by far, the nature of Primavera sees it carrying on well into the early hours and as we head back up to the Parc, Japandroids are readying themselves for their return to Primavera.

Arcade Fire

With their new album garnering acclaim across the board they open with an ecstatic rendition of the title track Near To The Wild Heart Of Life, kicking proceedings off in style. It’s a raucous set and its undeniable that Japandroids are in exceptional form, the duo fly through their set with complete ease. The likes of North East South West, Young Hearts Spark Fire and The House That Heaven Built all sparking monumental reactions from tonight’s crowd. It’s a blistering set that leaves so many others from the festival paling in comparison to Japandroids phenomenal sound.

As they close out their set, today’s secret guests are ready to take to the next stage and for an unannounced band they’ve garnered quite the crowd. Just before 3:00am it’s revealed that it is HAIM, and they take to the stage amid a rapturous reception before giving everyone a taster of their new album Something To Tell You. Arguably a more polished pop album it sustains the party mood throughout the festival site as you cannot help but get drawn into the catchy choruses of Want You Back or Right Now. The Wire and Don’t Save Me are graced with equally excited reactions.


It feels like the perfect way to end such a diverse festival, with an almost endless amount of different musical styles on offer you’re all too often spoilt for choice. This years’ line up once again proving that the festival continues to grow and expand its musical remit, but whilst also not sticking to the what’s popular right now routine which so many others do. We cannot enthuse anymore about this brilliant festival that really does bring together the best acts from across the globe!


For more information about Primavera Sound check out their website here.

Use of these images in any form without permission is illegal. If you wish to use or license any images, please contact LeeHammond@Louderthanwar.com.

All words and photos by Lee Hammond. You can check out more work by Lee at his Louder Than War author’s archive, he also tweets as @Napzap.

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