The return of Blur was one of the thorniest musical news stories of the first quarter of the 21st century. Set in the context of ’90s nostalgia and the resurgence of top-brass Britpop groups, to meet the band again and have it be a bluff instead of Blur would be an awkward epitaph for an entire musical generation. But no: it was a thunderbolt (worth it as a metaphor).
Everything was extraordinary on Thursday night at La Riviera in Madrid. Firstly, because it was not planned. Had it not been for days of persistent rain, Primavera Sound Madrid’s concert venue (the renewed Rock City in Arganda) would not have been turned off to celebrate the first day of the festival. The driest year on record brought us an incredibly wet June. Damon Albarn took the stage to insult those who don’t believe in climate change. Moving Blur to La Riviera was a solution that the festival organization could provide in light of the cancellation of daytime concerts. An output that could only satisfy 2,000 people and which logically did not compensate those who bought a ticket to see New Order, Halsey, Le Tigre, Sparks, Pusha T, Perfume or Alison Goldfrapp.
If this trick hadn’t been pulled out of the hat, it wouldn’t have sparked a number of opinions, both in person and online, about the experience of seeing a band in a room versus a festival experience. An aspect that music critic Nando Cruz touches on in depth in his latest book macro festivals. The black hole of music: “In the world of festivals, everything is about size. Size is the root of all its problems (…). The bigger it is, the more numbers you will have to watch the concerts from afar (…). The more stages a macrofestival has, the more likely it is that your favorite band will perform at the same time, and the sound of one will mix with the sound of another.” And Cruz warns: “There are macro-festivals that exceed the physical and mental capacity of their audience. There are human-scale festivals and superhuman festivals.”
Primavera Sound is the largest festival in Spain in terms of attendance. According to 2022 figures published by the Association of Music Promoters: 500,700 attendees (actually tickets are sold daily) and 672 concerts. The forced reduction exercise that took place in La Riviera on Thursday made the festival a “human” place, and in the bustle there was a recurring conversation: it’s something else, how nice to see them up close, how good they sound. I never thought I would see them like this, how close they feel, how comfortable; You only had to listen as you walked through the crowd. Damon Albarn said – he spoke a lot at the concert – with a sentimental tautology: “Obviously, it’s not Primavera, but it is.” If they hadn’t played at La Riviera last night, Some did not remember that they did it on the same stage exactly 20 years ago and the room wasn’t even full, According to the Chronicler Musicalia.
Therefore, however well-intentioned the festival’s initiative to offer this concert may have been, it is partly on its feet because it too blatantly opposes two models of live music: the macro-festival and the festival. the hall While the former offers you quantity, the latter gives you intensity.
It is hard to imagine that the wild reaction of the public to the amazing concert offered by Blur in La Riviera at two in the morning in the open air of the festival. The glasses of water that Damon doused the audience with, sometimes even falling from his own mouth, reached far. Like the aerial return of beer glasses that flew from the last rows to the first, some even reaching the group’s feet. And everything was fine.
There were bodies in the wings, floating on seas of guns, the guards barely managed to sink. Albarn and Grahan Coxon repeatedly attacked the meat of the front row, with defenders picking up from behind and mixing with the audience at the front. There was a pogo, there was a scream, there was a youthful energy restored at 40, up and down the stage, thanks to the magical rejuvenating properties that the songs hide when they are as explosive as Parklife, track 2 or girls and boys which he certainly touched.
But the concert started with a new song, very little pop and somewhat out of place St. Charles Square, Included on Blur’s comeback album, out on July 21st, The Ballad of Darren. And it was not the only new one: the roundest Narcissus The first single from the album, can be enjoyed in an encore. The first part of the concert was loaded with songs from the early 90s, such as the founder pop scene (1992) or There is no other way (from rest, 1992) or Tracy Jacks and Problem with message center (both park life, 1994). the big ones Hits They started in the second half coffee and tv A Graham Coxon concert moment, because it’s his song and he’s performing it himself. Between floor somersaults and guitar-wielding circus acrobatics, Coxon last night received the love of a public that no longer blames him for leaving the band in 2002. Damon also forgave her in 2008, and Coxon’s friendship and understanding is evident. Those who were the guys with the weight of global success and today, some gentlemen who are together for a laugh.
Albarn, 55 years old and looks like an office worker good friday He was ready to have a good time in the pub, with his interventions throwing up a comedy fest between songs, although he was the moderator during the performance. After thanking the audience, in Spanish, for the song’s applause, he gave himself a linguistic explanation for the word “thank you,” which was pronounced with a lipsy. The singer explained to the attentive audience that the literal meaning was “fat ass” and from there he couldn’t help but laugh every time. “grass” And he even touched his butt.
He fell in the second half of the concert Parklife, track 2 or exciting In the end, Which is always like the sadness of happy times. ballad the trend to open his rough disk 13, He also entered during the encore. Less humorous and more tender, Damon approached the edge of the stage and wiped away more than one tear: “It’s weird, but at this point we feel like you’re family,” he said, adding, “I hope you feel like we are. It’s family for you, too.” And that’s what pop music is all about.
Source: El Diario