Festival Review: Primavera Sounds Porto celebrates with Lana Del Rey (07.06.24)

Lana Del Rey

The second day of Porto’s Primavera Sound Festival was marked by threatening rainclouds overhead. Despite this the rain stayed mostly away and raincoats were not really needed. But the action on stage was what people were there for. The Vodaphone stage was strangely under construction which meant that artists such as Justice did not perform. However, what was on offer made up for that.

Early acts such as Portugal’s Máquina, Milhanas and André Henriques were energetic and exciting performers. Clearly there is plenty of talent in the local community that deserves an audience. The organisers deserve credit for a well curated mix of international and local artists. Particularly of note is how many female artists were on the bill.

For example, the US based four-piece, Crumb, with Lila Ramani on lead vocals and guitar, played a trippy set of shoegaze on the Porto stage. Following this, This Is The Kit from Great Britain featured Kate Stables on lead duties, including playing the banjo. Their sound is described as like Aldous Harding, but there are Laura Marling influences too. A light summery performance to keep the clouds away.

This is The Kit

Over on the Super Bock stage a grand piano awaits the arrival of Kurt Wagner who promises “An Intimate Piano Performance from LAMBCHOP.” The Nashville based performer performed a mixture of half-singing, half-talking with Ira Kaplan from Yo La Tengo performed masterfully on the grand piano, including backup vocals.

It truly was an intimate performance, despite the large open stage. There was almost a sense of having been invited into their living room for the evening. It was a fascinating and uplifting presentation, with stories of simple rural American life. Something left-field at a big music festival, which worked really well.

Lambchop Lambchop

Over on the Porto stage, British female group, The Last Dinner Party kept the uplifting vibes going for the audience. Covering tracks mostly from their 2024 album Prelude to Ecstasy, their indie alternative style had the audience singing and dancing along. Their onstage banter was fun and infectious and a cover of Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game” slotted in well amongst their originals. Almost a blend of Dixie Chicks and Kate Bush, it was a fascinating range of styles.

Last Dinner Party

Last Dinner Party

For the second day Aussie bands also dominated. Tropical Fuck Storm took no prisoners with their heavy guitar laden wall of sound. Lead singer Gareth Liddiard and Fiona Kitschin from The Drones did what they do best, hard hitting rock and roll.  “Rubber Bullies” was a particularly powerful track. By the end of the set, the crowd had formed an impromptu mosh pit. Clearly there were plenty of Aussies in the crowd, but the locals were won over as well.

Tropical Fuck Storm Tropical Fuck Storm

By now, most of the crowd had gravitated towards the main Porto stage in anticipation of Lana Del Rey. However, a small band of the faithful headed to the Super Bock stage to witness the Detroit avant-garde electronic improv group, Wolf Eyes. Formed in 1996, they’ve released almost 300 recordings in that time.

Members Nate Young and John Olson stand like animated versions of Kraftwerk, with little more than samplers on desks. However, distorting the sounds of a recorder or harmonica into something almost unrecognisable was fascinating to watch. The sounds produced are out of this world; distorted and ethereal is not the right way to describe it, but it gives an idea. Lasers and lighting help give the music an otherworldly feel.

Wolf Eyes

Naturally, the biggest crowd was reserved for Lana Del Rey. After a short introduction, she appeared on stage to rapturous applause. The crowd took over singing “West Coast” before she launched into her Sublime cover of a cover of “Doin’ Time” followed by the massive hit “Summertime Sadness.” A plethora a dancers on stage surrounded her as she crooned the crowd.

Soon she headed down into the pit to meet fans, collect flowers and take selfies. There were cheers and tears from the flower adorned girls in the front rows. She seems genuinely happy to meet with her fans and was quite emotional as she climbed back on stage with her flower gifts.

She delivered 100%, with hits such as “Born To Die” and “Video Games” sprinkled in the exhaustive setlist. It was a truly memorable way to close the second day of the festival. Apart from the unexplained closure of one stage, the performances of the remaining acts was superb.

Lana Del Rey

Lana Del Rey

FOUR STARS (OUT OF FIVE)

Primavera Sound Porto website

Photos © Hugo Lima | www.hugolima.com | www.instagram.com/hugolimaphoto