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Primavera Sound debuts in Los Angeles with a simple and sensual set by Lorde

After a year of pandemic-related delays, Barcelona’s Primavera Sound music festival has finally arrived in Hollywood.

With three days of programming at Los Angeles Historic Park this past weekend, located adjacent to Chinatown, Primavera set up three formidable stages in Los Angeles for the first time, with a diverse lineup headlined by Lorde, Nine Inch Nails and Arctic Monkeys.

Despite the initial crush of Will Call ticket holders who queued for nearly half a mile, the Primavera campus felt crowded but never oppressive. Most of the 45 minute scenes were seamlessly coordinated and by design offered something for everyone (a must for the area’s eclectic taste).

“Shall we dance for our 15-year-old selves right now?” Lorde asked the crowd on opening night, teaming a black bikini top with sheer Stevie Nicks-inspired pants (“Silver Lake Barbie!” one festival-goer yelled during her set).

Playing on the main stage in a one-piece — what appeared to be a wood-block recreation of a wrecking ball, also adorned with a ladder — the New Zealand phenom scoured hits like “Royals,” “Homemade Dynamite” and ” TheLouvre”. She was surprised by the level of participation she received from the crowd, as many artists do when they arrive in a city full of industry-weary types.

“I didn’t know you’d cheer, LA, you guys are the cool kids,” he said. Before their big start, Stereolab played a modest set on Tecate Alta’s smaller stage (following an electrifying preview set at the Wiltern a few days earlier), directly followed by an intense and acclaimed block from Mitski. Guests enjoyed activations such as Create Hospitality’s Hangar 1 Vodka pop-up lounge.

On Saturday, crowds poured in (and law enforcement presence increased) after wristband wearers familiarized themselves with the terrain. Tierra Whack, fresh from her mention of the Queens Mix of Beyonce and Madonna’s “Break My Soul,” led a wildly hilarious performance at 5 pm on the main stage. “Plain Jane” to warm up the audience.

Sunday saw a finish to an amazing (if not incredibly short) set from King Krule. Revelers (including more children than expected) all walked past an installation of lights that spelled out “Made in Barcelona,” a nod to Primavera’s international roots. The letters were staggered in the style of the Hollywood sign, which boasted in the hills just nine miles west of the park.


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