Scenes from NOS Primavera Sound In Porto

After having attended Primavera Sound in Barcelona a few years back, I’ve been intrigued by its younger cousin in Porto, Portugal. With about half the stages and in a park (grass! A big plus when you’re on your feet for hours) where the river Douro meets the Atlantic Ocean, I’ve learned it’s a way more affordable option, especially for European music fans.

In all fairness, I only made it to one day of the fest, after being taken down by some jet lag-related exhaustion, but I do have some tidbits to share.

Miguel was one of a handful of artists to play both versions of the fest this year, touring in advance of a highly awaited forthcoming fall release. From the looks of Pitchfork’s video (the music site hosts their own stage at both Fests), he got things off to a great start on Thursday. King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard was the artist everyone was talking about from Friday’s lineup. From what I heard, they are not to be missed in a live setting.

My Saturday standout was Sampha. He started the set with one of my faves from his latest album – Timmy’s Prayer — and had the best vocals I heard all night, no question. They put on an incredible, dynamic performance and I was beyond impressed.

Sampha

Fun facts for a festival goer that might choose to pop across the pond for this one:

The stages are close enough that you can easily catch parts of a couple sets if two artists you like are playing around the same time. And they stagger the times pretty well so you really don’t have to (That’s what I did with Metronomy and Weyes Blood)

This festival goes LATE. Tycho took the stage at 2:45am and it was more packed than almost any other time that evening.

Tycho setlist

Cons: for those of us not used to it and dealing with jet lag, it’s quite a struggle to stay awake.

Pros: The beach is just a walk away, so you could go see a gorgeous sunset at 9p and then get your music party started…and then also see the sunrise at 6am the next morning

Unlike some SoCal fests that seem more about being seen than seeing music, fans here are ALL about the music. It’s so refreshing. And there are lots of families with kids running around.

The longest lines in the food court are always at the hamburger stands.

RR