Day two at Mad Cool Festival 2022, and everybody’s really getting into the swing of things now. On Wednesday (July 6) we took in memorable festival-opening sets from the likes of Metallica, CHVRCHES and Yungblud, whetting the appetite for what’s to come from the sun-kissed Madrid festival over the next few days.
Even more big-hitters took to the stage yesterday (July 7) to keep the party well and truly going – here’s what went down on day two of Mad Cool…
Words by: Sam Moore, Hannah Mylrea, Andrew Trendell, Kyann-Sian Williams, Sophie Williams
NO HYPE REQUIRED – HERE’S MODEST MOUSE
“Hey, how y’all doing?” drawls Modest Mouse legend Isaac Brock to a decent early evening (but still sun-scorched) crowd at Mad Cool’s Region Of Madrid stage. “I’m gonna let you know something up front: my hype level is this. I’m not good at hyping up crowds. That’s it. Thanks for coming to hear our music.”
If you’re familiar with the warped indie of these art-rock instigators, then a “PUT YOUR HANDS IN THE AIR” or “MAKE SOME NOOOIIIISE” would be the last words you’d expect to hear leaving Brock’s mouth. Whether he’s in a nonchalant malaise or emitting a shuffling squawk like he’s trying to exit his own skin, Brock feels every moment – from the breezy opener of early favourite ‘Dramamine’ through to bonafide festival bangers ‘Float On’ and ‘Dashboard’, via choice cuts from 2021’s stellar ‘The Golden Casket’. Some bands need hype and bravado, but it would take a helluva lot of chest-beating to match the sheer class of Modest Mouse. AT
A FOND FAREWELL FROM DEFTONES
“If you got ‘em, raise ‘em up,” beams Deftones frontman Chino Moreno, inviting a thoroughly massive Mad Cool main stage crowd to partake in a toast. As he bounces through the band’s buoyant set, Moreno is clearly in the mood for celebrating. “You guys might not be too curious about this, but I’m gonna tell you anyway, motherfuckers,” he adds later, revealing that this is the final night of a gruelling three-month tour. “As much as I love you motherfuckers, I cannot wait to get my ass home to my kids and my dogs.”
We spy members of Foals soaking up the insanity ahead of their own set tonight (more on that shortly) as Deftones give us a goodbye to remember, all backed by an arena-worthy sci-fi spectacular stage production. From the rumbling menace of opener ‘Genesis’ through an arsenal of art-metal gems including ‘Be Quiet And Drive (Far Away)’, ‘My Own Summer (Shove It)’ and ‘Swerve City’ – peaking with a heavenly outing of ‘Sextape’ and touring buddy Jason Butler from Fever 333 joining the band for early single ‘Headup’ – Deftones leave it all on the Mad Cool stage. Don’t stay home too long, Chino. AT
LONDON GRAMMAR LIGHT UP THE NIGHT
London Grammar’s performance tonight takes place as the sun begins to set over the Region Of Madrid stage. Having kicked off with the stately ‘Californian Soil’, as the three-piece get further into their set – and into their more dancier numbers – it starts to get dark, and LG’s strobing light show becomes more prominent as the evening’s festivities get underway around them.
Tracks like the euphoric ‘Baby It’s You’ and a wild, extended version of ‘Lose Your Head’ help usher the audience into night-time mode. But the biggest reaction is reserved for ‘Strong’, which sees thousands of punters linking arm-in-arm; a crowd-wide sing-a-long breaking out as the lyrics are bellowed back at the band. HM
IMAGINE DRAGONS FEEL THE LOVE
Imagine Dragons frontman Dan Reynolds is feeling particularly appreciative tonight. “I’m reminded tonight of the good in the world,” he tells the impressively big crowd of passionate fans who have gathered to watch the band’s 11pm set on the Madrid Is Life stage. “We’re celebrating life and music… music is my life, thank you for sharing this with us. We love you!”
The feeling is evidently mutual from the Mad Cool faithful, with big sing-a-longs for the band’s hits like ‘Natural’, ‘It’s OK’ and ‘Demons’. “It feels like we’re with old friends,” Reynolds later adds, and, judging by the huge roar which greets the Las Vegas band’s biggest hit and set-closer ‘Radioactive’, in Mad Cool Imagine Dragons have friends for life. SM
IT’S ALWAYS A DISCO WITH SIGRID
Sigrid wrote her latest album, ‘How To Let Go’, with festivals in mind. Created in lockdown when the 25-year-old pop star was craving a summer of live music, the new tracks feel right at home on the Region Of Madrid stage. From the slick synth-pop bounce of ‘A Driver Saved My Night’ to the theatrical grandeur of her Bring Me The Horizon collaboration ‘Bad Life’, it’s a razor-sharp set; Sigrid’s (largely) up-tempo tracks offering a welcome alternative to the day’s rockier line-up.
“I saw it was warming up to a dance floor here,” Sigrid tells the crowd before ‘Strangers’, adding: “It’s always a little workout at my shows.” She’s not wrong: by the time she closes her set with a jubilant rendition of ‘Mirror’, the entire crowd is on their feet and grooving along. HM
THE KILLERS DELIVER HIT AFTER HIT AFTER HIT… OH, AND A BRAND NEW TUNE, TOO
Backed by swirling canons which blast out neon-pink confetti into the audience, The Killers receive a hero’s welcome as they swagger out onto the main stage to the funk-laden grooves of ‘The Man’. A reminder of who’s topping the bill at Mad Cool this evening is never more than a few feet away: a considerable portion of the crowd can be seen wearing fabulous merch from the Las Vegas band’s 20-year career as indie kingpins.
- READ MORE: The Killers at Mad Cool 2022: “Our new song ‘Boy’ is in the gutter, looking at the stars”
Frontman Brandon Flowers frames this headline slot as a collective release, encouraging the audience before him to “let go”. The majority rise to his command: punters feverishly headbang throughout ‘Somebody Told Me’, and pull in strangers for an arms-around-shoulders singalong during ‘Jenny Was A Friend Of Mine’. The band are on dazzling form, too, mixing new music – unreleased track ‘Boy’ gets its live debut – with the bulk of their biggest anthems, everything marinated in a gleeful energy. Hosting the indie disco of our dreams, Flowers and his crew are clearly having a blast, wrapping up with a storming rendition of ‘Mr Brightside’ that levitates the Mad Cool festival site into a moment of epic celebration. SW
ST. VINCENT DELIVERS A MESSAGE FOR SCOTUS
Annie Clark may have fallen foul of the scheduling gods tonight – she’s up against The Killers on the main stage, meaning the turnout for her slot is lower than normal – but she’s still in a celebratory mood. “Viva Madrid!” she tells the crowd before performing ‘New York’, raising a “Salud” toast to the late-night crew who have gathered by the Region Of Madrid stage.
Clark’s current St. Vincent live show is a heady mix of ’70s nostalgia and funked-up versions of her biggest songs (show-opener ‘Digital Witness’ is a particular hit). Amid the frivolity, though, Clark delivers an important message before performing ‘Cheerleader’: “This next one goes out to the United States Supreme Court, who want to take us back to the fucking dark ages. Women, we do know what we deserve, and it’s basic fucking human rights.” The cheers that greet this message surely match anything heard during The Killers’ big set over on the main stage. SM
FOALS MELT MAD COOL’S FACE OFF
“Are we going to have a fucking party tonight?” yells Foals frontman Yannis Philippakis after blitzing through the sprightly ‘Wake Me Up’. The answer from the crowd is a resounding ‘YES’, as they mosh and rave in equal measure while the Oxford band rip through a set that pulls from recent album ‘Life Is Yours’ (plus all of the hits, of course). It’s only ‘Spanish Sahara’ that offers a moment of respite – with drummer Jack Bevan beating up a storm, the focus is clearly on heavy riffs and rocking hard.
“We’re just going to play face-melters [now],” says Philippakis towards the end of their set – and Foals swiftly come good on that promise. As ‘Black Bull’, ‘Inhaler’ and their increasingly vibrant light display rages on, Bevan parades down the catwalk before throwing his drumsticks to a chorus of elated shrieks from the crowd. As the thrusting, anthemic closer ‘Two Steps Twice’ sends pints in the air and bodies rolling along to the barriers, it’s impossible not to get swept along in the fast, physical and joyous intensity of it all. SW
TOVE LO IS THE LAST ONE STANDING
Swedish pop sensation Tove Lo strides along the Region of Madrid stage tonight with a real look of glee, honouring “the last ones standing” in front of her with a syrupy-sweet 12-song set.
If you’re still up for a dance at the end of the night, then Tove Lo will always gives you your money’s worth, flinging her hips and slivering her body around the stage (she even pulls up her skirt at one point to give us a cheeky bum wiggle that earns a healthy cheer). By sandwiching her hits from the past decade (‘Talking Body’, ‘Cool Girl’) with her newest vibe (‘No One Dies From Love’, ‘2 Die 4’), Tove Lo ensures that Mad Cool day two ends with a bang. KSW
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