Arcade Fire kicked off the Thursday evening in true style with an unannounced show at the site. The custom stage, which allowed the handful of fans a 360 view of the band in action, filled up well before their 20:30 stage time and seemingly attracted what felt like every punter on site.
The band gave their first airing of new single ‘Everything Now’ and new track ‘Creature Comfort’, as well as treating fans to a hour-and-ten-minute set featuring greatest hits like ‘The Suburbs’, ‘Reflektor’ and ‘Rebellion’.
Meanwhile, over at the Mango stage Solange aired cuts from the stunning 2016 album ‘A Seat At The Table’ to a sizeable and engaged crowd.
Come evening, the sun set and the cool air provided the perfect atmosphere for Bon Iver’s lush, intense tones as they played 2016 album ‘22, A Million’ in full, alongside handful of old material like ‘Skinny Love’ and ‘Calgary’.
A welcome rush of blood to the head was most welcome straight after, as thrash-legends Slayer tore through a set of their noisiest material, including ‘Hallowed Point’, ‘Angel of Death’, and yes, ‘Raining Blood’.
Mac DeMarco showed up on Friday evening to air cuts from his serene new album ‘This Old Dog’ and get almost-naked and set his body-hair on fire with a lighter – for some reason.
Filling in for the absent Frank Ocean on Friday evening, The xx assuredly stepped in as headliners with a 90-minute set, mostly comprising of tunes from new album ‘I See You’ and their eponymous debut record.
Playing in front of a set of mirroring pillars, the band also played Jamie xx cut ‘Loud Places’ to provide a euphoric main-set closer.
Following the release of fifth album ‘Summer 08’ last year, Metronomy have finally hit the live circuit this summer, as they played to a gigantic crowd on the festival’s largest stage. Pounding new tracks ‘Old Skool’ and ‘Back Together’ went down a treat with the Primavera faithful – though ‘English Riviera’ cuts like ‘the Bay’ turned the concrete arena into one of the world’s biggest dancefloors for at least three-minutes.
As bizarre as always, pop legend Grace Jones warmed the crowd up for Arcade Fire with a set of hula-hooping, zebra-fancy dress, confetti, oh and of course, banging tunes like ‘Slave to the Rhythm’.
Returning for a full set on Saturday night, Arcade Fire expanded the setlist during their 90-minute set, playing rarities like ‘In the Backseat’, ‘Windowsill’ and ‘Neon Bible’.
Soon after, grime hero Skepta provided some serious late night vibes with tracks from his album ‘Konnichiwa’ as well as a couple oldies for “original Boy Better Know fans”, before closing by debuting new song ‘Hypocrisy’.
At Primavera, however, if you go to sleep too early – there’s a chance you could miss a weekend defining secret set. That came in the shape of Haim, who played an unannounced show at 3am, and gave the devoted crowd a decent preview of their new album ‘Something To Tell You’ to close out the weekend.