The Strokes make European return as they conclude final day of Primavera Sound

Third and final day of Spanish festival also saw performances from DIIV, Mac DeMarco and Foxygen

The Strokes closed the final day of Primavera Sound festival with a hit-filled set last night (May 30).

Taking to the stage at midnight for their first gig in Europe since headlining Reading & Leeds Festival in 2011, the New Yorkers opened with ‘Machu Picchu’. Frontman Julian Casablancas, wearing a fluorescent yellow t-shirt and sunglasses, grasped his mic with both hands as he sang. The band left it some time before addressing the crowd, who roared at every riff and drum fill. When the frontman said simply, “Gracias,” devoted fans bellowed their approval.

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Just before the halfway point, the quintet played ‘Juicebox’, from 2005’s ‘First Impressions Of Earth’, for the first time since 2011. Casablancas’ screams of “Why won’t you come over here?” in the chorus were almost drowned out by the audience. The song was one of a number of alterations in the setlist, which differed from the band’s two previous festival appearances this year.

After an exhilarating three-song barrage of ‘Reptilia’, ‘Last Nite’ and ‘Take It Or Leave It’, the band began sped through ‘The Modern Age’, another song they last played live in 2011. The encore concluded with ‘Under Cover Of Darkness’, ‘Hard To Explain’ and ‘New York City Cops’, the latter’s familiar jangle prompting pogoing in the front rows.

‘Machu Picchu’
‘Heart in a Cage’
‘Barely Legal’
‘Automatic Stop’
‘One Way Trigger’
‘You Talk Way Too Much’
‘All the Time’
‘Taken for a Fool’
‘You Only Live Once’
‘Is This It’
‘Last Nite’
‘Take It or Leave It’
‘The Modern Age’
‘Under Cover of Darkness’
‘Hard to Explain’
‘New York City Cops’

On the ATP stage later, Thee Oh Sees played a pulverising, psychedelic set to a huge crowd. Led by frontman and chief songwriter John Dwywer, the San Francisco quartet – which included two drummers – thrashed through tracks from recent album ‘Mutilator Defeated At Last’, including a guttural rendition of ‘Withered Hand’.

Caribou drew a huge audience to the Ray-Ban stage for a three am set. Wearing white and surrounded by his band, Canadian producer Dan Snaith treated fans to a dance-heavy performance. ‘Odessa’ and ‘Can’t Do Without You’ mixed surging electronics with powerful live drums, and during an extended closing version of ‘Sun’, Snaith kept the crowd waiting before delivering its euphoric final chorus.

Earlier in the afternoon, DIIV played eight new songs from forthcoming second album ‘Is The Is Are’, finding space for only three old songs, ‘Oshin’, ‘How Long Have You Known’ and ‘Dust’. Frontman Zachary Cole Smith, who wore an oversized Mickey Mouse t-shirt and billowing trousers, thanked the crowd repeatedly, waving and smiling as he said “We’re from New York city, we’re called DIIV.”

Mac DeMarco‘s evening set on the Heineken stage included a cover of Coldplay’s ‘Yellow’ and the Canadian’s usual crowdsurfing antics. While there were no new songs, hits like ‘Blue Boy’ and ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Nightclub’ had fans whooping along.

Swigging whiskey from a wine glass, Foxygen frontman Sam France was an energetic presence during the San Francisco band’s show. Flanked by bandmate and keyboardist Jonathan Rado and three backing dancers, the blonde-haired singer thrashed and gyrated during ‘No Destruction’ and ‘Everyone Needs Love’.

Primavera Sound concludes fully today, with Canadian punks Single Mothers among a small number of bands scheduled to play.