Festival season is kicking off all over the globe and at the weekend, Monterry's Pa’l Norte took place with huge headline sets from returning sets from The Killers, MIA and more
Pa’l Norte festival in Monterrey, Mexico, took place on Friday 31 March and Saturday 1 April. The opening night was headlined by The Killers, who opened their set with 2008 hit ‘Human’.
The Killers’ set drew heavily from 2004 debut ‘Hot Fuss’. The band played ‘Somebody Told Me’, ‘Smile Like You Mean It’, ‘Jenny Was A Friend Of Mine’, ‘All These Things That I've Done’ and closed with ‘Mr Brightside’.
The Killers were without bassist Mark Stoermer, who announced he was retiring from touring duties last year. His role in the live band was filled by Jake Blanton.
Backstage, the band told us that they’re close to finishing their fifth album. “We keep asking ourselves: ‘What does a fourpiece band do? How do you keep it fresh?’” said drummer Ronnie Vannucci Jr of their new recordings. “It’s a constant exercise in experimentation.”
The Killers also confirmed they’d have new music released by the time they play Hyde Park as part of the British Summer Time festival on July 8. “By then we’ll have some new shit for y’all,” said Vannucci.
Earlier on Friday, punk veterans The Offspring had played their first show in Monterrey. Onstage, guitarist Noodles said: “This is our first time ever in Monterrey. What a fucking amazing place! We’ll have to come back more often I think.”
Singer Dexter Holland took the opportunity to teach bandmate Noodles a variety of Spanish phrases, including: “Me gusta cerveza.” They didn’t comment on the fact that ‘Pretty Fly For A White Guy’ was responsible for teaching so many people how to count to six in Spanish (maybe because everyone says ‘cinco’ twice).
MIA performed her weekend-stealing high-energy set in front of a huge metal wall dividing the stage in two. If you somehow missed the significance of that, just 200km south of the border, she spelled it out by getting her DJ to play Edwin Starr’s ‘War’ and singing along: “Wall, what is it good for? Absolutely nothing.”
Placebo set their stall out early by opening with their hit ‘Pure Morning’.
The large crowd were chanting for ‘Nancy Boy’ almost from the beginning of Placebo’s set, and they were rewarded for their enthusiasm at the start of the band’s encore.
Of all the British and American artists performing at Pa’l Norte over the weekend, Brian Molko displayed by far the best grasp of Spanish.
Placebo closed with their cover of Kate Bush’s ‘Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)’.
Chicago DJ Kaskade drew a huge crowd on Saturday afternoon.
Although some of them seemed more concerned with taking selfies.
The house DJ played a version of Ed Sheeran’s ‘Shape Of You’, as it’s legally required somebody must at all festivals this year.
Here, Kaskade takes a bite from his giant invisible sandwich.
Jason Derulo provided one of the biggest crowd-pleasing moments of the weekend with his huge hit ‘Want To Want Me’.
And we learned that he really, really likes taking his top off.
Backstage after his set, after posing for this portrait, Derulo announced: “I had an amazing time today. Today was phenomenal. It was definitely a show to remember, for sure.” We couldn’t have put it better ourselves. See you next year, Pa’l Norte!