BILBAO BBK LIVE 2012
Bilbao BBK Live Festival seventh edition started with its four stages, where other important festivals reduced their number of stages to just one. Once you had entered the venue, on Kobetamendi (Mount Cobetas), the first impact was the place was quite of a chaos, with lots of people wandering and standing in ques that would take them their money and a long while.
When we got used to the structure of the schedules of the different stages it became much easier as there where few the moments with 3 stages running at the same time.
THURSDAY 12th JULY
The bands to open the festival were The Gift at stage 1, Portuguese band that came from playing in Rock In Rio Lisbon 2012, locals Belako at stage 3, and Andalusian Lori Meyers at stage 2, before their fan club that seems to go everywhere with them.
The second group on stage 3 was Tribes. The stage was a bit late but more populated than expected yet not crowded. Pretty bad sound at tech level, pretty fresh songs but… we had to go to the main stage.
On our way to stage 1 we were able to see three gays in black clothes crossing from the artists area to the backstage area. They were Band of Skulls and brought their rock songs to the festival from Sweet Sour to Death By Diamonds and Pearls, via Patterns and Fire. They are one of those bands that can fill up the stage being just three people.
The time came for The Maccabees, who brought their new album Given To The Wild, with songs like Child or Feel To Follow. Their sound, even though it is giving them high popularity, was abused by neverending revebs in guitars and vocals, too atmospherical.
Back to the third stage Ben Howard was offering his show with a gentle folk touch, and no one could complain!
The first band on the line up that performed on the fourth stage were La Habitación Roja, whose algid moment was El Eje Del Mal song.
Young Guns were at the same time having an energic gig, but before fewer people than the previous band there… it might be because…
Snow Patrol started their show with their Hands Open and here was the reason for the rest of the stages being so relaxed… everybody was here. They sounded as the public expected and deserving the status they are supposed to have. Songs like THIS isn’t everything, In the End, New York, Shut Your Eyes, Chasing Cars, Called Out in the Dark, Fallen Empires. They said goodbye with Just Say Yes.
We only had a few minutes to witness what was happening at the third stage with The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion but enough to realize, by the hand of this three-member band, that the ambience, music and public, was quite different from the previous at the main stage.
The main course of the day came to the main stage. After half an hour waiting there standing and without music (we still can’t understand the reason why they didn’t play music to let people enjoy the wait). Robert Smith himself apologized for technical problems concerning the keyboards.
He came back at midnight and played three songs solo with his black acoustic guitar: Three Imaginary Boys, Fire in Cairo andBoys Don’t Cry. Then he said “I think I need the rest of the group… hang on.. that’s why it’s The Cure, and not Robert Smith”.
After Roger O’Donnell himself tested the most hated keyboard in 30 seconds and hour late the popular recording used as intro, Tape, gave way to Open, in a quite weak benniging where the band did not sound as one with the recording. Quite sad for bassist Simon Gallup because it was not his fault, we could not realize how great the bass begins this song. High didn’t make any better either.The End of the Worldwith vocals quite changed to a lower pitch to make them easier and fit them to Robert would not save the day.
But Lovesongcame to make band and public shake hands and forget previous probs. In this case, vocals were changed to more difficult ones.
If we could have thought the setlist was going to shorten all their usual songs during this SummerCure 2012 tour sounded onstage: Sleep When I’m Dead, Push, In Between Days, Just Like Heaven (them two again with the black acoustic guitar).
In From the Edge of the Deep Green Sea, guitarist Reeves Gabrels had the perfect time to show his stuff.
Want (its bennining could have been glorious but it just… was) continued the show and brought Pictures of You, Lullaby, The Caterpillar, The Walk, Play for Today, A Forest (Robert asked O’Donnell to play an octave higher), Primary, Bananafishbones, Shake Dog Shake, The Hungry Ghost (vocals made easy again), Wrong Number, One Hundred Years and End.
The first encore was only The Same Deep Water as You.
The second encore started at the same time that the gig at stage 2. Dressing Up, The Lovecats, The Blood, Just One Kiss, Let’s Go to Bed, Friday I’m in Love, Doing the Unstuck, Close to Me, Why Can’t I Be You? They went with Boys Don’t Cry. During all the gig Robert played several guitars, including the thinnest nylon guitar we ever saw and an electric guitar in which one could read “2012: citizens no subjects”.
And bitter sweet was the taste we had in our mouths because we were getting to the second stage, with Bloc Party on it, more than half an hour late. Kele Okereke could not tell a lie an said to the masses getting now to the concert it was late and we needed to go to sleep. But still we could enjoy the last songs of their set that included Helicopter. They sounded much less electro than usual. Wether it is good or bad… depends on you, of course.
James Murphy and Pat Mahoney, once members of LCD Soundsystem, today both performed with solo set, and after them the insatiable ones stayed dancing to the DJs’ beat.