Australian guy with red beard: What makes Primavera such a special event?
Geologist: This is the fourth or fifth time we’ve played here. I’ve always said Primavera was my favorite festival in the world—the only one I’d come to if I wasn’t playing. The lineup is always great, the layout is nice, and it’s in the city.
Peruvian guy: What did you think of playing in Peru a few years back?
Geologist: We loved playing in Peru.
Turkish guy: What do you think of Turkish music?
Panda: We’re all equal fans of the music, I’d say.
Red Beard (again): Would you be prepared to share the funniest, craziest, most inspiring or fucked up moment from Primavera over the years?
Panda: The first time we played here somebody brought a big plant that they were waving around. Like really big. He was just waving it around like a flag. That was a first and a last for us. You just don’t see many people bringing plants to shows.
Me: You know the songs that will make people go crazy, and yet you don’t always play them. Why hold back?
Geologist: There was one time we played Lollapalooza and it was my job to write the setlist that day and an hour set we’ll maybe play seven songs and we finished and we came off the stage and someone from the label came up and was like why no “My Girls” and “Summertime Clothes”? That was a really bold statement to make at Lollapalooza and I just looked down at my piece of paper and said “shit” I swear to god that wasn’t intentional.
Greek guy with blue sunglasses and two fists of Heineken: I’m from Athens and I would like to ask if such a phenomenon as world new fascism affects you?
Deakin’: We’re not a political band. We get bummed about a lot of things in the world, but I don’t think we want to go off on anything today.
Afterwards, people linger around taking photos with the band. In a moment of weakness, I approach Panda Bear and basically tell him his music has changed my life.
“I hope for the better.”
8:43 p.m.: I have never felt the weight of my 32 years as acutely as at this very moment. The crowd would make the flannel-clad denizens of Williamsburg look positively square. Jeans aren’t so much skinny as anorexic. The guy next to me has a neck tattoo of a flaming guitar. Everywhere you look, impossible piercings shine like diamonds in the last gasp of sunlight. This isn’t just average everyday hipsterism at work, it’s meta hipsterism, a form so exaggerated and self-conscious that it feels like performance art.
On stage, Tame Impala, the psych rock crew from Perth, slash and burn their way through their new album, Lonerism, wielding their guitars like battleaxes as they dice the fans—10,000 thick, at least—into tiny little pieces. A cloud of hash and cannabis and lost innocence hangs over the crowd like a patch of fog blown in from the bay. From the looks on the faces of the young women around me, lead singer Kevin Parker could have a very long night in front of him if he so chooses.