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Primavera Sound was held in Barcelona last weekend. On Saturday, rising star Rosalía filled the headline spot. We were there, and show you why you shouldn’t miss her at Rock Werchter, Glastonbury and other festivals this summer.

For the Spanish singer, the festival was like coming home, as she is originally from the surroundings of Barcelona. In a relatively short time, Rosalía has become a big pop star, and she proved this with her performance.

Nirwana Tuinfeest

Warming Up

Nathy Peluso / Photo credit: Sharon Lopez

At the start of the Saturday, we immediately notice that the audience at Primavera Sound is different from the days before. While there were many international visitors on Thursday and Friday, we now find many Spanish people. This is not a coincidence: besides Rosalía the day’s line-up also includes Nathy Peluso (photo), Kali Uchis and J Balvin.

From early on, the atmosphere is great. Still, visitors seem to be looking forward mostly to Rosalía: despite Kali Uchis’ engaging show, many make their way to the other main stage early to find a good spot for the Barcelona singer.

The performance

Rosalía / Photo credit: Sergio Albert

Just before the sun has gone down behind the Barcelona skyline, Rosalía takes the stage exactly on time. She starts with ‘Pienso en tu míra’, a hit from her latest album El mal querer. The singalong in the chorus means that she has immediately won over the audience at Primavera Sound.

During the show, the Catalan star cleverly alternates the pace. For the relaxed, quiet songs, she is alone on the stage with all the attention on her beautiful voice. For the uptempo songs, the stage becomes one big extravaganza. There are dancers, confetti canons and fireworks. During these moments, the show is just as impressive as those of established stars like Janelle Monáe or Miley Cyrus.

The audience

Rosalía / Photo credit: Sergio Albert

The visitors of Primavera Sound enjoy everything that Rosalía gives them. When they don’t chant along, they dance enthusiastically. A plus is that most of the audience is Spanish, since the singer’s lyrics are all in Spanish as well. Nonetheless, the emotion in her music is also clear to non-Spanish people in the audience.

The performance almost feels like a lap of honour for Rosalía. In the two years since debut album Los ángeles was released in 2017, her career has exploded, leading to this wonderful headline performance in her hometown. The audience happily welcomed her return.

The setlist

For her show at Primavera Sound, Rosalía mainly uses her much-praised second album El mal querer. On this record, she mixes Spanish flamenco roots with modern pop and R&B. ‘Que no salga la luna’ is more traditional, while ‘Malamente’ and ‘Bagdad’ seem more modern and accessible. The last song is even inspired by Justin Timberlake’s ‘Cry Me a River’.

Early in the show, a guest appearance by James Blake meets with loud cheers from the audience. Together, the two artists play their song ‘Barefoot in the Park’. Rosalía ends her set with brand-new single ‘Aute Cuture’, followed by the Spanish summer hit of 2019: ‘Con Altura’, a duet with J Balvin.

Were you at Primavera Sound 2019? Rate the festival in the Festival Report!


Rosalia 2019

The Spanish singer Rosalía started her career in 2013, focussing on dance and music. After a few smaller projects, her debut album Los ángeles was released in 2017, followed by El mal querer in 2018. The singer’s musical style combines modern pop with influences of traditional flamenco. Despite the Spanish lyrics, she has achieved much success outside her home country as well.

Besides Primavera Sound, Rosalía will also perform at Rock Werchter, Glastonbury, Roskilde, Colours of Ostrava and other festivals.

Primavera Sound 2019

Photo: Joris Bakker / Festileaks

Primavera Sound is considered to be one of the biggest festivals in the indie scene. First held in 2001, the Barcelona festival brings together many different genres, including pop, rock, dance, R&B and the latest indie music. This year, the lineup includes artists like Tame Impala, Solange, Janelle Monáe and Interpol.

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