• Primavera Sound Madrid 2023 Dates, line-up, opening hours and tickets

The sky threatened storm the first day of Primavera Sound Barcelona 2023, but the only rays that illuminated the Forum venue were those of the Pet Shop Boys concert. The duo formed by Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe was responsible for opening the three-day marathon that involves a festival of 256 concerts. Just thinking about it brings out fatigue, but music works as the most effective remedy to combat it and the British know the perfect formula. For something they have sold more than fifty million records worldwide since the 80s.

As it happened in other editions, this first appointment with the public was free and the capacity was filled in what lasts a blink. The fans of the British duo are many and also those who want to live a festival experience that is not available to everyone: the day ticket costs 125 euros and the weekend ticket more than 300 (without fees), so the opportunity to see without paying to see one of the most famous English bands in history -with permission from The Beatles and The Rolling Stones- It wasn't like to let her go. The menu of the day also included other groups such as La Paloma, Jake Bugg, Guatemala or European Vampire as an appetizer.

Tennant and Lowe appeared in the Catalan capital with no intention of surprising because they do not need it. This stop and the rest they will make in Spain is part of their Dreamworld: The Greatest Hits Live tour, a name that is a declaration of intentions. In a 90-minute show, Pet Shop Boys reviewed their unquestionable successes to the delight of an audience devoted to their idols from the first note of Suburbia, the song with which the party began. Because what was mounted on the Amazon stage was exactly that, a spree of songs prior to the projection of the flag of Ukraine, a gesture of support for the country at war.

Then came Can You Forgive Her?, Opportunities (Let's Make Lots of Money) and the ineffable Where the Streets Have No Name (I Can't Take My Eyes Off You), his assembled version of U2 and Frankie Valli classics. The singer had already released the "Good night, Barcelona!" that inflamed the public and at that time the karaoke was already multitudinous, although some of the attendees had possibly not been born when these themes took the radios of the world. Now, in the public there are kids uploading those hits in the youngest networks like Tik Tok and boomers sharing videos recorded horizontally on Facebook and Whatsapp.

The choruses followed one another while Tennant changed his outfits, none discreet, hats included, like an old school alien. After all, Pet Shop Boys belong to another planet, that of those blessed with talent. Domino Dancing, You Were Always on My Mind, Heart, It's Alright, Village People's Gone West or It's a Sin warmed up the staff for a more than strenuous final stroke. As they say in Vocal, another of the chants and clapping: "It's in the music, it's in the song/ Everyone I hoped would be around has come around/ For the music/ It's in the music, it's in the song". The emotion was in the music, it was in the song and also in the air.

It was already dark when the British said goodbye after an epic performance of West End Girls and the inexcusable Being Boring. They left their audience satisfied but, at the same time, wanting more. It's a feeling that only those who have a place in the Olympus of music greats, like Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe, are capable of achieving.

  • Barcelona
  • Ukraine
  • music

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