On their 10th anniversary, Portuguese oldies and upstarts Primavera Sound lined up, leading to splits between Isabella Lovestory and New Order. But it was Le Tigre that really made the weekend.
It is a large park not far from the coast, a few kilometers from Porto, Portugal’s second city. It is a large mountain park where approximately 45,000 people gather each evening to take part in the largest park Cold. Not really carnage here, let alone blows. Instead, port mugs, popcorn, impromptu picnics in the grass. Five scenes in which historical films such as New Order, Blur and Pet Shop Boys, the latest (Rema or Rosalía), but also artists with a touch of edginess with Isabella Lovestory, the new reggaeton star, Marina Hurlop, antics of experimentalism, and Yves Tumor, contemporary rocker He who has the courage to sing with his back to the audience, curls up in a corner of the big stage, or embraces one of the speakers. The same weekend the first edition of Primavera Sound takes place in Madrid, with which Porto shares several headlines. Therein lies the secret to this festival bulldozer: Book the same group at its three festivals, in Southern European music summer camp style.
The audience is a little cold. Even in front of Le Tigre who puts on a massive live performance. Let’s not be afraid of too big, too lyrical words. What was originally a side project for Bikini Kill leader Kathleen Hanna is still buzzing. Her black bun is on point, her voice is still high, and her pinstripe dress is well-groomed. Silent slippery femininity. The woman who freaks out, right there in her kitchen, stirs a little sauce to accompany pasta, or a roast that just came out of the oven. Spins. But can a woman escape madness? A good question that haunts us throughout Tiger’s concert, a pop that here also rolls down the slope in somersaults, as if the melody no longer fits into Barbie’s very faded clothes. She has to scream, she has to howl.
The concert is a giant karaoke. Finally, it would have been a giant karaoke if the crowd had been less icy, even if this form of simple reception had its charm somewhere. So there you have it, a giant karaoke where the lyrics are displayed on a screen in the background. A way to emphasize its importance. Melodic repetitions, repetitions of political rhetoric, like the necessary multiplication. “I want to spread my dementia/I want to throw it out of line.There’s Kathleen Hanna, but there’s also JD Samson and Johanna Fateman, two pillars of the collection that have made electroplating a feminist monument.
Karaoke roll up tube Decepticon. Even Kathleen Hanna started jumping rope. A play on the codes of pop and femininity. Meditation on a woman’s childhood, the stupidity of entertainment. Or is it a real call to abandonment? To jump rope as we wish? Way to laugh but yellow. To have fun while frowning. To be punk, finally. A great set from Le Tigre, played two days later in Paris, at the Trianon unleashed if the Instagram stories that filled our feed are to be believed.
In Porto, New Order Pet Shop Boys, Crystal formed a wonderfully nostalgic trio. Marina Hurlop won the Best Affirmation award. But it was Le Tigre who managed to turn the feminist electro flash into a thoroughly modern sound.