Primavera Sound LA 2022 Recap: Day Three

Arctic Monkeys at Primavera Sound LA by Pooneh Ghana
Arctic Monkeys at Primavera Sound LA by Pooneh Ghana

Day three of Primavera Sound LA 2022 was the busiest and possibly the most sonically diverse lineup thus far. An aging Alex Turner still packs the crowd, so I can only hope that Arctic fans caught a bit of Squid, Dry Cleaning, Boy Harsher, and Arca in the lead-up to the headlining set. Whether or not they got the chance, it was a day for eclectics.

We opened the day at the Squid set with the Brighton boys absolutely dialed into their electronics. As Squid’s career has progressed, their shows have only included more circuits, more pedals, and more synths. There’s nothing groundbreaking about altering the composition of songs live, but Squid goes for such comprehensive reconstructions of their source material that it’s almost like listening to a remix album. More bands should put themselves up to the challenge.

I would say Dry Cleaning gave the performance of the festival, but I’m biased. This band is everything to me even if their lyrics mean nothing to most (including me the vast majority of the time). We’re finally starting to be blessed with live renditions of tracks off the forthcoming Stumpwork, and holy hell are they good. In a day filled to the brim with Brits, King Krule followed Dry Cleaning on the adjacent stage. Archy’s set drew from his entire discography while sprinkling in some hits for the more casual fans and a few deeper cuts for the tried and true. He apparently wasn’t feeling well, but that didn’t stop him from delivering an impassioned performance.

Dry Cleaning at Primavera Sound LA by Nicolita Bradley

Dry Cleaning at Primavera Sound LA by Nicolita Bradley

Following the King, we skipped back over to the Barcelona stage for the next hour and a half of dance. Boy Harsher’s gothic electro pop was infectious live, but Arca was the highlight of the evening and possibly the fest. Words can’t describe the energy in the Arca pit as she messed about with onstage machinery that could best described as the arm of a mech and an electric stone. As an earth-shattering performer by every metric, Arca simply ups the ante each show. Oh, to be a fly on the wall in the stage design meetings.

Arca for Primavera Sound LA by Nicolita Bradley

Arca at Primavera Sound LA by Nicolita Bradley

As Alex Turner and the Arctic Monkeys played out the inaugural Primavera Sound LA festival, it dawned on me that this might just be the FYF Fest killer. There’s a definite place for Primavera in LA, and I can only hope that the next few years build on the highs of this one of a kind weekend. I’m sure the contracts are already being written up, we’ll just be waiting for the lineups. Until next year!

Words by Chris Burleson


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