When you step inside Parque da Cidade, you know you're in for a special treat. NOS Primavera Sound is one of its kind, and it doesn't linger in the shadows of the Barcelona edition. This year's edition presents us with a heavy electronic line-up, that covers dream pop to dance techno. But as always, hides its own surprises with names coming from other genres.
We will cover what are the unmissable acts this year, but also everything that's going around and outside the stages. Take note, NOS Primavera Sound is not all about the music, and there is this amazing city to discover that surrounds it.
Unmissable surprises: Matosinhos & female voices
Surprise yourself by exploring Matosinhos. If you're a fish fan, have a go at Rua Heróis de França and choose any restaurant that grills its fish on the street. If you're a design or architecture fan, take a post-lunch break by checking out the Mercado de Matosinhos, Casa da Arquitectura ou Casa do Design (beware though, Siza's pools will not be open during the festival). Also, the beach is just a few steps away from the festival, care to have a first try at surfing?
On the festival, we guarantee that these female acts will surprise you. You might know and love Angel Olsen, but Friday's Nikki Lane and Julien Baker, and Saturday's Mitski and Elza Soares are sure to become some of your favorite acts of the festival. Whether you would rather feel the southern love and bustle that unstoppable Nikki “the Highway Queen” brings or gape at how 79-year-old Elza Soares musters that powerful voice in Mulher do Fim do Mundo, female voices will leave an astounding mark on this year's edition.
Unmissable foods: bifanas & croquetes
Some acts are more prone to serve as dinner time than others. There’s no shame in missing part of a show to grab a bite, but some foods might be better digested with music. NOS Primavera Sound has some of the best festival foods ever, and most of them are local little secrets that close their regular spots during those days just to serve hungry festival goers. What to do when your stomach is rumbling but don’t want to miss the whole show? These are our unmissable food & music pairings.
A spicy bifana from Conga will go perfectly with Miguel’s sultry voice and demeanor. Last time we saw him, he discussed the meaning of life with the audience, and Conga’s meat will definitely help you figure it out. For Bon Iver’s show, we expect ups and downs, so a sweet chocolatey from Zé da Tripa will help you with even the saddest of songs. Sleaford Mods are a Casa Guedes band: the sandes de pernil with serra cheese will keep you warm and will easily untie any notz in your stomach. Shellac is such a regular at Primavera that we will pair it with a regular food staple, croquetes. Easy to munch in time with the hardest of head bangs, go to Padaria Ribeiro to get some before that guitars start pulsing. Finally, we don’t expect Metronomy to be one of this year’s standouts, so a safe pão com chouriço from Sr. Showriço will get you through and will remind you that The Look is still as fine as song as pão com chouriço is a festival food.
Unmissable experiences: Aphex Twin and Justice
Although NOS Primavera Sound is not big on sponsor activities (which we think it’s a good thing), there are plenty activities to occupy your time inside and outside the festival. So you won’t find a huge ferris wheel on Parque da Cidade, but there’s one for you to enjoy a bird view of Casa da Música on the Rotunda da Boavista. You can also skip the one hour wait for the flower crowns, and enjoy some green on the Jardins de Serralves.
But worry not, unforgettable experiences also await after scanning your card. Be sure that you don’t lose your mind during Aphex Twin’s visual show, as it will be both mesmerizing and disturbing, taking you on a steadfast electronic trip.
If Richard David James’ direction is way too massive for you, do stick around for French duo Justice. A roll of classic and new songs on their setlist means that we are in for a treat, and even though it’s 2017, Gaspard Augé and Xavier de Rosnay still make sure that we can shout that we are, in fact, your friends and that we’ll never be alone again. And if that moment doesn’t bring a huge smile to your face, that I don’t know what will.
Unmissable headbangs: Japandroids, Death Grips & Senhor de Matosinhos’ rollercoasters
In need of a good headbang? This year’s NOS Primavera Sound is not big on heavy acts, but those who are coming will not disappoint. Head out to Japandroids’ show for a timely demonstration of punk played by two pairs of hands and skinny jeans. If fast and spasmodic head banging is not your thing, move along to Teenage Fanclub. Don’t get fooled by the older band, their rhythmic guitars will make you dance and provide a smooth head bang. Maybe we got it all wrong, you may truly need a hefty distorted head bang. Gather around for the gnarly Death Grips’ show, you’ll hear it from the Super Bock stage anyhow.
A warm up for all of this is available, however. Parque da Cidade is just a 15 minute walk from a physical rollercoaster that can turn you upside down. The local festivities Senhor de Matosinhos will cater to all your needs for real life adrenaline with a small amusement park near the city hall.
Unmissable nightimes: Primavera na Cidade & The last night
The lights, the shivers and cold, the decibels. Some things are just unavoidable at night. That’s why, personally, I choose what gets me moving.And this year the night time starts out perfectly with Primavera na Cidade. Open to pass holders only (budget or safety concerns could be involved, but who knows), it takes the spirit of the festival to regular Porto night spots like Café Au Lait, Maus Hábitos and Plano B. The big names are brought to another space however, as Hard Club will be the stage for up and coming electro girls Shura and Jessy Lanza. A perfect start.
And because what begins well, ends even better, you should try to become one of the resistant attendees that can last until the end of the festival. Long after the crowds empty the NOS stage, and just as the sun is rising, magic happens. It could be from Bicep’s highly contagious set, or Marc Piñol’s hypnotizing beats, your evening could either end on the beach or eating a croissant at Maurícia’s.