day two

XII Festival Internacional de Benicassim review

published: Thu 27th Jul 2006

Thursday 20th to Sunday 23rd July 2006
near Valencia, Spain, Spain
£105 (plus fees) for a 4 day pass or £97 (plus fees) for a 3 day pass
last updated: Wed 19th Apr 2006

After a day spent chilling around our campsite (a silly idea - surely the hottest place in Benicassim we later discovered) we returned to the arena in time to catch Sunderland's post-punk 80s throwbacks, The Futureheads and their excellent set on the Escenario Verde stage. Hits like 'Skip To The End' and 'Hounds of Love' got a big reaction from the crowd, almost too big in places as the set had to be stopped half way through to avoid people at the front being crushed.

The same was true of The Pixies, up next on the same stage, who abandoned their performance for some 20 minutes to give the crowd time to calm down after guitarist Kim Deal realised many at the front of the crowd were in serious danger. The British "must-push-to-the-very-front" mentality did not sit well with either the more laid back Spanish crowd or the weather and I imagine many tired and sun-frazzled Brits learnt their lesson during this set. We couldn't find out exactly what happened here, but we did see some paramedics around the front of the stage shortly after the Pixies stopped. While it's a shame that this situation occurred in the first place, I can only congratulate the FIB team for their handling of the situation, as they explained in various languages over the tannoy that people must stop pushing to the front or the Pixies would not be able to continue. Finally The Pixies returned and finished a set that included hits like 'Gouge Away', 'Monkey Gone To Heaven', 'Here Comes Your Man' and 'Where Is My Mind'. I know for many this was their set of the festival and quite rightly so. I have never been a massive Pixies fan in the past, but I felt privileged to be part of this particular gig.

Echo and the Bunnymen followed on Escenario Verde with possibly the dullest set I have ever heard. Not even 'The Killing Moon' could redeem this set from it's own mediocrity and we left after 20 minutes for our first encounter with the dance palace that was Escenario Electronico, Benicassim's very own dance palace. The Escenario Electronico has to be the finest dance tent I have ever seen, even at dedicated dance festivals, in some ten years of festivalling. The UK scene could learn a lot from this one venue with the sprinklers that rained down cooling mists from the ceiling, killer light shows, massive screens showing top notch visuals, stages to dance on at the side and gigantic lasers. We caught part of James Holden's minimal tech and progressive house set and the stuttering beats and techno bleeps that sat alongside the ethereal trancey ambience made it difficult to tear ourselves away for The Strokes. We left the tent with quite some reluctance, but that was not to last long as The Strokes took to the stage.

Escenario Verde was rammed by the time we got over there, just in time for the New York City five piece, The Strokes, who kicked off their excellent set with Juicebox. Although space was at a premium during this set, we had a brilliant time as the band rocked their way through hits like Last Night, Someday and New York City Cops, which was accompanied by a fantastic NYPD inspired light show. It must be said that the lighting displays I saw at Benicassim were among some of the best I have encountered. Although some of FIB's logistical organisation may leave a little to be desired, from a sound and lighting point of view the festival had it going on. The crowd went absolutely wild for The Strokes set, which featured tracks from all three of their albums and as they left the arena for the night the crowd was buzzing with fans excited by what they had witnessed.
review by: Lynsey Haire

Thursday 20th to Sunday 23rd July 2006
near Valencia, Spain, Spain
£105 (plus fees) for a 4 day pass or £97 (plus fees) for a 3 day pass
last updated: Wed 19th Apr 2006


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