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Live: The Sónar Festival in Barcelona, Day Two

June 25, 2009

Foraying deep into the night, field reporter Zainab Jama checks in with a report on the second day of Spanish festival Sónar. Check her rundown after the jump.

After the craziness that was Brainfeeder party, I woke up against my will and headed out to the amazing food market I heard so much about right by my hotel and just off La Ramblas. Fried octopus, calamari and some weird but incredible seafood sauce in a baguette was my breakfast in the heat alongside the shameful cup o’ tea I grabbed from Starbucks (it had to be done).

I started the second day at the SonarHall where I stumbled upon a Spanish DJ/producer Carrier To The Ratio who played some deep minimal techno that pleased my ears after last night’s bass-a-thon. DC’s soul singer Muhsinah rocked the SonarDome with some sick brand new material with her triangle and Tenori-on in hand and then I went to see La Roux who was actually kind of disappointing and threaten to leave the stage if people didn’t start making more noise. (I hate to say it but maybe they would have if you dropped the Skream remix of "In For The Kill"). Luckily I ran to check out Hank Shocklee of the mighty Bomb Squad’s set back at Red Bull Music Academy’s SonarDome stage. After starting his set with some classic reggae tunes he dropped Skream’s "Midnight Request Line" and the crowd lost their minds, lost their minds completely! He continued to play dubplate after dubplate to a crowd (including me) that wanted more and more and I have to add that it was one of the best dubstep sets I’ve ever experienced. After all the dubstepping in the sunshine, I went to take a nap to prepare myself for Sonar by Night and I’m so glad I did.

After jumping out the cab somewhere just outside the city, I was already overwhelmed by the other 299 people walking up to the Sonar By Night venue next to me. To get an idea of what how big it is, think of an air hangar split into three sections, SonarClub that has a capacity of over 50,000 people, SonarPub that has about 5000 and Sonar Lab that has about 10,000 (complete with room for bumper cars, food stands, bars, market stalls and military operation in full effect yet again as they also had proper toilets complete with attendants, nice!).

Before checking the main stage I went over to the other side of the venue (a walk that took about five minutes) to check out Little Boots in the SonarPub who played a short but sweet set finishing with “New In Town." And as soon as she did I ran back to the main stage aka the SonarClub to hear the intro of Ms. Grace Jones’ “My Jamaican Guy” and lost my mind. (But lost it even more as half the crowd were going wild and half looked like they had never heard of her.) After each song with she changed her outfit and closed with a ten-minute rendition of “Pull Up To The Bumper” inviting everyone to join her on stage in a craze of purple glitter and smoke.

Other highlights of Sonar By Night were from Dutch producer Martyn on Mary Anne Hobb’s stage who's set was even better when I took a ride on the bumper cars, Buraka Som Sistema killed the stage and got the audience into a mad frenzy but it was the set by Richie Hawtin that proved to me why Sonar has got its name and is continually praised by all that attend, as he managed to get 50,000 people into a euphoric state while dancing with their hands in the air at 5:30AM until the stage closed.

Posted: June 25, 2009
Live: The Sónar Festival in Barcelona, Day Two