Yes, Patti Smith... The name that brought a huge smile on my face when the line-up of this year's Primavera Sound was released. Last time I saw her was like, ten years ago. Her hair was not that white back then. But hell, she's still got it! It was both such a joyful and emotional gig that it's kind of hard to describe. On one hand, she made us sing and dance on mythical songs like "Gloria", "Redondo Beach" and "Land". She uplifted us with her eloquent speeches against big corporations and capitalism, her calls for peace and individual freedom. Yes, she belongs to another generation for whom these speeches actually made sense. We can pretend that we're too cynical for these speeches and that we can't really believe in them anymore. But the truth is that it feels good to be reminded of them. It feels good to see an artist this age still believe in them and still have a political conscience -particularly when the music industry is now such a real, well... industry.
And on the other hand, Patti Smith also brought us down to our knees and brought tears in our eyes. The emotion of seeing her? Yes, most likely. It is impressive to see on stage an almost 70 year old musician with such an amazing career and it sure doesn't happen every time you go to a festival. It was also probably the emotion of seeing not only a legendary artist but also a woman who paid tribute to various of her departed musician friends and shared her own tears with us, while dedicating "Elegie" to the memories of all the loved ones that all the people in the audience have lost along the years. Yes, I felt identified. And judging by the number of red eyes I saw around me at the end of the gig, I wasn't the only one. And just like that, Patti Smith reminded us that we're all only humans after all but that it's not such a big drama really. Looks like there's still hope...
"People! You are the future. You are the future... And the future is... NOW!"
"People! Be free, be healthy, be strong, be... I don't know, what the fuck!"