Plugging into the Music that Matters

JACKS Abroad: Mad Cool Festival, Madrid – Day One 11/07/2019

JACKS have jetted off to Spain and we’re hitting up the capital city of Spain for Mad Cool Festival. We’ll be breaking down day by day what has been going on at the Madrid festival.

Mad Cool Festival
JACKS have gone to Spain to catch Madrid’s Mad Cool Festival.

Mad Cool returned for its third year running and day one was stacked with world-class talent, featuring Vampire Weekend, Iggy Pop, The Chemical Brothers and more.

Raising the curtain for the festival was the proclaimed “Scottish Beyoncé” Lewis Capaldi. Recently branded as Chewbacca by Noel Gallagher as their “feud” rumbles on, Capaldi warned it’d be songs of sadness and anyone looking for some rock ‘n’ roll could find it elsewhere.

Lewis Capaldi opening the festival on the Communidad de Madrid Stage.
Lewis Capaldi opening the festival on the Communidad de Madrid Stage.

While his songs may be packed with an emotional sucker-punch, the ‘Someone You Loved’ singer astounded the sun-soaked audience at the Communidad de Madrid Stage.

On The Mondo Sonoro Stage, Sheffield heavy-indie outfit Sheafs literally rose above the crowd with their short set.

The band earned their slot at Mad Cool thanks to the 2000+ that voted for them in a competition and they returned the favour with explosive energy.

Sheafs frontman, Lawrence Feenstra at Mad Cool Festival.
Sheafs frontman, Lawrence Feenstra during a lively set at Mad Cool.

Frontman Lawrence Feenstra, surged into the crowd during their ironically titled rebellion song against Brexit ‘This Is Not A Protest’, and urged his audience to close in around him till he had no space before being elevated on to their shoulders and stood tall above them all.

It was an exciting set and showed why they’re a band on a rise as they continue to appeal to the people who want change.

A highly anticipated appearance from Australian Tash Sultana pulled in a large crowd to the Mad Cool Stage.

The one-woman show was intriguing for the first 15 or so minutes but after that it all blended in and seemed much of the same.

Not to take anything away from Sultana’s talent to do what she does but little crowd interaction and a somber atmosphere resulted in a dull set unfortunately.

One of the worst things that can happen at a festival, which we’ve all fallen victim to at some point is time clashes. It’s inescapable when a line-up is stacked with so much talent. For example, the legend that is Iggy Pop took to the Communidad de Madrid Stage just half an hour before headliner Bon Iver. As a result the two overlapped. Heartbreaking.

The Mad Cool Stage during Tash Sultana’s Thursday performance.
The Mad Cool Stage during Tash Sultana’s Thursday performance.

The first half an hour of Iggy Pop’s set was electrifying, hit after hit from the 72-year-old. He may be in his 70’s but the ‘Lust For Life’ singer was bursting with energy.

Justin Vernon of Bon Iver, live.
Cigarette in hand, frontman Vernon enchanted the audience in the Spanish capital.

On the day that they announced details of their next album i,i, Bon Iver were pencilled in to headline the first day of Mad Cool 2019 and did so in mesmerising fashion.

With beautiful melodies, sincere lyrics and breathtaking visuals, it all made for a spine-tingling performance.

The crowd were cast under Justin Vernon’s spell as he sang each word with a delicate conviction that endeared the audience.

Wholesome moments like when the hook of ‘Holecene’ came in or the teasing of new songs from the forthcoming album i, i, Bon Iver had the Madrid crowd spellbound.

Bon Iver @ Mad Cool Festival.
Bon Iver’s stunning music was complimented by breathtaking backdrops.

After a captivating experience from Bon Iver, back on the Mondo Sonoro Stage were the eclectic trio Haiku Hands to liven things up.

Haiku Hands @ Mad Cool Festival.
Haiku Hands proved to be one of the big highlights from day one.

Vibrant, fun and a breath of fresh air. The Australian trio danced and jumped all around the stage as they unloaded their reality-checking lyrics upon the tent.

The excitement bubbled over the barrier towards the end when two of the singers took to the crowd to sing, dance and hug amongst them.

One of the highlights from day one, they’re heading to Dublin’s Grand Social on August 7th and won’t disappoint.

Haiku Hands on the Mondo Sonoro Stage.
The eclectic Haiku Hands blew the Mondo Sonoro Stage away.

Vampire Weekend are a perfect band for summer festivals. Their new album, Father of the Bride sits nicely along its predecessors and when they take to the stage the new songs fit well with the old.

A band you can either get in to the heart of the crowd and dance along to or head to the back and chill on the grass as they enlighten your evening. Either way, job accomplished for Vampire Weekend during a career-spanning set.

Robots overlook the crowd during The Chemical Brothers set.
Stunning visuals including robots overlooking the crowd during a blood-rushing performance from The Chemical Brothers.

 The Chemical Brothers reaped in the praises for their recent Glastonbury performance and after their stop in Madrid they’ll be doing so again.

It was all thriller and no filler as they rolled out hit after hit, backed by absolutely mesmerising visuals and lasers. Then throw in some confetti and balloons and the duo had completed a near-perfect show.

The Chemical Brothers on the Madrid Te Abraza Stage.
The Chemical Brothers on the Madrid Te Abraza Stage.

From start to end, the crowd were swept away by the whole Chemical Brothers experience. Day one of Mad Cool was brought to an electrifying close and sent everyone back to the city on an enormous high.

The set showed just why The Chemical Brothers are still one of the best electronic acts in the world.


Find out what happened on days two and three by clicking on the links below:

Click here for day two.

Click here for day three.

Check out the full gallery below to see more of what went on during the opening day of Mad Cool Festival.

  • Mad Cool Festival
    JACKS have gone to Spain to catch Madrid’s Mad Cool Festival.

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