Here's a guide to the most important artists playing in Benicàssim from Thursday to Sunday. Hip-hop, house for the masses, post-hardcore, synth-pop and so much more. Next chapter, tomorrow.
Quite an interesting set of headliners this year at FIB. Every band will be at the Maravillas stage for the first time, except The Stone Roses, who played one of their last concerts there before splitting up in 1996, and Dizzee Rascal, who tore the roof off Benicàssim two years ago. The rest of the big guns are artists who were bound to play at the event sooner or later (New Order, Bob Dylan), who are sweeping across the UK at the moment (Florence + The Machine, The Vaccines), and even a big surprise (At The Drive-In). Something for everyone.
1. Bat For Lashes
Thursday, 12th July, Trident Senses Stage, 23.30
The London girl wonder is growing up. This autumn, Natasha Khan will be releasing her third album, “The Haunted Man”. Though it seems like yesterday when she left us with our jaws hanging open at the Daydream Festival in 2008. Her two full-lengths, “Fur And Gold” and “Two Suns”, established her as one of the best of her generation, with a pop sensibility compared by many to Björk, Siouxsie Sioux, Kate Bush, and Cat Power. Now is the time to show that she can shine on her own, and no better way to do so than presenting her new songs, which very few have heard.
2. At The Drive-In
Thursday, 12th July, Maravillas Stage, 23.15
Texan band At The Drive-In is one of the many bands reunited this year, and, although that detail might make Omar Rodríguez-López and company's gig at FIB somewhat less important, there are other factors to take into account that make it a must-see. First, the imaginative, psychedelic and steamrolling post-hardcore they make. Second, the overwhelming stage presence of both Rodríguez-López and his inseparable partner Cedrid Bixler-Zavala. Those who've ever witnessed a The Mars Volta live show know what we're talking about.
3. Florence + The Machine
Thursday, 12th July, Maravillas Stage, 01.00
She's gone from promising debutant to one of the most international divas in record time. The only Spanish date of the “Ceremonials” tour is promising to be epic. Those who've seen our girl live speak wonders of her impressive voice and pixie-like clothes, so this should be a golden opportunity to see her up close before she gets even bigger. Don't miss out.
4. De La Soul
Thursday, 12th July, Trident Senses Stage, 01.15
Sometimes it's easier to see a total solar eclipse than one of the true survivors of the Golden Age of hip-hop like De La Soul. We're convinced that the most recent material by two of their members as De La Soul's Plug 1 & Plug 2 on “First Serve” will be played in Benicàssim, but what will really get the audience “3 feet high and rising” will be the string of classics they have under their belts.
5. Dizzee Rascal
Saturday, 14th July, Trident Senses Stage, 01.45
Though Dizzee Rascal has been acknowledged as one of the MCs who's done the most to give the grime scene prestige, we already know that his festival performances are more like Ibiza electro-house events than London underground parties. Nevertheless, Dizzee is very busy at the moment promoting his DirteeTV, and his most recent material (the mixtape on which he introduces his label) is a return to his origins. So we expect 50% ad lib messing about, and 50% British ghetto.
6. Bob Dylan
Friday, 13th July, Maravillas Stage, 21.45
They've been trying for years, and now they have finally succeeded: Bob Dylan will play at FIB on 13th July. There was a reason for insisting, because old Zimmerman, a clear influence on so many bands on the bill, has fifty years of career under his belt, studded with over 30 studio albums. At the moment he's working on his new full-length, expected for the end of this year. Whether he looks at the audience or not, whether he plays “The Times They Are A-Changin’” or not, seeing the Duluth singer-songwriter is obligatory.
7. The Stone Roses
Saturday, 14th July, Maravillas Stage, 01.00
The most veteran of FIB-goers will remember the disaster that was The Stone Roses' gig at the event in 1996. After that summer tour, the band disbanded, remaining quiet until they reunited this year for a tour that's taking them to the main European events. Of course, Benicàssim had to be one of them. Whether they're only in it for the money or not, Ian Brown, John Squire, Mani and Reni are returning to the scene of the crime, their minds on redemption. Will they get it?
8. Crystal Castles
Saturday, 14th July, Maravillas Stage, 03.00
Though Crystal Castles haven't released anything since 2010, Alice Glass and Ethan Kath's concerts are always intense. Whether it's their noisy, euphoric compositions or Glass' always chaotic behaviour, their gigs are infamous for being something close to apocalyptic. On this occasion, we'll get the chance to hear the songs from their upcoming third album, due out after the summer.
9. New Order
Sunday, 15th July, Maravillas Stage, 00.30
Though Peter Hook is no longer onboard, New Order gigs are still the best medicine for those nostalgic of Madchester and the combination of pop and electronica. Moreover, their recent concerts in Barcelona showed that they still have a young audience, too. Because who could resist anthems like “Bizarre Love Triangle”, “The Perfect Kiss”, “586”, “Blue Monday”, and, yes, “Love Will Tear Us Apart”?
10. David Guetta
Sunday, 15th July, Maravillas Stage, 02.30
Controversy is served. Many are frowning at the Frenchman who internationalised mass dance music being on this bill. However, we vindicate him as the entertainment he really is. At that time of night, with a few beers too many in our bellies, we know we're not going to be responsible for our actions when we hear trashy stuff like “Who’s That Chick?”, “Sexy Bitch”, or any of his other chav productions.