Live music review: Mad Cool Festival, Madrid

Live music review: Mad Cool Festival, Madrid
Matt Berninger of The National at the Mad Cool Festival in Madrid.

Mad Cool Festival returned to Madrid for its third instalment at the weekend. A stellar line-up featuring The Cure, The National and Robyn attracted over 180,000 fans to the Spanish capital.

While there is no camping at Mad Cool, the festival offers hotel or hostel packages, meaning a 30 minute commute to the site via the metro. A weekend ticket cost €175, while day-tickets were €75 each. A hostel and weekend package cost about €340.

The Chemical Brothers closed out the first night with a glorious career-spanning performance on the Madrid Te Abraza Stage. Accompanying the likes of ‘Galvanise’, ‘Go’ and ‘Block Rockin’ Beats’ were mind-bending backdrops and lasers.

The Cure may have been top of the bill for the finalé but Scottish band the Twilight Sad could have taken the title for performance of the day.

Ever since the passing of their close friend Scott Hutchinson, they have been covering Frightened Rabbit’s ‘Keep Yourself Warm’. Lead singer James Graham broke down at the climax, making the song all the more poignant.

Others to impress included upcoming Waterford visitors The National, currently have been receiving high praise for their latest record, I Am Easy To Find. Among those joining them on stage were Irish singer Lisa Hannigan. The new songs created a serene atmosphere, while favourites; ‘Bloodbuzz Ohio’, and ‘Terrible Love’ served as a reminder as to why they are considered to be one of the best alternative rock bands in the world.

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