This month's concert highlights in Barcelona
British band Don Broco are back in Barcelona to present their new effort, 'Technology', an album that shows off the band's alternative rock spirit and carefree style, but with a bit more noise.
The Near Death Ensemble are a molotov cocktail of jazz noir/post rock/beats and groove, featuring Marc Curcio, Giuliano Gius Cobelli, Santiago Arteaga, Josephine Grundy and Giorgio Fausto. And Kike Bela (Blood Quartet/Murnau B) makes his solo debut with experimental pieces created with bass and effects.
The most popular and well-known work by Carl Orff is undoubtedly this cantata profana, which made its debut in Germany in 1937. This month it's back at the Palau de la Música Catalana as part of the Orquesta Sinfónica Camera Musicae music season. Solists this time arond are soprano Sara Blanch, counter tenor Flavio Ferri-Benedetti and baritone Toni Marsol.
Every month at La  de l'Apolo, The Excitements choose one of their favourite bands to perform, making their choice from among groups they've crossed paths with over their many years of touring. In this case, the special guests are The Allnighters, blues and soul legends from Vitoria. You get to see The Excitements too, as they open the night, along with J. Major, this time paying homage to one of their favourite albums, Sam Cooke's 'Live at Harlem Square Club'.
MAVICA, aka composer and guitarist Marta Casanova, heads to L'Auditori to present her first-ever EP, 'Gone' (2018), influenced by the likes of Sufjan Stevens, Bon Iver, Daughter, Ben Howard and Amy Winehouse.
Eduardo Paniagua is the musician to look to for Arab-Andalusian music in Catalonia. His many releases featuring incredible collaborations mean that today we have a legacy of pieces that have marked eras: troubadour music from the three spiritual traditions of Al-Andalus, Sephardic pieces, ancient songs from Alfonso X El Sabio... Expect a show that's minimalist and mystic in equal parts.
Drew McDowall, whose stint as a member of Coil started in the 1990s, played a key role in the development of the band's new trance sound, which left behind the avant-pop sound to get something more complex and abstract. He previously collaborated with Psychic TV and was part of the English post-industrial movement along with punk band The Poems. British visual artist Florence To works with generative motion graphics and lighting productions, with a focus on spatial architectural design in specific on-site projects.
Born in Rhode Island in 1954, saxophonist Scott Hamilton is a free spirit in the international jazz world. His sound follows in the mainstream tradition of the genre established by the likes of Benny Golson and Roy Eldridge, and he's famously collaborated with baritone sax player Gerry Mulligan. Hamilton is a living legend of jazz, and his visit to Jamboree with Toni Solà, one of the best tenor saxophonists on the local jazz scene, is the perfect chance for you to enjoy some of the best and purest jazz in quintet formation.
Time to take in another of these popular live performances of music from movies, this time at the Palau de la Música Catalana, and it's a classic. The Royal Film Concert Orchestra, directed by Fernando Furones, performs a selection of soundtracks by Hans Zimmer – 'Pirates of the Caribbean', 'The Da Vinci Code', 'Gladiator', 'The Lion King' and 'Interstellar', among others – and also by John Williams – 'E.T.', 'Star Wars', Jurassic Park', 'Schindler's List' and 'Superman', to name a few.
Shabazz Palaces are the first hip-hop act to have music released by the label Sub Pop. Seattle-born singer and songwriter Ishmael Butler, who used to be part of Digable Planets, pioneers as much for their mix of artistic styles as for their social commitment and sense of community.
Singer and composer Pavvla, premieres her much-awaited second album, 'Secretly Hoping You Catch Me Looking' (2018) live in Barcelona. This work comes after the success of her 2016 debut, 'Creatures', and shows off her contemporary and elegant electronic pop sound.
Charismatic Argentine rock musician Fito Páez comes to Barcelona on his latest tour, Solo Piano, as part of the Guitar BCN festival. Páez, the genius behind hits like 'El amor después del amor' and 'Circo Beat', presents this show where he plays these and more with just a piano. Páez has touched the hearts of millions of fans from all over the world, and only someone who treasures a songbook as valuable as his can make it even more moving when he shows the music's vulnerability and essence through the keys of a piano.
Plus... Upcoming concerts in Barcelona
British duo Massive Attack stop in Barcelona on their world tour to commemorate the 20th anniversary of their third album, the influential 'Mezzanine' (1998), which includes the biggest hit of their career, 'Teardrop', featuring Elizabeth Fraser from Cocteau Twins. According to announcements, Robert Del Naja and Daddy G reimagine the album using old material that's been reconstructed from samples and original influences.
With their origins in New Orleans, Tank & The Bangas have a sound similar to the popular music of their home town, but they've also managed to find a sound all their own. The band mixes the most traditional gospel with urban rhythms and beats that move between R&B, soul, rock and more contemporary hip hop.
Florence + The Machine and their epic sound are back in Barcelona to present their fourth album, 'High as Hope' (2018), the majority of which was written composed and recorded by Florence Welch herself, and finished up in Los Angeles along with producer Emilie Haynie. This album also features collaborations with Jamie xx, Kamasi Washington, Sampha, Tobias Tess Jr. and Kelsey Lu. This time around you'll see a more transparent Florence, singing unreservedly about her fears.
Canadian musician and singer Shawn Mendes raises the blood sugar levels of everyone in attendance at the Palau Sant Jordi on March 26, where he stops on his The Tour tour. The teen pop idol presents his third and self-titled album, 'Shawn Mendes' (2018).
The exceptional trumpeter out of New Orleans Trombone Shorty, aka Troy Andreews, brings his powerful funk machine to Razzmatazz to present his latest album, 'Parking Lot Symphony' (2017).
A little over a year after they sold out at Palau Sant Jordi, the legendary California hard rock band Metallica, led by founding members James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich, along with Hammett and Roberto Trujillo, are back in Barcelona as part of their Worldwired Tour 2019 – this time at the Olympic Stadium on Montjuïc. If you're lucky enough to get tickets, you'll also get a free MP3 download of the concert, mixed and mastered by the team behind the band's latest effort, 'Hardwired... to Self-Destruct' (2016).
America's biggest boy band, Backstreet Boys, whose big hits include 'Everybody (Backstreet's Back)', 'I Want It That Way' and 'As Long as You Love Me', are back in Barcelona with their original line-up of Nick Carter, Howie Dorough, Brian Littrell, AJ Mclean and Kevin Richardson to present their first album in six years, 'DNA' (2019). This concert is part of their DNA World Tour, which you can see in Palau Sant Jordi, one of the biggest venues the Boys have played in the last 18 years. They're far from their days as boys, with their ages now ranging from 38 to 47, but if you were a teenage fan of boy bands in the '90s, you're no spring chicken either and you won't want to miss these men doing their thing live.
The wildly popular Primavera Sound festival has announced the artists who will take to the stages in its 2019 edition, which will be held at the Parc del Fòrum in Barcelona from Friday, May 30 to Saturday, June 1. This year, half of the artists on the line-up are women, bringing more equality and just as much brilliance to the festival. Rosalía, Solange, Cardi B, Janelle Monáe, Erikah Badu and Robyn are tops among the list of women performing. Key players who hit it big in the '90s feature as usual, including Jarvis Cocker, Suede, Stereolab, Nas, Neneh Cherry, Róisín Murphy, Primal Scream, Guided by Voices, Built to Spill, Stephen Malkmus and Liz Phair, and also make room for new sensations of urban music and contemporary pop. The eclectic line-up spans EBM to alternative rock, plus avant-garde pop, club pop, urban soul, a load of reggaeton artists and big names in the world of electronic music.
The popular German industrial hard rock band that is Rammstein comes to Cornellà in their only stop in all of Spain this year. The concert is part of their first stadium tour, after having played festivals and smaller venues in recent years, and following their last European tour in 2013. Fans have waited nearly ten years since the release of 'Liebe Ist Für Alle Da' in 2009 for a new Rammstein album, which is as of yet untitled and due this spring.
English musician Ed Sheeran is a worldwide pop icon. His latest LP, '÷' (2017), has sold more than 12 million copies around the globe, conquering the American market as well, which isn't always easy for British artists. After filling the Palau Sant Jordi in 2017, the famous redhead heads to the Olympic Stadium when he stops in Barcelona during his current tour.
Alejandro Sanz, who over the years has become one of the most respected singers and songwriters on the Spanish pop scene, is back in town with #LaGira, the name he's given to his latest tour made specially for stadium concerts. He presents his forthcoming 12th album, which features the single 'No tengo nada', showing off his characteristic flamenco-tinged pop that's been so successful for the Madrid-born artist.
The favourite summer festival of Barcelona locals, Cruïlla, proudly waves the flag of eclecticism, and this year puts on its tenth edition from July 4 to 6 at the Parc del Fòrum with a line-up filled with performances of all types of trends and musical styles. A good example is found in big names like Australian pop diva Kylie Minogue, who's one of the headliners on Saturday. Saturday is also when two big local bands play: Love of Lesbian and Dorian. Rock is the star of the day on Friday the 5th, with bands like the UK's Bastille, and the return of Scottish outfit Garbage. Keep an eye out for Oxford Foals, Vetusta Morla, and Xoel López. Other confirmed names include Gang of Youths from Australia, France's Zaz, and DJ Amable, as well as a day dedicated to urban sounds and young audiences.
British group The Charlatans are the headliners for the 2019 edition of the Vida music festival, which takes place in natural surrounds in nearby Vilanova i la Geltrú. You'll also get to see veteran band Madness, who have been mixing pop, punk and ska in their eternal hits for some 40 years. Also among the first confirmed are house-pop from Londoners Hot Chip; magic folk with hints of Balkan sounds from Beirut; a new, sharper and more powerful sound from American artist Sharon Van Etten, presenting her new album; punk-pop from American band Superchunk; Él Mató a un Policía Motorizado, bringing alternative rock from Argentina; folk songs from Australians Stella Donnelly and Didirri; pop singer-songwriter Joan Colomo from right here in Catalonia; and elegant electronica from Catalan artist Carla.
The Sónar festival of arts, design, and electronic and advanced music, which won the Time Out Barcelona Award for 2018, fills up the summer in the city once again with top-notch artists such as American rapper A$AP Rocky and London grime producer and MC Skepta, as well as emerging stars like Ross From Friends, Octavian, Murlo, Bad Gyal and DJ Andy C. Other big draws to this 26th edition are British band Disclosure and Germany's Paul Kalkbrenner. As usual, the audiovisual shows are also a big attraction, like the ones from Actress, Deena Abdelwahed, and Lotic. As for the DJ sessions, watch out for Dixon, Floating Points, Maya Jane Coles, Amelie Lens, Artwork, and Blawan & Dax J. You'll also be able to check out live shows from Nicola Cruz, K Á R Y Y N, Mans O, pianist Bruce Brubaker, FKJ, Slikback, Hibotep, Catnapp, Cecilio G, Brat Star and De Valentina. Sónar 2019 is on from Thursday, July 18 to Saturday, July 20, this year a month later than usual.