I flew from Barcelona to Granada tonight, in time to catch a remarkable sunset from the cliffs over the city. After driving the ancient narrow streets for over an hour looking for my hotel, I land at this hole-in-the-wall bar where a guitarist and singer play flamenco while the entire bar claps and stomps their feet. This is otherworldly music, sung in an ecstatic trance that rises to a fever pitch. Too bad only a handful of the traveling-student types here are paying attention: they don't know what they're missing.
LA's Health didn't even take the Vice stage until nearly 330am, but that didn't stop them from unleashing their now-familiar maelstrom of guitars and electronics on the largely-local audience, many of whom were outfitted in the bands turquoise T-shirts. The respect was reciprocal: after some early sound troubles, lead singer Jake Duzsik spoke perfect Spanish to the crowd, thanking them sincerely for having them. Moments like these make the world seem a pretty small place.
After Lee "Scratch" Perry finished his jammin' set at 230am, festival organizers made the wise (if predictable) decision to open up the gates from the Pitchfork Stage to all attendees - including your's truly. I made a beeline straight for the Vice Stage, where Health is about to kick things into outer space. Can't wait.
So, here's an inspired idea: offer up a late-night only ticket, admissible only after midnight, and only for the stage (Pitchfork) closest to the gate. Still, 20€ gets you The Yum Yum Girls, Lee "Scratch" Perry, The Field and Fake Blood. And, hey, how hard are they really going to check if I try to make a break for the other stages, right?