We’re again from Mad Cool Festival 2022, and feeling just about human once more. However what a sun-scorched marathon of music and magic that was: 5 days – that’s FIVE DAYS – of rising expertise, legendary headliners and every part in-between on one of many summer time’s greatest line-ups.
You’ll be able to make amends for the entire motion from the opening Wednesday here, the best Thursday we’ve had in a while here, the epic Friday here, the mega Saturday here and the lingering party of Sunday here. However belief us once we say that Mad Cool actually had one thing within the air this yr, actually making it a competition to recollect.
Actually, we actually want we had been again in Madrid proper now. Why? Properly, try the 5 ways in which Mad Cool 2022 fulfilled its promise to “make music shine once more”.
Delight and activism rang out
It simply so occurred that Mad Cool 2022 was happening concurrently Madrid Delight, and its spirit of togetherness bled all around the dry and dusty planes of the competition. St. Vincent fairly actually flew the LGBTQ+ flag throughout her set, earlier than giving her tune ‘Cheerleader’ a really particular dedication within the wake of the current overturning of Roe vs. Wade within the US. “This subsequent one goes out to the USA Supreme Court docket, who need to take us again to the fucking darkish ages,” Annie Clark informed the group. “Ladies, we do know what we deserve, and it’s fundamental fucking human rights.”
Megane Mercury vowed to find more space for Black and queer people in Spain, whereas Princess Nokia raised visibility during her final-day set by telling us about her “lesbian summer” to find love with an old style flame – in addition to delivering her personal verdict on injustice for girl within the US: “Abortion and well being rights for everybody. Jesus Christ, the Supreme Court docket actually has to do higher: it’s not my fault that I can provide start, and if I don’t need to, it’s my fucking alternative.”
An analogous sentiment was echoed by Phoebe Bridgers throughout her mesmerising sundown efficiency. Throughout ‘Punisher’ she provided her mic to a younger girl on the barrier, who tearfully screamed again: “Ladies’s rights!” That second united the entire stage in applause, earlier than Bridgers then reeled off a variety of charities and methods to assist these struggling within the States. In instances like this, we want stars like these and, in the end, unity.
We basked in some actual rock hedonism
Throw up these horns, kick up the fireplace and let free. No-one is aware of fairly rock like a Mad Cool crowd, and the Madrid competition gave them loads of causes in 2022 to get their mosh on and worship on the altar of the guitar. An assured set of newbies and unsung classics from returning Brit-rock legends Placebo? You bought it. Metallica expanding their “family” and proving themselves as The Beatles of metal? Examine. Fever 333 bringing energy and politics to punk-rap? Proper right here. A high-flying, acrobatic lesson in why Twenty One Pilots are worthy headliners? Yup – and all of that was simply on day one.
That’s earlier than you bought to Deftones ending their tour in type, Foals bringing rock followers to the rave, Incubus delivering some golden oldies, The Killers giving us a disco of Glamorous Indie Rock’n’Roll for the ages, Muse riffing us into a dystopian, operatic oblivion, Pixies enjoying nothing however hits, Royal Blood proving that much less is extra with a two-piece dose of Saturday night time fever and Jack White closing all of it off with a feel-good guitar hero masterclass.
We’re all moshed out, however we might do it over again.
It was additionally a celebration for pop and rap followers
But when guitars ain’t your factor, then Mad Cool has nonetheless obtained you lined. A few of our fondest reminiscences from Mad Cool 2022 got here from the worlds of pop, rap, R&B and dance, because the competition took us by the complete musical spectrum.
Florence + Machine grew her self-described “cult” by thousands during her freedom and love-loaded headline slot, whereas IAMDDB shed her inhibitions (and helped us do the identical), Zara Larsson laid all her love on us with a smashing ABBA cowl and no-one partied fairly like Mura Masa. Princess Nokia out-punked most punks along with her fiery rush of alt-pop, Tinashe drew a sizeable crowd away from Two Door Cinema Club to make the Amazon Music Stage really feel like a rowdy nightclub, and the reminiscence of Carly Rae Jepsen is one which shall stick with us for a very long time.
Native expertise shone
Why would you come all the best way to Spain and never try the perfect of what the nation has to supply musically, eh? Megane Mercury greater than proved why they deserved to win the competitors to open the Seven stage, whereas NME 100 alumnus Irenegarry continued to be a high quality ambassador for the nation’s rising musical expertise. Natos Y Woar, in the meantime, confirmed us what Spanish hip-hop is de facto fabricated from, and never even the sound man switching him off in order that the following set might start might cease Guitarricadelafuente from giving his followers some candy, acoustic-led prowess.
Nonetheless, the entire weekend could have belonged to the Argentinian-born, Spanish-raised Nathy Peluso. Like Rosalía, Rihanna, Christine & The Queens, Grace Jones and The Terminator wrapped up in a single bewilderingly superior package deal, her sexed-up, high-octane, hip-swinging theatrical mix of hip-hop, pop, soul, Latin and world music left us feeling offended at ourselves for not discovering her music sooner.
And we met the headliners of the long run
Any competition price its salt will pack the decrease echelons of its stacked line-up with a number of the most fun acts on present. Fittingly, lots of the early-evening artists at Mad Cool 2022 got here to put declare to the long run. “Are you all prepared for a fucking rock‘n’roll present?” screamed Yungblud on the opening day, earlier than proving himself a pop-punk powerhouse with the power to headline 9 instances over. Dominic Harrison then ran over to catch Sports Team‘s set, as they picked up the baton for scrappy indie and charged headlong into the long run.
CHVRCHES‘ late night time sci-fi goth-pop spectacular, in the meantime, felt prefer it belonged on a a lot greater stage (make it occur subsequent time, Mad Cool), whereas the aforementioned Phoebe Bridgers appeared unstoppable along with her pure bad-assery and ever-growing near-religious following. After which there was Sam Fender‘s knack for battling the warmth with banter and bangers on the principle stage, which is able to absolutely see him topping line-ups the world over when album Quantity Three rolls round. No matter tomorrow brings, you’ll discover it at Mad Cool.
Check back here at NME for the most recent information, interviews, images and extra from Mad Cool 2022.
NME is an official media companion of Mad Cool Competition 2022