Culture 28/03/2021

Love of Lesbian come closer at Palau Sant Jordi

5.000 people participate in the first massive concert in Europe without prophylactic distance

4 min
Audience without prophylactic distance at the concert of Love of Lesbian at the Palau Sant Jordi.

BarcelonaThe first shout was subdued: "Negative! We've got it". You don't have to ask for much of an epic at half past eight on a Saturday morning in front of Barcelona's Sala Razzmatazz. Everyone was looking at their mobile phones waiting for the negative result of the antigen test that would allow access to the Love of Lesbian concert at the Palau Sant Jordi, a venue with no musical activity since Izal's performance on 29 February 2020. The second cry, this time collective and cathartic, came at half past seven in the evening, when the band from Sant Vicenç dels Horts came on stage. "Welcome to one of the most exciting concerts of our life", said singer Santi Balmes. "I'm very excited. It's been a year and a half since we've been on stage as a band. Today the whole world is watching us, really". And aware of the great responsibility, he added: "Have the best time possible, but don't take off your masks, s'il-vous-plaît”.

El Palau Sant Jordi during the Love of Lesbian concert

The cry came from the 5,000 people masked with the FFP2 face mask provided by the organization. 5.000 people standing, without having to keep the prophylactic distance, contrary to what happened in December at the WiZink Center in Madrid during Raphael's concerts, where the audience was seated. 5.000 people distributed in three bubbles separated by fences in the Sant Jordi arena, each with a capacity for 1,800 and, on the upper floor, with its own bar area and toilets; in other words, not a glass or a snack in the arena.

Allí donde solíamos gritar (the place where we used to shout)

A lot of people wrapped up warm because the ventilation system of the venue was no joke. A lot of people watched by concert promoters, festival organizers and journalists from all over Europe. A lot of people where we used to scream, a place that yesterday was transformed into an oasis where you could recover some pre-pandemic sensations, but rigorously monitored, or at least supervised by the observational study of the Fundació Lluita contra la Sida i les Malalties Infeccioses directed by doctors Boris Rebollo and Josep M. Llibre. A lot of people together in a time of restrictions and curfews who voluntarily decided to pay between 23 and 27 euros to see Love of Lesbian live and at the same time participate in an experiment as controlled as anything can be in a pandemic world which is still little vaccinated: temperature control, hydroalcoholic gel, mask and common sense to manage desires. The deputy director of Civil Defense, Sergi Delgado, admitted this Saturday the "great contradictions" that making the concert meant, when rules do not allow meetings at home between family or friends for Easter. It is also true that the concert had the approval of the Ministries of Health, Home Affairs, and Culture.

Santi Balmes during the Love of Lesbian concert at the Palau Sant Jordi.

The welcome shout to Love of Lesbian was answered with Nadie en las calles, a song from the album La noche eterna. Los días no vividos (2012). If the band wanted to make an allegory of lockdown, they couldn't have chosen a more eloquent title. In the encore they played Allí donde solíamos gritar, another song resignified by the pandemic. And before that, melancholy had run through the epic Si salimos de esta, which Balmes dedicated to all the "health, cleaning and supermarket staff, the essential staff". "May we never again be asked to make cuts to health and research", he warned. And the strength of the applause was a strong message to present and future governments.

As the concert progressed, the strange excitement of the beginning faded, as if band and audience had agreed to forget the exceptionality of the evening. Suddenly it was a concert like the old ones... but with a mask and fogged-up glasses. Love of Lesbian will release the album Viaje épico hacia la nada on 16 April, and it will be from then on that they will try to put together the presentation tour. For this very reason, and because they haven't had enough time to rehearse the new songs, they decided that the repertoire at the Sant Jordi would be a greatest hits set, in which they would also take the opportunity to "say goodbye to some songs" that they will no longer play when the time comes to release the new ones. "It will be like going back to the last concert we did and it will be a bridge to the future", explained Balmes on Friday. Even so, there were surprises such as the participation of rapper Ana Tijoux in Universos infinitos and Suu in Incendios de nieve. At all times, however, the classic communion between the group and an audience that considers songs like Segundo asalto their own, that sings the "lololo" of Incendios de nieve with the conviction of the first time, that dances to Belice because it's what the body wants and that identifies Club de fans de John Boy with some important moment in their memory. "Many more nights like this will be repeated in the future, if we do things right", said Santi Balmes. The noise at the end of the concert suggests that there are at least 5,000 people who share the same wish. And that there is a whole economic sector that is keeping its fingers crossed that everything turns out well.

Antigen testing in the Sala Razzmatazz, the morning before the Love of Lesbian concert in the Palau Sant Jordi
A health worker sending the result of an antigent test by phone.
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