Pitchfork Music Festival – Union Park – Chicago, IL – 7-16-17 – Day Three

Day 3 haiku recap. You’ve been a gracious audience. 

2:51 CST

Derrick Carter
DJ Dance-y Jeff

Would be more fitting nickname

Crowd is loving it

3:41 CST

Isaiah Rashad

Very chilled out set

People basking in the sun

Makes you sit and think

4:14 CST

Joey Perp

This crowd is raucous 

Joey’s attacking the mic

Hands high in the air

4:47 CST

Hamilton Leithauser

Sun is shinning now

Couple slow dances, kissing

Crooning the crowd away

6:50 CST

Jamila Woods

A voice smooth as silk

Soul music at it’s finest

Remember the name

9:12 CST

Solange 

Think you all Knowles her

Sweet, sweet sounds of soul music
Price of admission 

This ends the 3rd day haiku recap.

10:00 CST (no more haikus, sadly)

Pitchfork Music Festival 2017 was beyond a success with the only sore spot being The Avalanches unfortunate sad cancellation due to a severe illness in a group member’s family. 

Regardless, I provided the what, who, where, when, but maybe the why is a question mark. 

We sometimes congregate together as family members in music. We become a unit in musical stanzas that tend to trancend what we can describe at times.

The most important part to take away from this weekend is that we, as a people, can be generous, understanding, loving, caring, helpful, and forever grateful to the musical artist we love. 

Unity is not something we should take for granted. We need it now more than ever. 

Why This Song Matters…In 143ish Words or Less – “You Send Me” by Sam Cooke

The sound byte: The classic Sam Cooke soul song that launched him into super-stardom.

The prog-rock solo: One of the “notable” crossover hits during the 1950s. Unfortunately, segration was not only rampant in everyday life but even within the music charts. Fortunately, Sam Cooke continued to proved with this hit that music can transcend any hateful barriers. Music that touches the proverbial soul is universal.

Why This Song Matters…In 143ish Words or Less – Kurtis Blow – “The Breaks”

Kurtis Blow – The Breaks

Extremely short story: Standing in the proverbial shadows of The Sugar Hill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight,” (watch the granny karaoke scene from the Wedding Singer for reference), nearly a year later in September of 1980, Kurtis Blow’s classic track actually notched the first hip-hop record to reach 500,000 records sold.

Really short-long story: Kurtis Blow was, arguably, the first premier solo rap artist to make it big because of this song. Let’s put it this way…starting out, this guy was like the Beatles in terms of a solo hip-hop act. He created so many firsts in the genre of hip-hop (first to hit a gold record, first to go on a major tour [even going international], and first to sign to a major label), that he was undeniably one of the principal forces in leading hip-hop to the mainstream.

Devoid of any samples (instruments where actually played here), this old school joint can still get you Electric Boogaloo fans moving.

So why not take a break and take a listen?

Pitchfork Music Festival – Union Park – Chicago, IL – 7-19-2014 (Day Two)

Dia dos. As I began the cross the street onto Ogden Ave, the faint buzz of bass could be felt underneath my worn out pair of Adidas. Another gorgeous day in the city of Chicago welcomed another throng of music fans at Union Park. My legs were weaker compared to Day One, but I was ready to keep the good vibes going. The prospect of a nice cold beer in my hand also provided me brief motivation (and that’s mainly because of you Goose Island…you serve some damn fine beer).

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First up was Chicago’s own Twin Peaks who brought on their youthful energy into every song they played. But more importantly…they actually did rock. Between the crowd surfing and a smashed guitar being thrown into the crowd (no one got hurt, by the way), Twin Peaks couldn’t have started the day any better.

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Brooklyn rapper, Ka, brought his DIY mentality and poignant lyrics to a contemplative crowd. Briefly talking about how his love-hate relationship with summer, due to losing some people he knew back home, his message was certainly applicable to Chicago’s serious problem with violence. I suppose there’s always room for rumination, even at a music festival.

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First cello and clarinet sighting at Pitchfork?

Circulatory System brought their psychedelic rock to a receptive crowd. As wafts of smoke raised up in the air, the diverse range of instruments created sounds not usually reserved at music festivals. It sounded weird and heavy so pulling that sound off was impressive.

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UK band, Wild Beasts played to an adoring fan base as the band played a fair portion from their critically acclaimed new album Present Tense. Lead singer Hayden Thorpe quipped that they were not use to the sunshine or the beautiful people (since they’re from England). Way to make Chicago blush Wild Beast. Also, thumbs up on the use of a violin bow by guitarist Ben Little (I’m happy to see it continue).

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The synth-heavy beats coupled with Lorely Rodriguez’s dreamy-pop vocals encompasses her solo project Empress Of. Her crooning voice brought many smiles and plenty of interpretive dancing.

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Cloud Nothings played a high energy set as they blasted their brand of punk rock to a willing and able crowd. It was also appropriate to realize there were no clouds in the the sky as they began playing.

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Five or four keyboards in front of him?

Mas Ysa looked to be exhausted as he put all his energy into his EDM-driven set.

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Pusha T had a fashionably late start, which the crowd eventually forgave as they began to rap along to his uptempo set. The biggest pop from the crowd came from his Kanye West collaboration “Mercy.”

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tUnE-yArDs (that’s cap sensitive by the way) set was just…weird frenetic fun. The amount of sequins worn was also notably impressive. World beats blended with electronica flares couldn’t have sounded better on a Saturday afternoon. It was definitely one of the best sets, atmospherically, of the weekend.

Alas, readers…I had to attend a wedding shortly after the tUnE-yArDs’ set. So, St. Vincent (if you can read these) please come back to Chicago soon! No Danny Brown or Neutral Milk Hotel recaps either, unfortunately.

Stay tune for day three and my final impressions of the Pitchfork Music Festival weekend.

Queens of the Stone Age – 5/9/2014 – Aragon Ballroom – Chicago, IL

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Queens of the Stone played to a sold out crowd at Chicago’s Aragon Ballroom. Supporting their new album …Like Clockwork, the band bolstered their already incredible catalog of songs to their setlist. With that said…the band blew the proverbial roof off the place.

Actual setlist from the band. One lucky guy caught this when the band started throwing their swag into the audience.

Actual setlist from the band. One lucky guy caught this when the band started throwing their swag.

 

The Show:

The crowd was noticeably buzzing so the energy was palpable before Queens of the Stone Age even got up on stage. However, it soon went up to 11 once a countdown clock (they had to keep the “Clockwork” motif going somehow) ticked its way down to zero.

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Josh Homme and his band mates sauntered on stage and ripped into “You Think I Ain’t Worth a Dollar, but I Feel Like a Millionaire” (from their seminal Songs for the Deaf album). It’s safe to say everyone suffered some hearing loss, but wow was it worth it! As soon as the first notes of “No One Knows” hit, the crowd roared and nodded their heads in unison.

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The band flawlessly kept the tempo of the show upbeat as they continued on with their radio friendly single “My God is the Sun.”

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The show was further augmented by the impressive lighting effects the band had set up. There were a couple of times where I felt like that guy who saw a double rainbow:

 

They finally slowed it down for the fans once they played their mellow but, at times, heavy “Kalopsia” off their new album.

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But given the brief respite, they still ramped it up with fan favorites “Make it Wit Chu” and “3′s and 7′s” to send the crowd into a frenzy.

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The show was just a huge success. Given Josh Homme recent health scare (he was technically dead for a moment), seeing this concert was doubly enjoyable.

The Beer:

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Miller and Coors seemed to be the headliners at all the taps. But $7 for a 12-ounce cup is a crime. In fact, this man knows a lot about the subject of gauging:

The cost of beer at these concert venues is too damn high!

The Crowd:

This was probably the peaceful crowd I’ve seen in quite some time. I don’t recall being a part of so many high-fives outside of a sporting event. Good vibes all around.

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Overall Rating:

9 .5 out of 10 stars – stellar show

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The Art of Buying Lollapalooza Tickets

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Lollapalooza’s Website at 10am = The Blue Screen of Death:

Lollapalooza 3-day tickets/passes/wristbands (whatever you want to call them) officially went on sale today and sold out in about an hour. If anyone tried to purchase them as 10am, they might as well have been seeing the image above.

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Lollapalooza’s homepage and Front Gate’s website crashed in an endless loop. For those of you lucky enough to get beyond it still reached the dreaded Lollapalooza “stand-by” page. Yes, internet limbo. This thus created:

Social Media Backlash:

Now before I continue, I did get past the dreaded “stand-by” page and will officially be going to Lollapalooza 2014:

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So, this gif essentially introduces a Dickens’-like Tale of Two Cities.

Those able to get tickets were unabashedly arrogant. The other half…well, I believe Kimberly Wilkins aka Sweet Brown can concisely express their sentiment:

Facebook and Twitter exploded with expletives and Illuminati theories as to why some people got passes and others didn’t. Some people waited 40+ minutes on this page while others breezed right through it.

Reality:

Plain and simple…you have to cheat the system to get Lollapalooza tickets now.  The demand is exponentially increasing. Does anyone remember Minority Report?

That’s exactly what’s expected of anyone planning to buy Lollapalooza tickets: multiple interactive screens, virtual hand gesturing, Tom Cruise navigating in a backward pod…you get the idea.

But, sometimes you just need plain luck (as the Lollapalooza lottery draw proved the previous night).

Either way…I lucked out.

Sorry internet buying community.

Single day tickets and the official lineup will be available tomorrow.

 

 

Led Zeppelin 2 – House of Blues Chicago – 3-22-2014

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Chicago-based Led Zeppelin 2 played to a packed and rowdy sold out House of Blues last night.

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The Show:

The caveat, this time around, was the fact that they played Led Zeppelin’s sixth studio album, Physical Graffiti, in its entirety.

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I will add that Physical Graffiti is my favorite Led Zeppelin album. So, yes, when I heard they were going to play the album, my initial reaction was similar to this man on Maury:

They still played the perennial favorites like Lemon Song, Black Dog, Stairway to Heaven, and When the Levee Breaks (which they ended the night with). But the monolithic riffs from Kashmir, the brain melting slide solo from In My Time of Dying, and the underrated Ten Years Gone clearly stole the night. These guys can play! If you’re a Zeppelin fan, you owe it to yourself to see these guys in concert.

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 The Beer:

The House of Blues provides a decent arrange of domestic beers at strategically placed stands. Full bars are also readily available anywhere you turn. Nearly everyone was drinking $11 Miller Lite or Bud Light tall boys though. Which leads to:

The Crowd:

Very drunk. Which is not a shocker I suppose. Led Zeppelin 2 crowds do attract happy drunks, however. Everyone was having a good time and singing along to the music.

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As an aside, as a 6′ foot tall person, I can’t help but get in the way of people’s view behind me. So I tend to stand as far back as possible just to be polite. The folly in this logic is that other tall people think just like I do. So, of course, the tallest people in the building immediately stood in front of me to start the show. It comes with the territory.

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One More Cup of Coffee ‘Fore I Go:

A couple pointed at an elevator in the building and asked me if it goes to heaven. I told them no the stairway does. And they rolled their eyes at me.

This is not a stairway to heaven. Just a stairway to catch the Orange Line.

This is not a stairway to heaven. Just a stairway to catch the Orange Line.

A very drunk person yelled out to the band, “Echale, Vampiro!” (Spanish to English translation: play it vampire). If you’re fan of the Spanish rock band Maná then you are familiar with their song Me Vale. I seriously think he thought he was at a Maná concert. That’s how drunk he was.

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Overall Rating:

10 out of 10 burning Hindenburgs

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