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