Pitchfork Music Festival – Union Park – Chicago, IL – 7-15-17 – Day Two

This is the day two haiku recap.

2:51 CST

Cherry Glazerr

Keyboard mania

Songs that lift you into space

Ripping guitar riffs

4:30 CST

George Clinton and & Parliament Funkadelic

This is a party

Premier set of the weekend

Flashlight…Atomic Dog!

5:51 CST

The Feelies

The jingle jangle

of the guitars soothe the crowd

Masses are dancing

6:38 CST

Angel Olsen

Her band is in suits

Singer-songwriter type mood

Crowd grasps on her words

7:58 CST

PJ Harvey

Everyone in black

But this was no funeral

A spirited set

9:15 CST

A Tribe Called Quest

Empty mic for Phife

A show for the ages, yo’

Real hip-hop legends

This ends the day two haiku recap. Not sure how this day will be beat.

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Pitchfork Music Festival – Union Park – Chicago, IL – 7-17-2016 – Day Three

Day three. The last stand. 

Glad you stuck around this long. I’m impressed. And aren’t you glad you didn’t have to hangout with me for three day music festival, waiting in line as we pitter-patter our feet in unison hoping the porta-potty hasn’t overrun past its sanitary levels? Yeah, me neither.

Regardless, remember when A Tribe Called Quest told us they got the jazz? Well, by some outstanding chance Union Park hosted a quality amount of it to start day three.  

So, read on as we get past this contrived beginning and let’s enjoy day three, shall we?

The Sun Ra Arkestra, with a nearly mystical background (and I urge you to look it up), ignited day three with a jazz filled set that most in the crowd were probably not expecting. But those blind expectations only sweetened the band’s free-flowing and smiled-filled set.

Recommended listening:

When Kamasi Washington’s band started out with the indistinguishable notes of Miles Davis, well, everyone just knew exacly were this set was going. The stage presence from Kamasi and his band was nothing short of captivating due to their musical chops. They know how to play their instruments (understatement of the weekend no doubt). Saxist, Kamasi Washington is making jazz cool all over again. 

Recommended listening:

Neon Indian’s set…well how the hell can you expect NOT to dance during a music festival weekend. Everyone in attendance had the chance to do so as the band played amply from their latest album VEGA INTL. Night School. Fun. Catchy. Nostalgic. Fantastic set.

Recommended listening:

FKA Twigs closed the night to a mesmerized crowd. And it isn’t hard to understand the hypnotism when you consider what type of performance she puts (I mean have you seen her dance moves?) and how unique she is in today’s musical landscape.

Recommended listening:

Sure, the 2016 Pitchfork Music Festival is over. But with any music festival the real fun is in discovering new bands, songs, or, musical styles. So, I hope this relatively small snapshot of the weekend turns you on to something new!

Until next time friends…

Pitchfork Music Festival – Union Park – Chicago, IL – 7-16-2016 – Day Two

Before we begin let’s talk about the five greatest rappers of all time: 

Well, I’m glad we got that out of the way. Don’t you? 

A sun drenched Union Park hosted day two of the Pitchfork Music Festival. And while I wilted like a lifeless tomato plant, the rest of the crowd, filled with that pesky cosmic energy, buzzed right along. 

So, let’s buzz right into the top acts of the day:

Royal Headache was anything but what their name suggested. These Aussies proved to play their garage punk set at a frenetic pace, but not at the expense of catchy melodies.

Recommended listening:

While I previously mentioned the greatest rapper of all-time (Dylan [dye-lon]), one the better hip-hop groups of all-time, Digable Planets, played a rare set to an immense crowd. Their message, aside from making sure everyone grooved right along to their songs, was a message of peace, good will to your neighbors, and mindfulness of the struggles being felt around the world. 

Recommended listening:

The Super Furry Animals brought their brand of psychedelic brilliant madness to a noticeably tone down crowd (so I guess I wasn’t the only one beaten down by the sun). That still didn’t stop them from putting on a spaced out and visually compelling set.

Recommended listening:

Anderson .Paak & the Free Nationals were honestly worth the price of admission today. Anderson .Paak manned the drums and MC’d in an extremely crowd pleasing that brought smiles to faces young and old. Anderson is one of the brightest stars in music today.

Recommended listening:

Sufjan Stevens…wow. I can’t even do justice to his sprawling live version of “Impossible Soul.” It really has to be seen to be believed. And props for his cover of Prince’s “Kiss” to end the night.

Live version of “Impossible Soul”:

Honorable mention:

Brian Wilson played Pet Sounds and other Beach Boys’ hits to a massive crowd. At 74 years old, he did about as good as you could expect. A tremendous amount of respect was telling for the reverent attendance to his incredible career.

And that’s day two ladies and gentlemen. 

Pitchfork Music Festival – Union Park – Chicago, IL – 7-18-2014 (Day One)

Well, the wait is finally over. Music festival season has officially started in Chicago. Pitchfork Music Festival arguably provides one of the most eclectic lineups out of the four major music festivals in the city. And yes, inevitably you’ll probably hear, “Who are these guys?” But, that’s the beauty of these festivals, you get to hear bands that you would normally would never get the chance to see or hear.

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Day one started a little frantic as I was running late for the festival. Greeted by long lines to enter the park, I could hear the faint voice of Sharon Van Etten saying hello to a jubilant Pitchfork crowd. It luckily didn’t take long before I was able to get in. As soon as my nostrils took a whiff of sativa in the breezy air I knew I was officially at a music festival.

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Sharon Van Etten, supporting her new album Are We There, played a fantastic set with the backdrop of perfect weather to warm up the crowd. Bouncing from folk, country, and some heavy power chords, Sharon realistically got everyone’s attention with her stirring smoky voice. The majority in the crowd were tapping their feet and bobbing their heads right along to her folksy set. Still, the biggest cheer came during the heavy and melodic “Serpents” off her critically acclaimed album Tramp. Great set.

The Beer:

As an aside, in order to get “beverages” at Pitchfork…please have your 2048 game app and plenty of patience because you’re going to wait in line for a long time.

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Now, don’t let the picture above fool you (there were four lines somewhere inside this picture). I was a mile away from the “beverage ticket” stand (well, sort of). And make sure you get in the proper line since there’s a cash only and credit only line. People were waiting in line so long that when they finally got to purchase tickets they were waking away with wheelbarrows full of them (trying to avoid any more standing-in-line blues for the rest of the weekend). After that you have to stand in line to get a wristband, which finally gives you the privilege of standing in line for a beer (Franz Kafka would be proud to see this well-oiled machine run).

But once that fun ended, Pitchfork sponsor Goose Island provided some excellent beer to the festivities.

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Nearly every hour, Goose Island taps a new keg for the beer drinking masses to consume. The Sharon Van Etten collaborated Kölsch style beer, aptly named (SVE), was also phenomenal. Thumbs up on this Pitchfork. Well done.

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Finally, we have 312 and the always solid Green Line beer was being sold by the stages.

Continuing on:

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Sza, part of Kendrick Lamar’s growing posse, played an ultra mellow set that was more than fine with the crowd. Sza showed off her soulful voice and the crowd swayed right along with her.

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Meanwhile, Sun Kil Moon played on a sun-drenched stage to a responsive but respectful crowd. As waves of reverb overtook their song “I Watched The Film The Song Remains The Same,” the names of Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones made me instantly think of those interesting fantasy sequences.

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Giorgio Moroder, one of the founding fathers of EDM, DJ’d a heavy set of Donna Summer songs, which most people definitely grooved along to.

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He nicely ended his set with Blondie’s “Call Me” to prep up the crowd for:

Beck!

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What can really be said about Beck that already hasn’t? The guy is eclectic and he constantly outputs good music. But talk about a lively set…Beck and his band were in perpetual motion. Jumping, diving, running into each other, falling down, the pace was frenetic to start as they opened up with “Devil’s Haircut.”

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Familiar tape in Chicago.

The band mellowed things down a bit with Beck’s more emotive songs at the halfway point. “Blue Moon,” off the new album Morning Phase, sounded powerful live, but they kicked everyone back into gear towards the end with “E-Pro” from Beck’s Guero album.

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They capped off the show with “Where It’s At?,” which quickly became a perfect crowd sing-along sign-off to cap off a gorgeous night of weather and music.

Day Two coming shortly.