Saturday of the Pitchfork Music Festival 2014 was another day of great acts. I tried a lot of new things, including a separate entrance with a way shorter line (hint: there’s a general admission entrance right next to the VIP entrance) and a salted caramel hot chocolate creme puff. Booyah.
My day started with Pusha T, who despite coming on stage pretty late, was a strong start for me. The set was short but so fun and pretty energetic. Then it was off to see Tune-Yards…
Tune-Yards tends to get a lot of flack from critics for being too quirky and frankly, all over the place. When it comes to Tune-Yards’ sound, I find it difficult to really pinpoint a genre—every song sounds different, yet they are all a mix of African drum beats, jazz, a lot of looping noises and vocals, a ukulele, and colorful, sometimes grotesque lyrics. The music videos are also just as colorful. Saturday’s set was full of brightly patterned costumes and neon face paint. (It’s fun to wear face paint!) They way the whole show came together had my friends saying to each other, “this is the best set we’ve seen so far!”
First of all, it sounded great. This was one of the sets where I didn’t recall hearing any feedback from the speakers. It was loud, and you could hear all the instruments, the backup singers, and Merrill Garbus singing with so much energy. At one point, her two main backup singers came out to the front of the stage without microphones and just screamed SO LOUD. Their mouths were opened so wide, and they just emitted this gigantic sound all together. It sounded fantastic.
I don’t know why this show was such a surprise to me considering Tune-Yards’ music is pretty nutty. I guess I really wanted to see Tune-Yards prove the critics wrong by showing that their style, though completely creatively driven by Garbus, is best digested live and that all that quirkiness is supposed to come together to create an audio, visual, and community experience. “Dancing time, as the sun sets,” Garbus said. It wasn’t 5:30; it was dancing time.
Danny Brown is a great live act, and his fans always know all the words to his songs, which makes it really high energy and fun. Plus, I’m really loving the green tips of the fro he’s been sporting lately.
I had been looking forward to FKA Twigs all weekend because, for one, it was at the Blue Stage, which is my favorite because it is shady and the most scenic, and her music seemed to really fit with that whole vibe. Secondly, I wanted to see her outfit. And thirdly, I can’t stop playing songs like “Water Me” and “Papi Pacify” over and over again.
She came out in this outfit that looked like she stepped out of a Tumblr fever dream. There was all this smoke, and she sauntered out onto the stage, teasing the crowd by pretending like she was about to sing, and then didn’t. She got the crowd’s attention immediately—as soon as one guy in the front saw her peek out from backstage, he pointed, and everyone just started cheering. She whispered the entire first song, which made everyone stop and listen up. Tahliah Barnett (that’s FKA Twigs real name) is a trained dancer, and her moves were sick. She turned her tiny body into a big force of twitchy, beautiful movements and utilized the entire stage.
This was an act I was so glad to make the effort to see from start to finish because her dance moves and the production all worked together really well. She connected with the crowd well by making intense eye contact and really singing with her entire body. I vote this one “sexiest set of #p4k.”
The biggest regret of the night, I have to admit, was missing St. Vincent. Annie Clark is a rock god, and I vow to never, EVER miss seeing her again.
NEUTRAL MILK HOTEL