TVD Live: Pitchfork Music Festival, 7/14

1:24 PM: I’ve arrived! Pitchfork Music Festival officially kicked off 24 minutes ago and I’m shocked at the amount of people here already. Clearly some half days at work were taken to catch the earlier sets.

1:56 PM: One of those early bands worth the half day at work? Priests. They’ve drawn a nice, big crowd and are rocking the hell out of the Green Stage. Their 2017 debut, Nothing Feels Natural is still one of my top albums of the year.

2:09 PM: I’m easing my way into the festival by wandering around the areas I rarely have time to wander through. There’s cool merch this year (Pitchfork hats for the first time ever), the Bai stand is giving away free drinks and custom shirts, Wendy’s is giving away free salads, and the Blackhawks organization is having people collectively paint a mural of Chicago. The Saint Heron on-site art installation, on the other hand, is still being built. Rumor has it that Solange’s camp has been difficult to deal with for the fest organizers.

3:03 PM: A solid chunk of Pitchfork attendees are taking advantage of their early arrivals by sifting through the thousands of records at the Chirp Record Fair to get first dibs on the selections. Aside from local stores, local music labels are also featured.

3:42 PM: The Renegade Craft Fair also has a nice selection of arts and crafts. There’s a variety of options – from jewelry to cigar box guitars to perfumes to even sex toys.

4:15 PM: Vince Staples has an all-orange backdrop and I’m wondering if that’s in reference to Everytown for Gun Safety, an initiative working to reduce gun violence across the country. Pitchfork has been encouraging people to wear orange in support of Everytown all weekend, so I can’t help but think that Vince is making a statement with his backdrop choice. He’s working the stage solo and there’s a lack of theatrics, leaving the audience left to digest his powerful lyrics.

5:14 PM: The Thurston Moore Group is all smiles, until their shred fest begins. Over half of the group consists of former Sonic Youth members and it just makes me wish for a full-on reunion. I realize that this is a long shot.

5:25 PM: The indie pop tunes of Frankie Cosmos are floating out to the crowd at the Blue Stage, and bodies are moving to the rhythm.

6:23 PM: Danny Brown is always fun to see live. I’ve been counting how many times he sticks his tongue out and raises his hand to a sign of the horn (we’re at 4). The crowd is the most energized I’ve seen since Priests. His charisma is contagious.

6:35 PM: I’m taking a breather watching Taylor Bennett (Chance’s younger brother) play large-scale Jenga with his buddies.

7:15 PM: I was really looking forward to seeing the Dirty Projectors for the first time in 5 years, but much has changed. Amber Coffman is no longer involved with the group, lead by former boyfriend David Longstreth, and they don’t seem to find their stride until the end of the set when the fabulous Dawn Richard joins them for a duet.

9:32 PM: The sound is too soft for LCD Soundsystem. I want to be immersed in it. But despite the soft sound, they are otherwise playing their asses of and putting on the best set of the day, hands down.









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