TVD Live: Pitchfork Music Festival, 7/20

The second day of the Pitchfork Music Festival pulled out all the stops. The day started out hot and sunny as Japanese pop band CHAI took the stage. The adorable four-piece girl group have been interviewed as saying they want to “take Kawaii back” and redefine the definition of Japanese cute culture.

While they didn’t speak much English, and the audience clearly didn’t speak Japanese, both the band and the crowd were smiling during their entire set. As their set came to a close, they each put on colorful cloaks and danced to a techno song that kept shouting “We are CHAI!” Every moment of their set was wonderful, and they fit in perfectly with Pitchfork’s crowd.

Parquet Courts had one of the most intense and energetic crowds of the weekend. Bassist Sean Yeaton continuously made amazing faces and poses as their lead singer Austin Brown growled into the mic. During their set, fans were moshing and crowd surfing while taking photos on disposable cameras and throwing their gym shoes in the air. As photographers took a break before the next set, I heard Brown say “well folks, looks like Mother Nature is going to cut our set short.” No one knew quite what was going on, until a delightful British voice came on over the speakers, letting us know that big storms were coming. Somehow, a few of us made it to a bar nearby before it began pouring, but we were bummed that both Kurt Vile and Amber Mark’s sets were cut from Saturday.

By the time we were let back into the park, the sun had peeked through the clouds and the temperature had dropped to a balmy 75 degrees. It was perfect for Stereolab and Freddie Gibbs, who were able to play their full sets to the returning crowds. Gibbs, a powerful and thoughtful rapper, came out to screaming fans and had a huge smile on his face. He even took the time to take a fan’s vinyl and sign it, much to the fan’s delight.

The pinnacle of Saturday’s sets came from Belle and Sebastian, who played their iconic album If You’re Feeling Sinister, from start to finish. Lead singer and guitarist Stuart Murdoch was in top form and fans could tell that the band was just as excited to be there as they were. Belle and Sebastian led fans in singalongs as the waning sunlight dried out festival grounds. While Saturday was the shortest day of the festival, it had some of the most memorable moments of the weekend.

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