TVD Live: Pitchfork Music Festival, 7/21

3:30PM I’m listening to Pitchfork Radio en route to the fest and am enjoying Khruangbin’s interview. Bassist Laura Lee is talking about attending her first Phish concert this year (she was blown away) while the sounds of JPEGMAFIA on the Red Stage float over. “Looks like he’s going off over there,” guitarist Mark Speer remarks.

4:03PM: Well Khruangbin was not wrong. I’ve arrived in time to catch the last half of JPEGMAFIA’s set and it might be the performance of the weekend. He’s thrashing around, diving into the crowd, laughing, and putting on an all-around intensely mesmerizing show. He finishes: “I’ve got something very disappointing coming soon and I’m about to go get high. Peace.” As I’m walking away, I hear one fan ask another, “Can we go get high with him?!”

5:24PM: The Chirp Record Fair is as solid as ever, and features local record stores as well as labels. I’ve just spent some time deep diving into the stacks and am heading home with some gems. The Renegade Craft Tent and Flagstock Poster Fair are equally overflowing with talented artists and I wander through, appreciating their work (and the shade).

6:10PM: My record player has spun a ton of Khruangbin in the last couple years, so I guess it’s no surprise that I’m digging everything about their set. Props to Pitchfork for scheduling them at sunset at the Red Stage. The sun rays are peaking through from the side of the stage, perfectly accentuating the band’s funky, psychedelic sound.

6:23PM: Clairo, fresh off her Green Stage set, is in the crowd for Khruangbin. Fans immediately recognize her and she obliges by taking photos with them.

6:53PM: Over at the Blue Stage, Neneh Cherry is doing her thing. Blending Afrobeat, hip hop, jazz, and industrial, her sound is as unique as her performance.

7:45PM: Rumor has it that Charli XCX’s flight got cancelled, so she flew into Minnesota and drove from there to “party with us,” as a fan explained. True or false, she is performing her ass off. Dancing nonstop, she leads the crowd in singalong after singalong.

8:02PM: I just witnessed a very Chicago moment. Locals and P4k Fest alums Alex Otake and Jason Balla just ran into each other and bear hugged. In May, their band Ne-Hi dropped an EP and simultaneously announced that they were calling it quits. Glad to see that all is well between them but sad that it’s the end of a great band.

8:32PM: Lindsey Jordan (better known as Snail Mail) is the final Blue Stage act of the weekend, and an incredibly worthy one. At 20, she’s garnered an unanimous “thumbs up” from the music industry. It’s true: we love this little shred machine.

9:20PM: Everyone is waiting for “Dancing on My Own” and Robyn knows it, but she’s orchestrated a perfect, slow-building, festival-closing performance. I feel like I’m in a tiny, sweaty club listening to house. No one can stand still. She builds to a triumphant version of “Love is Free” and it’s the first time all weekend that I put my camera down and danced. Thank you, Robyn. And cheers to 15 years, Pitchfork Music Festival!

JPEGMAFIA

CHIRP RECORD FAIR AND FLAGSTOCK

KHRUANGBIN

CLAIRO WITH FANS

WHITNEY

LOUDER THEN A BOMB

NENEH CHERRY

CHARLI XCX

SNAIL MAIL

ROBYN

PITCHFORK MUSIC FESTIVAL, SUNDAY, JULY 21, 2019

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