TVD Live: Pitchfork Music Festival, 9/12

4:55 PM: Another perfect Pitchfork sunset. “I feel so held by you guys. Thank you so much,” Caroline Polachek says in between songs, her big smile radiating.

5:33 PM: Thundercat is so damn avant garde he just burped into the mic. His fingers move so rapidly and precisely across his bass, it’s as if they’re computerized.

5:49 PM: My surprise of the festival? Yves Tumor. Backed by a full-piece band, they are genre-less in that so many genres are applicable to their music that it’s impossible to pick just one. I’m intrigued—and digging the Slipknot shirt and knee-high boots.

6:56 PM: The largest rat I’ve ever seen—literally a footlong—just scurried across the lawn while several of us stared, paralyzed in horror.

7:23 PM: Compared to other festivals, Pitchforkers are a kind, fashionable and—because of the high hipster population—fairly boring crowd. That’s not a diss. I appreciate the lack of litter and medic calls.

7:40 PM: Flying Lotus’ set is a visual and euphonic journey. He head-bangs and spins behind a large screen that transforms from one image to the next. His buddy, Thundercat, fist-pumps side stage.

8:07 PM: Vic Mensa sighting! And earlier I saw members of Whitney. Chicago musicians are out in full force.

8:50 PM: “Where-ica?” a guy in the crowd plays on Erykah Badu’s name in response to her being 20 minutes late so far.

9:43 PM: All tardiness has been forgiven, as Badu charms the crowd with her commanding stage presence and signature sound. Union Park is grooving, savoring one last performance before another year of waiting for Pitchfork ’22 to begin.

CAROLINE POLACHEK

THUNDERCAT

YVES TUMOR

DANNY BROWN

FLYING LOTUS

ERYKAH BADU

PITCHFORK MUSIC FESTIVAL, 9/12/21

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