TVD Live Shots: Pitchfork Music
Festival, 7/17

WORDS AND IMAGES: HAYLEY PARKER | 1:30PM: The ground may be muddy but the goal is clear—finish off Pitchfork Music Festival day 3 with a bang!

1:45PM: L’Rain takes the early stage, a 6 piece band who embodies the vibe of Pitchfork. Laidback, easy to listen to, and an all around good vibe. The lead singer, Taja Cheek AKA L’Rain jokes “I feel responsible for the weather. I’m sorry.”

2:30PM: Chicago local KAINA shows her home city how it’s done. Described as a “soft, savory voice that’s sharp enough to remind you of what happens when you get too close to the sun” on her website, I couldn’t agree more.

2:45PM: At first glance, you would be forgiven for seeing Sofia Kourtesis and expecting some more laidback, Indie melodies. Boy, would you be wrong. Head banging and experimental house music exudes from the Peruvian DJ, proving that you can’t judge a book by its cover and giving the crowd something to marvel at.

3:20PM: Hip hop group Injury Reserve takes the green stage. A two man show, rapper Ritchie with a T sits on a sound speaker and addresses the crowd: “It’s gonna be a good show.” The audience is undoubtedly hanging on every word of the set, with the producer Parker Corey matching the energy.

4:00PM: A break from the rapping, Erika de Casier serves relaxing beats with a side of sultry tones on the opposite side of the park. There’s something quietly flawless about this act, and despite no headbanging or jumping, the crowd is mesmerized by the simplicity.

4:15PM: Natural Information Society has replaced BADBADNOTGOOD after a Covid induced drop out. An eight piece ensemble, multiple instruments ring out amongst a crowd of picnic blankets. This is the ultimate zone out and vibe acoustic music, and the crowd knows it.

4:30PM: Injury Reserve is interviewed in the Doordash backstage area, answering questions about their formation as a band and past experiences. Notably, they speak about how they were booked to play at the back of an Italian restaurant in Stockholm which led them to creating an improvisatory sound for their album.

4:50PM: It’s been said before and I’ll say it again—Pitchfork hosts a beautifully boring crowd. People of all ages are playing cards, chatting, wearing everything from jeans and tees to glitter and jumpsuits. There isn’t the expectation to dress up like Lolla, nor is there the need to be intoxicated (though many admittedly are) to enjoy the day.

5:00PM: Swinging by the Renegade Craft Fair & Chirp Record Fair, there is a crowd of festival goers shuffling through vinyl and checking out locally made art and jewelry, trying to find a memento to remember the weekend.

5:15PM: I was told not to miss rapper Noname’s performance, and I soon learned why. Met with an enthusiastic crowd, the artist wastes no time in welcoming special guests to the stage to perform in unison. Another Chicago local, Noname had said she would be taking an indefinite hiatus from music in 2021, yet just a few months ago posted to Instagram, “Maybe 30 is too young to retire.” It was clear the audience was in complete agreement.

6:05PM: Aaaand the rain is back, yet doesn’t seem to phase anyone as the crowd nonchalantly takes cover under trees, blankets, and garbage bags.

6:25PM: Scheduled to start at 6:15, Earl Sweatshirt is here to prove it really is better late than never.

7:00PM: “Ask me how to play Pitchfork bingo!” reads from the back of a visitors shirt with objectives such as finding a baby dressed cooler than you and seeing a Pitchfork shirt from 5 years ago. Just a taste of the community that makes Pitchfork one of the best fests in the world.

7:25PM: Toro y Moi has drawn quite the crowd, perhaps in part due to their song ‘The Difference,’ a collaboration with Flume. It was chill, relaxing and 100% groovy. AKA everything you want in the final hours of a long weekend.

7:45PM: Cate Le Bon put on a serious face for their set, hypnotizing the crowd with their blend of Indie, folk, rock and pop. Though I had never heard of this artist before, I admittedly wrote it down in my now overflowing note of ‘artists to listen to when the weekend is over.’

8:15PM: An impromptu dance party has broken out back by the main stages, with concert-goers taking turns to direct the crowd with exaggerated dance moves as Toro y Moi continues to perform. People were laughing, deciding that shoes were optional, getting pulled into the crowd and giving themselves up to the music. A little mud never hurt anybody!

8:30PM: It was time. A set that many had been looking forward to all weekend: The Roots. I didn’t even manage to write down any notes during their set due to being completely mesmerized by the performance. A legendary finale to cap off an incredible weekend, it felt as if every imaginable instrument was on stage from sousaphone to trumpets, all complemented by Black Thought’s flawless voice. Joined by special guest Hannibal Burress, the performance ended all too quickly with nothing but smiles and nods of appreciation for a memory that will last a lifetime. Pitchfork 2022, you were one for the books.













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