Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Pitchfork Music Festival

My stay in Bloomington last Friday was a very short one, I left early the next morning to head to Chicago for the Pitchfork Music Festival.

I've been to Pitchfork three separate times prior to this year, though not since 2008. Having been to Bonnaroo, it doesn't even come close to the epicness, but is still a great music festival nonetheless.

I caught the 9:00 South Shore (a train line that runs between South Bend and Chicago) out of Dune Park and arrived in Chicago before noon. Having nearly two hours before the festival started, I decided to walk around downtown (i.e., shop) before heading down to Union Park.

After my mini-excursion, I met up with some friends who would also be attending the festival, got some lunch and started our trek to the park. We arrived just in time for me to see Woods again! Even better than the night before. I guess they benefited from actually being able to move around on stage.

That guy and his modified headphone/microphone...thingy...

After a short water and bathroom break, we returned to the same stage to watch No Age, a noise pop/punk two-piece. They're somewhat rare for bands, in that the primary singer is also the drummer; something that never ceases to amaze me especially when playing in near 100 degree weather. For the last song of the set, he stepped from behind the drumset, took his shirt off to show his epic pastiness and mingled with a crowd a little bit.

So that's why you took your shirt off...

After another break, during which we simultaneously listened to Gang Gang Dance and Wild Nothing as well as bought some posters and spotted Kurt Vile leaving a port-a-potty, we returned to that stage (the Red stage, by the way) for Destroyer, known for his work with The New Pornographers (he was not a part of their concert back in April, however). Maybe it was being a bit further from the stage, or the nature of their music, but it didn't sound great as far as vocals go. The saxophone, though, sounded great!

We then turned around to face the Green stage (which is directly across from the Red stage) for The Dismemberment Plan who reunited for some shows only earlier this year after a long hiatus. In the course of just over an hour, they became one of my favorite bands. I have a couple of their records and have enjoyed them, but there's an amazing energy that the band, especially Travis Morrison, have live. I've been listening to Emergency & I a lot in the past week!


We took another break, this time for food and exploring the tents. While at the tents, I struck up a conversation with the representative from Bloomington-based Secretly Canadian/Jagjaguwar/Dead Oceans labels. During that time, the boys of No Age sat down in that area just to chill. I was a little starstruck.

We then returned to the Green stage for the night's headliners, Fleet Foxes! I had the chance to see them at Pitchfork three years ago when they were just getting started, At the time, I didn't really know what to make of their music and it wasn't until last summer that I got much into them. With a more rounded sound on their second album and perhaps more confidence three years after their debut, the set was much better this time around. Maybe not as exciting as a lot of other bands, but they provided a good live version of their music. A great end to the day.

Needless to say, my point and shoot does not do well at night

We made the trek back to our hotel and had one more musician sighting, Travis Morrison of The Dismemberment Plan. Unfortunately, he was nose deep on his phone texting, so we didn't really get to say hi. He's really short in person.

I completed the weekend with a visit with one of my best friends from high school and her grandparents and a quick stroll around the Indiana Dunes before heading back to Cincinnati.

Another great weekend filled with music!

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