This year did not disappoint. Pitchfork Music Festival weekend is always one of my favorite weekends of the summer. With an extended Friday schedule and stellar lineup, this was certainly the biggest, and may have been the best Pitchfork yet.
Not only were we able to experience performances from some of the best indie artists, many of them made their way backstage to talk with us.
[pullquote quote=”Her band consisted of dual drummers and a pair of synth players all dressed in white jumpsuits.”]Friday was highlighted by the Swedes: [lastfm]The Tallest Man on Earth[/lastfm] and [lastfm]Robyn[/lastfm]. Despite being jet lagged and not sleeping for two days, Tallest Man delivered one of the best performances of the weekend commanding the stage with his heart on his sleeve guitar playing and singing. Robyn, on the other hand, looked well rested and set the “A” stage on fire. Her band, which was tighter than a sailor’s knot, consisted of a pair of drummers and a pair of synth players all dressed in white jumpsuits. Robyn solidified her diva status with some militant dance moves and strong pop hooks. I can’t do this show justice in words, but just know that is was an amazing dance party.
Saturday was super solid, highlighted by amazing sets from [lastfm]Titus Andronicus[/lastfm] and [lastfm]LCD Soundsystem[/lastfm]. Titus played at the hottest time of the day on the same stage that they made their Pitchfork debut two years ago. But the sun did not seem to slow them down. They opened with the anthemic opener off The Monitor, “A More Perfect Union,” which had the crowd going nuts. With an extended band backing Stickles, they boasted a full sound that had us rocking for the full hour. I’ve got to say, [lastfm]Free Energy[/lastfm] really did it for me. Their new album, Stuck On Nothing is worth a trip to the record store, or at least a visit to iTunes.
LCD Soundsystem lived up to every expectation I had for them live. After staking out a spot close to the center stage, I danced my brains out. The set was heavy on their self-titled debut, with an amazing rendition of “Tribulations,” and featured only three songs from the new record. My favorite was “All My Friends,” which built to an incredible climax that had the whole crowd jumping up and down. And “New York I Love You” was the perfect closer.
Watch the backstage interview with James Murphy recorded just one month ago at a sold-out show in Chicago.
Want more LCD? Read all the blog posts and watch the tapes.
As good as Saturday and Friday were, Sunday took the cake. My favorites from the day were [lastfm]Girls[/lastfm], [lastfm]Beach House[/lastfm], [lastfm]St. Vincent[/lastfm] and [lastfm]Pavement[/lastfm]. Girls took their time getting to the stage and Christopher Owens looked pretty strung out. But once he kicked into “Laura,” everything clicked. The highlight of their show was the extremely loud and distorted “Morning Light” that rattled my insides. Beach House had possibly the best set of the entire festival with perfect renditions of much of Teen Dream. Girls, [lastfm]Delorean[/lastfm], and other bands watched the slow grooving set from the side of the stage, which gave the set this feeling of importance. “Gila,” “Walk in the Park,” and “10 Mile Stereo” were the highlights, but there honestly wasn’t a dull moment. St. Vincent played wonderfully as usual. Despite some different arrangements that were a little overdone at times, Annie Clark blew me away… again.
Although I’ve seen St. Vincent four times this year (wow), it was still incredible. Finally, the indie legends Pavement. Although the set felt like a reunion show (which it was), they looked old (which they are), and Stephen Malkmus looked like he didn’t want to be there at times, Pavement played an almost flawless set hitting almost all of the hits. Seeing one of my favorite bands from my youth (and current favorite bands) close out Pitchfork was the perfect cap to a perfect weekend.
Sound like an action-packed weekend? We’ll, let me tell you, we were just as busy backstage at the festival…
Written By Zack Nechvatal