5 of the Best Acts I Saw at Pitchfork This Past Weekend [Review]

Another Pitchfork Music Festival has come and gone and it was yet another great weekend for the books. It seemed that this was the most diverse Pitchfork yet from a lineup perspective and it was evident early on that there was something for everyone.

Ranging from 76 year old Brian Wilson performing one of the best albums of all time to Carly Rae Jepsen telling us to call her maybe, Pitchfork’s mission is clear that they’ll book pretty much anyone that’s talented regardless of their genre. The result is a place for showcasing new and old acts, schedule conflicts, and of course top-tier live music.

Chicago’s Whitney and Twin Peaks Kicked The Fest Off

Speaking of new music, at 4:15 on Friday, Whitney opened up the blue stage with a doozy of a set. Their debut, Light Upon The Lake, is one of the best summer albums to come out in recent memory and transfers well live. Check out favorite “No Matter Where We Go” which was a part of the most recent New Music Thursday.

Another band that didn’t have to travel far was Twin Peaks, as they put the first noticeable bolt of energy into the crowd. There was tons of moshing going on during the tight 15 song set that featured a lot of their terrific new album, Down in Heaven.

Brian Wilson = Highlight of the Weekend

There’s only a few bushels worth of acts that should be on the majority of any music lover’s bucket list. Brian Wilson is one of them and boy oh boy he did not disappoint. I knew he was going to perform Pet Sounds in it’s entirety, I didn’t expect to have the level of fun I had at the set.

Even more shocking was going right into “Good Vibrations” after the conclusion of Pet Sounds with “Caroline, No”. Oh, and John and Joan Cusack joined Brian on stage to sing “Sloop John B” – no big deal.

Beach House Owns The Night

There’s not a lot of other bands out there that knows how to use the night time to their advantage quite like Beach House. Their light show is fantastic and a necessity for a headlining spot; as the style of their music isn’t dancey. Luckily, they know this and have even turned down festival slots if they can’t play at night.

Outside of producing five great albums and two last year alone, they’ve paid their dues as this was their fourth time at Pitchfork. Any fan had to marvel at their perfectly crafted setlist, take a look at them performing “Space Song” below.

Broken Social Scene Returns Without Missing a Step

When I heard Broken Social Scene’s first US show in five years was Thursday at Metro I gasped. Time flies and thankfully their announced plans for their first album in six years and even played a tune from it at Pitchfork. I’ve always associated them with Arcade Fire based off the similarities with sound, being Canadian, and how large their band is.

They’re one of those bands that’s a definition of what being a professional musician sounds like. Every note seems carefully calculated live and the nine people on stage know how to bring each and every song to life.

Blood Orange is a Privilege to Watch Jam

Like all new albums that get tons of positive critical praise, I naturally checked out the new Blood Orange album a couple of weeks ago called Freetown Sound and had a hard time putting it down. It’s the moniker of British artist Dev Hynes, and is one of the best fusions of different genres I’ve ever heard.

The best part about him though is how fun he was to watch perform. The guy probably has a master’s degree in stage presence and an incredible backing band to boot. Check him performing “Better Than Me” with a surprise appearance from Carly Rae Jepsen.

What a weekend for all of the artists whose name starts with the letter B. In all seriousness, Pitchfork put on a great festival once again and for the price of a pass you can’t beat it. Only 364 short days until next year…

More from Andy Koval
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