Pitchfork Music Festival 2014 Recap

 pitchfork

In all of its infinite and pretentious wisdom, there is hardly any doubt that Pitchfork has become one of America’s leading sources for modern music recommendations and critiques. Love or hate their opinions, it is true. And regardless if they seem to leave a bitter taste in your mouth every once in a while, they do manage to do one thing very right: Pitchfork Music Festival. Three short-but-not-too-short days in the city of Chicago with a solid lineup of acts every year. Even with Death Grips canceling their performance this year, I  along with fellow LxL’er Wes and a few friends still showed up for the party, and a glorious three days it was. Here is the one sentence (or more) breakdown of what we encountered:

— Day 1 —

hundred waters, pitchfork music festival 2014

 

Hundred Waters

The Florida band opened the festival with serene and smooth electronic pop and R&B in the vein of Chairlift and Polica, but with a flute-playing front woman.

 

factory floor, Pitchfork music festival 2014

 

Factory Floor

Hypnotic and relentless electronic music from the DFA label, they prompted the first dance-line of the weekend.

 

 

sharon van etten, pitchfork festival 2014

 

Sharon Van Etten

A light, crisp, and refreshing beer that still packs a bit of wonderful floral flavor. Oh wait, that was SVE’s/Goose Islands collaboration Kolsch beer that was good, but not as good as her non-chalant evening set filled with some new and old favorites alike.

 

sun kil moon, sharon van etten, pitchfork festival 2014

 

Sun Kil Moon

No matter what form you see Mark Kozelek (Sun Kil Moon, Red House Painters, or his greatest, Stillwater) you are guaranteed a raw performance that taps straight into the man’s own life and thoughts. Things get funny, emotional, pretentious, and weird, all in good ways.

 

avey-tare's slasher flicks, pitchfork festival 2014

 

Avey Tare’s Slasher Flicks

You can blame the Blue Stage’s ever-persistent sound problems, or blame Avey for not properly constructing good live sound for his solo act, but I am going to opt choose the former as to why this act was mostly good for merely standing back and drinking a beer.

 

giorgio moroder pitchfork festival 2014

 

Giovanni Giorgio Moroder

…but you can call him, Giorgio! Standing above his crowd like a conductor leading his orchestra, Giorgi instead conducted a massive crowd in dancing along to the music produced by this legendary 74 year-old Italian Godfather of everything dance-pop while the sun was setting in the background. Quite a show to say the least.

 

beck pitchfork festival 2014

 

Beck

Beck put together one of my favorite all-out rock sets of the weekend, consisting of multiple songs from every single album from Mellow Gold to Morning Phase. A much better experience than my first Beck show, and makes me wonder why he is not praised as more of a live act legend.

 

— Day 2 —

twin-peaks pitchfork festival 2014

Twin Peaks

Broken ankles and broken guitars. Maybe not quite Orwells-crazy, but the young punks brought the Saturday audience to life with their ragged energy even with their lead singer and guitarist Cadien Lake James playing the entire show on a wheelchair thanks to a bum wheel.

 

KA_pitchfork_festival 2014

 

Ka

Thoughtful spoken-word-style rap from the Brownsville neighborhood in Brooklyn, Ka raps about the uglier side of Brooklyn in the style of the chef Raekwon.

 

wild beasts pitchfork festival 2014
Wild Beasts

An aggressive and chilling act that is disguised behind a shoe-gaze buzz. This somewhat melancholic and very dramatic set seemed to get better and better with each song.

 

cloud nothings pitchfork festival 2014

 

Cloud Nothings

Cloud Nothings are a great mid-day set, especially when needing to settle that thrashing urge to rage. The journey into the mosh pit was short-lived for me, but enjoyed by many for the entirety of the set. Grungy, grimy, punk music with more fuzz than most can handle.

 

pusha t cloud pitchfork festival 2014

 

Pusha T

When Pusha T finally came out 45-minutes after his scheduled time, he did put together a fun, but very short set. Most of it was filled with Kanye West tracks that he is featured in, but he aims to please the crowd.

 

tuneyards pitchfork festival 2014

 

Tune-Yards

Merrill from Tune-Yards was the antithesis of Pusha T when it comes to punctuality. She came out on stage 45 minuets before her set time and quietly waited until the very second Pusha was over, then without a moments hesitation began one of the better performances of the festival. Tune-Yards earthly, bellowing, beat-heavy live act has always been a treat, and even seems to have become better over time.

danny brown pitchfork festival 2014

 

Danny Brown

Another late arriver to the stage, but man does this guy know how to perform. His energy on stage is unlike most others, and always seems to be having a great time. As does his crowd.

 

pitchfork-2014-st-vincent

 

St. Vincent

I could gush over her live performance for hours, but to keep it short, it is hard to say that there was anything that matched her performance at this festival. Every time I see her, I am more and more blown away, and this furiously-charged, over-eccentric set of wild guitar licks, body movements and absurdly great vocals was no exception.

 

fka_twigs_pitchfork_festival 2014

 

FKA Twigs

More than any other missed act, I wish I could have seen this one. Unfortunately, St. Vincent overlapped all but half of one song, which was beautiful but also was being performed on the mix of the infamously bad Blue Stage, so sounded a bit muddy as well.

 

neutral milk hotel pitchfork festival 2014

 

Neutral Milk Hotel

I am sure if you like these guys, you would have enjoyed this show. To me, it was a good opportunity to enjoy a nice pulled pork sandwich from Wishbone.

 

 

— Day 3 —

speedy ortiz pitchfork festival 2014

Speedy Ortiz

Female-lead garage rock in the way of the Breeders, but without too much sizzle or fireworks in their set.

 
 
 

mutual benefit pitchfork festival 2014

Mutual Benefit 

Orchestral folk is a pleasant way to start your Sunday, but nothing more than that.

 
 
 

perfect pussy-pitchfork-music-festival

Perfect Pussy

Female-led punk band that with melt your face off. Didn’t have the energy to get myself into this mosh pit, but if you missed Cloud Nothings on Saturday, this was your chance.

 
 
 

deafheaven-pitchfork festival 2014

Deafheaven

Not screamo, not shoegaze, not quite metal, but a heavy combination of all three. A cool experiment, but something I did not stand in front of for too long.

 
 
 

dum dum girls pitchfork festival 2014

 

Dum Dum Girls

Dee Dee Penny and all her cronies put on the best show I saw at the Blue Stage. Despite some cloudy mix, the punky shoe-gazing broads have some great tonal qualities that shone through, as well as some sexy stage swagger.

 

real estate

 

Real Estate

Good for a nice Sunday nap.

 

 

 

majical-cloudz

 

Majical Cloudz

Talk about making the most out of a horrible situation. The only instrument these guys use live breaks on stage before their set. So what do they do? Put on a chilling and beautiful mostly acapella set anyways. Then smashed the hell out of the keyboard on stage afterwards of course.

 

slowdive pitchfork music festival 2014

 

Slowdive

A buzzy, wall-of-fuzz show in the vein of My Bloody Valentine. I wish I knew of these guys back when they were still making music.

 

grimes-pitchfork-2014

 

Grimes

The ever endearing and charismatic Grimes graced the fans at Pitchfork with some new tunes, some beloved classics, and the best dance show of the festival. Near one of the best overall shows as well.

 

kendrick lamar pitchfork festival 2014

 

Kendrick Lamar

I saw Kendrick play three years ago and he was great. Now with a full band backing him he is a whole different animal. He easily put together the best rap set of the weekend, and among the better rap sets I have yet to see.

 

 

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Author: Todd

I dig musics ...

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