Pitchfork Music Festival is consistent festival gold in my opinion. Despite me not being able to make it Friday, a torrential downpour temporarily delaying the fest on Saturday, and almost being conned out of a ticket on Sunday, PMF 2015 was no exception. With me as always, was LxL’s own Wes (who was able to attend all three days), and another LxL regular/frequent festival coverage guru, Riley Johnson. We three squashed our mind grapes together, and this list is the winey result:
I’m trying to think of a better way to start the day; I am. Female lead garage punk at it’s finest.
Simple, sweet, and after a few early audio bumps, they sounded about as pristine as their album. At least according to Wes.
8. Kurt Vile & the Violators
Probably the man impacted most by the Saturday storms. But like a champion, Kurt strapped on his guitar, and pulled out and incredibly impressive, even if truncated set.
7. Viet Cong
Those S. O. Bitch scalpers screwed me on seeing their entire set, but the second half that I did see was like… woah. Seriously great noise rockers.
6. Run the Jewels
As always, “the best f***ing rap group in the world” never disappoints.
5. Parquet Courts
A muddy mess of a time in a mosh pit, set to the tune of a modern day Television/Pavement love child (with a bit more angst than either). Also, photo-cred shout-out to whoever’s watermark is in that photo (please don’t sue us, we don’t make any money).
4. Chance the Rapper
Acid rap, without the acid, can still be incredible live. This show was moving, and not just because of its danceability. Chance is a strong performer, growing up to almost be comparable to the likes of Yeezy and Kendrick.
Wes said this show was good, and I actually do believe him this time. Opening the first 40 minutes of the set with an album that came out literally a day before the show is a ballsy, slightly dick-ish, but amazing move. And since it is a Wilco album we at LxL seem to be agreeing on for once, we salute you for it, dad rockers.
2. Courtney Barnett
There are very little performers that I enjoy seeing as much as CB right now. She seems elated as she plays, her lyrically Dylan-esque brand of apathetic 90’s punk rock, which sends an energy through the crowd like no other.
1. Sleater Kinney
Watching Sleater Kinney was one of the better 90’s-era reunions I have ever seen, including Pixies and Pavement. Portlandia live on stage… I mean Carrie Brownstein live on stage seems as vibrant, energetic, and flawless in performance as the day they began. Corin and Janet are absolutely no slouches either, which makes this one trio that I hope continues to keep rolling with momentum, because they picked up where they left off better than most I’ve ever seen or heard.
The “just missed our list” list:
Todd – Mr. Twin Sister
Wonderfully surprising performance from this intricately psychedelic dream pop group. They have been around for a while, but with limited music released to show for it. I will definitely be keeping better tabs on them moving forward.
Wes – Mac Demarco
I did not make it to this show, but from the sounds of it, I really missed out.
Riley – Jamie xx/Perfume Genius
Riley is new to the list game here, but we will let this two-pick of his slide this time. Especially because both are on-point qualifiers for misses. Both of these gentlemen were a bit shafted by their time slots. Had they had later night shows that encouraged a bit more dancing and allowed for a bit more of a moody atmosphere, both of these artists would have probably made the actual list.