Last year was my first adventure at Pitchfork (well, non-fiction version). It was way better than I expected and manageable like you wouldn’t believe. There’s tons of great food and drinks to be enjoyed, lots of shade to get out of the hot sun for a while, and a whole heck of a lot of music. I’m going to try to stick to my schedule that I made, which means I’m going to miss a bunch of cool bands. It’s a sacrifice you have to be prepared to make at a festival so rich with talent.
Obviously Wilco is a band I’m always excited to see. Caught them last weekend at 80/35, seeing them later this year at TURF, and I went to half their residency run an The Riv back in December. A great live band, and a perfect way to cap off the first day of Pitchfork.
But there are others playing early in the day that I’m also excited to see. Natalie Prass and Tobias Jesso jr have put out two of my favorite albums this year. Natalie plays super early (2nd set of the day), so I’ll be there nice and early. She’s also playing an after show that’s actually tonight, BEFORE the festival starts. Weird, right? Jesso jr is also playing an after show in the same venue (Schubas), but his is tomorrow night. So if you don’t see him at the fest be sure to get over there for the late show. It starts at 11pm.
Mac DeMarco has been on a roll of great releases for a while, and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon. He putting out two more records in the next couple weeks and everything I’ve heard from them has been really good.
Chvrches I’m not all that into, musically. I hear they’re really good live, and I’ve seen pictures from their sets that are cool, so I’ll be looking forward to taking some photographs to share.
Oh right. This year I’ll be taking pictures along with Kari, so you may see double the pics from last year. Or mine will be awful and I’ll only post hers. We’ll see. I got some decent shots at 80/35, maybe lightning will strike twice.
Natalie Prass 3:30 Red Stage
Mac DeMarco 5:30 Red Stage
Tobias Jesso jr 6:15 Blue Stage
Churches 7:20 Red Stage
Wilco 8:30 Green Stage
Sleater-Kinney is headlining the second night. I don’t know if I’ve ever been less excited about a band. They’re all talented musicians, but I think I missed the boat as far as getting really into them. I’m gonna check out Vic Mensa instead over on the blue stage. Should be a smaller crowd on that side of the park. I’ll actually be spending a lot of time over there on Saturday.
Bully is probably the buzziest band I’ll be seeing. People keep telling me they’re great, so I have to find out for myself. Missed their show at Empty Bottle last month, and they’re the only band I can think of playing both P4k AND Lollapalooza.
Ex Hex is great. Put out one of my top 50 albums last year and their live show is some serious business.
Vince Staples just dropped the Summertime 06 record, and it’s awesome. He’s been one of those “up-and-coming MC’s for a while now. I think he’s gonna break through now, so this might be the last chance to catch him in the early afternoon.
Ariel Pink, based solely on what I’ve seen and heard about his live sets (having never been to a show myself), has got me really pumped for this one. I’ve enjoyed the past few albums, and I’m sure this one will be heavy on his most recent, pom pom .
Parquet Courts is not a favorite of mine. I haven’t really liked anything they’ve put out, but I’ve never seen them live so I’m gonna give them a shot. Maybe I’ll like it.
New Pornographers I’ve also never seen. They have some songs I like, some I don’t. It’s a gamble, but I’ll hope the set features more of the former.
Bully 1:55 Blue Stage
Ex Hex 3:20 Red Stage
Vince Staples 3:45 Blue Stage
Ariel Pink 4:45 Blue Stage
Parquet Courts 5:15 Red Stage
New Pornographers 6:15 Green Stage
Vic Mensa 8:45 Blue Stage
Wacahatchee put out a great album earlier this year called Ivy Tripp. It may not be the most electrifying set of the day, but I’ll be happy with her solid songwriting.
Piñata was a strong rap album delivered by Freddie Gibbs and Madlib last year. I didn’t think they would do much touring behind it, but here they are. Gibbs has always been a rapper I wanted to see, but I haven’t had a chance yet.
Perfume Genius’ show at Lincoln Hall last year was one of the best I saw in 2014. His albums are next-level good and his performance is right there as well.
I’ve planned to see How To Dress Well maybe 10 times over the past five years and had something come up every time. Nothing doing on Sunday, I’m seeing HTDW come Hell or high water (with a Chance of rain this weekend, this might come to pass).
Run The Jewels are the best. Killer Mike and El-P deliver the goods with a big smile on their faces. Just saw them last weekend and can’t wait to do it again. Third time’s a charm, maybe I’ll be the lucky fan they bring up on stage!
Chance is a Chicago legend. In a very short time he’s gone from just another rapper trying to make it in Chicago to a chart-topping star garnering acclaim from blogs and prestigious publications alike. Not sure if he can top Kendrick’s closing set from last year, but I’m more than ready to find out!
Waxahatchee 2:30 Green Stage
Madlib & Freddie Gibbs 3:20 Red Stage
Perfume Genius 3:45 Blue Stage
How To Dress Well 4:45 Blue Stage
Run The Jewels 7:25 Red Stage
Chance The Rapper 8:30 Green Stage