Between periods of rain and sun, Pitchfork got off to a good start on Friday. A whole lot of people came early despite the showers to catch some great acts like Lucy Dacus and Melkbelly. I got there a little bit later, in time to see Open Mike Eagle hit the Blue Stage which is where I spent the majority of the day. I stuck to my schedule and didn’t defer, staying just long enough to see Big Thief before it started pouring again.
Chicago acts Open Mike Eagle and Saba both delivered great sets, with Saba packing in a big crowd at the Red Stage for his first Chicago show since his latest record dropped. Open Mike Eagle brought out Serengeti to do his famous “Chicago Anthem” and initiated the whole audience into a gang he called “The 1993 Chicago Bulls.”
Julien Baker was one of the acts I was most looking forward to this weekend, and her powerhouse vocals really got into everyone’s bones. Certainly the most emotional performance of the day, save for Saba’s getting the people at his set to chant the name of his cousin and fellow Pivot rapper, John Walt, who was killed last year.
Big Thief fought through some microphone issues, but still managed to turn in a good set, again on the Blue Stage. The rain started to come down again after a song or two, and that’s when I skidaddled, skipping Tame Impala’s drenched headlining set.