The middle day of Pitchfork was bookended by two of the best performances I’ve seen at the festival in my five years going. Chicago newcomer Ric Wilson was the first thing I made it to, and the whole thing was just an explosion of joy. He brought out a local high school marching band, Kweku Collins, and came out into the crowd for a Soul Train-style dance party. An amazing performer through and through.
Later in the evening Belle & Sebastian brought out If You’re Feeling Sinister for a special performance. Singer Stuart Murdoch said it had been a really long time since he looked at the actual tracklisting for the album and mentioned that they usually play them differently. The sound and the performance were excellent. The fans in attendance were singing full blast on even the sad songs, making the whole thing a big love fest for the band from Glasgow.
In between were some bands I like but wasn’t as excited to see at Pitchfork. CHAI came out on fire and did what they do, which is get the crowd dancing. A lot of fun, but not my favorite. Jay Som sounded good, but their stage performance isn’t as exciting as some (and pretty much everything was a snooze compared to Wilson’s opening set). I’ve never been a big fan of Parquet Courts, but it was nice to have some rock music on the main stage for the people who often complain about the lack of rock bands (despite their always being like 10).
One of the highlights of the festival was the poets brought in by Louder Than A Bomb. They performed before musicians came on at the blue stage throughout the weekend. On Saturday a young man named Nicholas Berry delivered my favorite of the weekend.