Pitchfork Music Festival 2019: Day 3

A brief delay opened day 3 of Pitchfork after some weather popped up causing alarm after the hour-plus delay during the previous day’s festivities. It didn’t have any effect on my schedule, as I wasn’t planning to get there until after 3pm anyway. Sunday’s are usually the day I show up latest, and the schedule afforded me that luxury by not booking any of my must-see acts early.

I saw JPEGMafia for the first time about a year ago when he opened for Vic Mensa at a House Of Vans party. I’d never even heard of him before that, but the DC rapper instantly hooked me with his intense performance. I’ve never seen anything like it. He’s as close to a real-life Joker we’ll ever get. His set walks a tightrope between passion and insanity that whips the audience into a frenzy. If I had it my way I would go see him play every night just for the energy boost. The guy is seriously like a sonic B12 shot.

After that I headed over to catch Ibeyi on the blue stage. I haven’t delved too deep into their music, but what I had heard is good. Their performance really surprised me. They make a lot of noise for two people and their harmonies are really something. The best part was when they played a song that sampled Michelle Obama’s speech where she says “The measure of any society is how it treats its women and girls.”

I happily walked back over to the red stage to hear Khruangbin live for the third time. This Houston trio has got it all put together and sound amazing every time I hear them. There was a bottle of Malort on the stage with them; a tip of the cap to Chicago’s favorite worst drink. Their onslaught of chill guitar riffs had the crowd swaying back and forth, still reeling from JPEGMafia earlier and anticipating Charli XCX coming up soon.

With some time to kill before the pop music closed out the night, I heard Neneh Cherry and her jazz ensemble on the blue stage. She’s an interesting musician and always has been. Certainly a performer who does her own thing and makes you listen. She played the fest a few years ago and that was her first US show in forever. Even if I don’t spend a lot of time listening to her, it’s still good to know she’s there making music.

The festival blew up when Charli XCX finally did come out on the red stage. A large number of people had come to see her and they were front and center screaming loudly for their queen. She did not disappoint, hitting some of her bigger songs early and keeping the set rolling without any real stoppages. The highlight was bringing out Chicago’s own Cupcakke to play “Lipgloss.”

Robyn was the main headliner for the final night of the festival, and for her set I found myself in a sea of people. There were costumes, bold makeup choices, and a lot of smiles waiting for the Swedish dance star to make them move their bodies. She kicked things off with a long music intro while the tension in the crowd grew while waiting for her to come out to the stage. She finally arrived and launched right into “Send To Robyn Immediately” and “Honey,” both off her album of the same name from last year.

There was a yoga class going on in the back of the fest, set to the music. Hands were in the air for the whole time she was up there. Between Robyn and Charli, the audience couldn’t be more filled with positivity and the fest ended on one of the highest notes it ever has.