Pitchfork Day One | Bleader | Chicago Reader

Pitchfork Day One

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Saba confronted grief and found joy in his Pitchfork set

Posted By on 07.21.18 at 11:18 AM

Saba performs on Pitchfork’s Red Stage on Friday afternoon. - TIM NAGLE
  • Tim Nagle
  • Saba performs on Pitchfork’s Red Stage on Friday afternoon.

is one of Chicago's best current musical exports. He's spent most of April and May touring the U.S. and Canada in support of the alternately scalding and beautiful Care for Me, and his late-afternoon Red Stage set on Friday at Pitchfork was his first hometown show of the year. The emotional epicenter of that self-released album, which came out in April, is "Prom/King," a vivid, even-handed recounting of the 24-year-old rapper's friendship with his murdered cousin, Walter Long Jr. They didn't always get along growing up, as Saba acknowledges in the song, but their friendship crystalized after Long offered to find his cousin a prom date. In 2012 they helped found west-side rap collective Pivot Gang, and Long took on the name John Walt for his music. It seemed like everywhere Saba went, Walt was by his side. They weren't just family who made music together—they'd become best friends.

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Friday, July 21, 2017

Pitchfork gets painted orange in the fight against gun violence

Posted By on 07.21.17 at 02:57 PM

Street View is a fashion series in which Isa Giallorenzo spotlights some of the coolest styles seen in Chicago.

click image Madame Gandhi supporting the Wear Orange movement at Pitchfork 2017. - ISA GIALLORENZO
  • Isa Giallorenzo
  • Madame Gandhi supporting the Wear Orange movement at Pitchfork 2017.

Pitchfork’s biggest style trend in 2017 wasn’t really a trend, but a movement: many fans—and even a few performers, such as Jamila Woods and Madame Gandhi—sported their best citrus-inspired garb to participate in the Beats > Bullets (“beats over bullets”) initiative, promoted by the festival. As part of their usual community outreach, Pitchfork partnered with local group Mothers Against Senseless Killings (MASK) and Everytown for Gun Safety, the largest gun violence prevention in the country, to bring awareness to the issue.

Everytown started the Wear Orange movement by encouraging people to don the color during the National Gun Awareness Day, celebrated on June 2. The date also marks the birthday of Hadiya Pendleton, who was shot and killed in Chicago when she was only 15 years old. After her death, Pendleton’s parents and friends started wearing orange to bring attention to the issue of gun violence, since that’s the color hunters wear in the woods to avoid getting shot by other hunters. This year Pitchfork asked its attendees to do the same, and many of them did. Participants could also pose with posters printed with facts about gun violence, both local and national. Learn what they are at everytownresearch.org and in some of the photos below.

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Monday, July 17, 2017

Most stylish at Pitchfork 2017 who did not wear orange

Posted By on 07.17.17 at 06:11 PM

Street View is a fashion series in which Isa Giallorenzo spotlights some of the coolest styles seen in Chicago.

click image Katie Greer of Priests - ISA GIALLORENZO
  • Isa Giallorenzo
  • Katie Greer of Priests

Pitchfork Festival is certainly one of the best local events to people watch, and this year was no different. Lots of attendees wore orange for the #BeatsOverBullets initiative—they'll be featured here on Street View soon. In the meantime, check out some of the most stylish folks spotted in the fest, including performer Katie Greer (shown above). The Priests vocalist sported a dress fit for a punk-rock princess, reminiscent of Courtney Love's baby-doll look. See more Pitchfork street style after the jump.

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Saturday, July 15, 2017

Arca & Jesse Kanda played with confusion to liberate the Pitchfork crowd

Posted By on 07.15.17 at 01:15 PM

Arca on the Blue Stage on Friday - PORTER MCLEOD
  • Porter McLeod
  • Arca on the Blue Stage on Friday

You could be forgiven for expecting Arca's set at the Pitchfork Music Festival to be a somber one. The Venezuelan producer's recent self-titled album plays like a dirge for a faintly remembered lover. It's the first Arca project to feature prominent vocals, which often take the shape of wails and jagged gasps or carry the rich inflections of the Venezuelan folk songs called tonadas. The album Arca conjures profound desire and profound suffering, but the producer's show on the festival's Blue Stage on Friday pushed aside that weight in favor of play, camp, and welcome confusion.

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Monday, July 18, 2016

Backstage Pitchfork portraits of Digable Planets, Empress Of, Circuit des Yeux, and more

Posted By on 07.18.16 at 02:40 PM

Haley Fohr of Circuit des Yeux - ORIANA KOREN
  • Oriana Koren
  • Haley Fohr of Circuit des Yeux

Throughout Pitchfork weekend, Reader photographer Oriana Koren captured a great cross-section of performers backstage—Digable Planets, Empress Of, and hometown heroes BJ the Chicago Kid, Twin Peaks, Homme, and Haley Fohr (aka Circuit des Yeux). Thankfully, the weather was on our side, and our outdoor studio didn't get rained out. Koren was able to create lovely portraits of some of our favorite artists.

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Saturday, July 16, 2016

Carly Rae Jepsen was a ray of sunshine on Pitchfork's gray opening day

Posted By on 07.16.16 at 10:15 AM

Carly Rae Jepsen - DANIELLE A. SCRUGGS
  • Danielle A. Scruggs
  • Carly Rae Jepsen

Brianna Wellen:
The second I heard Car Seat Headrest play David Bowie's "Blackstar," my hopes were high for this weekend. Immediately after that, though, it started pouring. But that's the fickle nature of Pitchfork, or really any good outdoor music festival: brilliant and thrilling one moment, bleak and rainy the next. Thankfully, as the day continued, it seemed this year's fest would start on an upswing. Twin Peaks were charming and rocking as ever. Broken Social Scene were the Broken Social Scene-iest, with a rotating roster of singers coming up for new and old jams. Shamir proved himself to be miles ahead of where he was during the festival last year, drawing in a huge crowd of dancing folks (myself included) and blowing 2015's performance way out of the water.

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Friday, February 19, 2016

Here's the lineup for this year's Pitchfork Music Festival—and some insights from Reader critics in the know

Posted By on 02.19.16 at 10:36 AM

Jeremih is one of the many Chicagoans slated to perform at this year's Pitchfork Music Festival. - DEF JAM
  • Def Jam
  • Jeremih is one of the many Chicagoans slated to perform at this year's Pitchfork Music Festival.

The lineup for the 2016 Pitchfork Music Festival dropped this morning, and as always the organizers have proven their ability to put together an endearingly eclectic lineup. The bill for the three-day festival includes plenty of curveballs: Brian Wilson performing all of Pet Sounds, the legendary Sun Ra Arkestra, Canadian pop wonder Carly Rae Jepsen, and the Hotelier, the first emo band I've seen listed on a Pitchfork lineup in its 11 years. There are a handful of festival veterans on the bill, of course—Beach House, Shamir, and Broken Social Scene, to name a few, all of whom perform Friday.

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Saturday, July 18, 2015

18 photos of the Friday crowd at Pitchfork Music Festival 2015

Posted By on 07.18.15 at 03:00 PM

  • Logan Javage

Embedded amid Union Park's sea of pasty flesh, tank tops, and reality TV villains (namely Nick Viall, The Bachelorette's bad boy du jour), Reader photographers Logan Javage and Rosario Zavala bravely documented the midwest urban festgoer in its natural habitat during the muggy Friday kickoff of the 2015 Pitchfork Music Festival. They managed to snap shots of some fine examples of the species: a dude spinning poi balls, a baby wearing protective headphones, and—a rare breed, indeed!—a goth girl in hot weather twirling a hula hoop.

  • Logan Javage

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It was all eyes on the fashionable Marcela at Pitchfork day one

Posted By on 07.18.15 at 10:30 AM

Street View is a fashion series in which Isa Giallorenzo spotlights some of the coolest styles seen in Chicago.


Fashion designer Marcela Andrade (@ma_zinha) spent a good portion of her Friday getting compliments and making friends at Pitchfork. "It's all because of this dress. If you're feeling depressed don't go to a therapist, just buy this dress. It's a much better deal", she jokes. On the short walk to the background I was looking for, at least a handful of people approached her to express their admiration. A couple more asked for a picture. Wisdom of the crowds: her look is at the same time comfortable, chic, fun, fresh, and water/sun proof—she was holding the cutest duck umbrella. I also love her mix of patterns and textures, and how she managed to keep it all cohesive. Check out more details of Marcela's winning outfit and other sartorially wise Pitchfork goers below.

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Pitchfork day one was hotter than hell—but chill as hell

Posted By on 07.18.15 at 09:30 AM

  • Rosario Zavala
  • Chvrches

Kevin Warwick
: It was hot, yeah, sure. But that didn't necessarily take away from day one of Pitchfork, other than that you had to pick your spots better—and make sure you were in the shade when you did it. Steve Gunn's set on the smaller Blue Stage was a nice respite from the heat in that it was easygoing and wispy, not necessarily cool, but dark enough to put just the right kind of breeze in the air. The croak in Gunn's vocals—and the eventual addition of sideman extraordinaire Jim Elkington on pedal steel—wrapped around the psych-touched meandering guitars perfectly as the songs pushed out from the stage. It's a sound better contained at a venue like the Bottle (where he played last night), but still a perfectly pleasant midday set.

But I was waiting for Chvrches, who were one of my cage-match choices of the weekend. The Scottish electro-pop three-piece cut through the humidity as the small-framed Lauren Mayberry skipped her taut vocals over the crowd as dusk settled in. It was the right formula for an early evening set because it loaded on the thumping synths and rejuvenated a crowd that had become a little too accustomed to dead-standing heat and guitar rock. Flanked by her two black-clad bandmates, Mayberry hunched over and bellowed out her ethereal vocals in a straight-up black-metal pose: hunched over and with her hair in her face. And there was just the right amount of fog blowing in from the side stage, because Chvrches deserves a fog machine, no doubt about it.

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