Day two of Pitchfork Music Festival started off with an appropriately loud metaphorical bang when English Indie band Wild Beasts took to the main state in the scorching mid-day Chicago sun. Decked out in climatically inappropriate attire, dark indigo jeans, long-sleeve button-up shirt underneath a denim jacket, perfectly befitting an English rock band. The group had gathered a remarkably large crowd for a surprisingly early set, bringing their special operatic brand of synth rock, the band managed to make the hot crowd even hotter with the gather masses singing, swaying and dancing along to their almost decades-worth of music. The fevered heated pitch reached its crescendo when the band played their newest singles “Wanderlust” and “A Simple Beautiful Truth.” This had definitely set the bar for performances.
Up next on our list of highly anticipated acts to catch was our long-time favourite Pusha T. Scheduled to take the stage at 4:15, Pusha keep it real and adhered to hip hop time arriving on stage exactly 30-minutes late for his set, and this is a musical festival, you do not get extra time. When he did finally take to the stage, he stormed out to enthusiastic cheers, dropping half-tracks from his solo album My Name is My Name, and his verses from recent collabo’s like Future’s “Move that Dope” and more. Although the energy and passion were there the volume wasn’t. With his under beat/accompanying over powering his actually vocals at times the performance was awkward and bland. The highlight of the set was the gather group of kids outside of the festival gates hanging out a jungle gym with a clear view of the stage going absolutely wild for Pusha’s set.
No festival would be complete without large amounts of glitter, neon, and sequins and Tune-Yards provided that in full force playing their afro indie folk tunes. The crowd went wild for Merrill Garbus and her star spangled crew, singing all their hits from this years album Nikki Nack with emotive intensity. We all had a good dance.
Charismatic weirdo and indie rap superstar Danny Brown arrived on stage at the exact moment he was scheduled and proceeded to unleash a fury of rap music that had the crowd going nuts. The mic levels were perfect and his “don’t give a fuck” cartoonish flow were heard perfectly across the festival grounds. Without a doubt Danny Brown is a showman who cares about his fans and his music. He definitely won us over.
Young Turks latest soon-to-be superstar, electronic musician songstress FKA Twigs to the tucked away Blue Stage as the sun began its final decent on Chicago. Competing with a St. Vincent for a time slot, the British singer pulled a remarkably heft crowd to watch her sing her sweet, soft melodies and dance over the subtle, emotive beats. Wearing a pant-suit featuring the likeness of Germany countertenor Klaus Nomi, Twigs managed to cast a hypnotic spell over her crowd. From the looks on the faces of her adoring fans, you can see it is only a matter of time before she is a superstar.
St. Vincent, the real headliner of day two shuffled on stage almost robotically in perfect harmony with her backing vocalist, welcoming everyone, especially the freaks weirdos in the crowd. She powered through her latest self-titled album almost in its entirety, complete with choreographed dance moves, playing with perfect agility and a powerful energy it was hard to take your eyes off. Crowd favourites included “Digital Witness,” “Birth In Reverse,” and “Huey Newton” from the new album, as well as “Cruel” and “Cheerleader” off Strange Mercy, and finished with what felt like a new song with a lengthy outtro. At the end Annie Clark played a long guitar solo, walking down into the crowd, and back on stage to bang her head into the drum kit repeatedly.
The headliner of day two was Neutral Milk Hotel and we literally did not know a single person who gave a fuck. What’s that song they sing?
Take a look through our Pitchfork Music Festival Day Two pictures below.