Reviews, Shows

Pitchfork Music Festival 2010

1 Comment 23 July 2010

Show Review

Your friends here at slapthebass were able to break away from their demanding social schedules to attend the 2010 Pitchfork Music Festival.  Held annually in Chicago’s Union Park, Pitchfork is known for consistently bringing stellar artists of all genres.  Due to overlapping schedules of so many great acts in a short three day timeframe, decisions had to be made.  Here is what we saw.

Friday, only a few shows were partaken: , Broken Social Scene, and .  With heavy hitters and on deck, it may seem like a long shot for Robyn to come out on top for best performance of the day, but she did.  Leading our day off, we had no real expectations for the Swedish pop singer’s set.  Robyn brought so much energy and passion to her live show that she made me actually forget I originally planned on spending her set prepping for BSS.  And let’s not forget her band…two words, tandem vocoders.  With her amazing energy (killer dancing) and badass backing band Robyn ended up ranking as one of the best acts of the whole weekend.

Missed Friday acts: The Tallest Man on Earth, Wyatt Cenac, Michael Showalter, Eugene Mirman

Saturday, there were four shows on the brain: , , Panda Bear, and started our day off and did not disappoint.  I never envisioned my first show to be at a large open air festival in the sweltering heat of 2:30 in the afternoon, so initially I was curious how their unique style of dance-rock would translate.  Little did I know but ’s music was built for such an environment.  The sun seemed to become a fifth instrument amplifying ’s purpose to daze and enlighten.  Hands down, put on a great show.  The rest of the day was basically a holding pattern for LCD Soundsystem.  Closing the night as the main act gave James Murphy and crew the range to play all they wanted.  With the dedication and energy LCD Soundsystem puts towards live performances, it was no surprise the set was absolutely top notch.  The show seemed setup in a rise and fall pattern building up through hits like “Pow Pow” and “Daft Punk is Playing at My House,” culminating at the peak with “All My Friends,” riding the high for a few then closing out with the slow ballad “New York I Love You… / Empire State of Mind.”  Yes, LCD covered Jay-Z.  Overall, the set was awesome.  LCD Soundsystem sounded great live and lived up to expectation that we would have the time of my life…because we did.

Missed Saturday acts: Bear in Heaven

The final day of the festival consisted of another four group lineup: , , , and .  Local Natives were flat out amazing.  The five man crew came across as a single entity, trading instruments and leads until there were only the Local Natives, not five individuals on stage.  The ample three part harmonies and hyperactive drumming which make the Natives’ sound never faltered creating a near perfect performance.  Surfer Blood followed the Local Natives on the same stage.  Having seen the youthful band before, I was not surprised by their superb performance.  The youngsters deliver a tight set filled with all the jams from their debut Astro Coast.  They have a cool about them that is usually gained by decades of touring, but seems to naturally ooze from them.  When the band encounters technical difficulties towards the beginning of the set, singer John Paul Pitts nonchalantly asks the audience if they’d prefer the songs played with or without guitar, then comments to the unanimous yes with, “oh you guys like guitar?”  Well done Surfer Blood.  Not being huge Pavement fans (bring on the hate), we closed out our night and festival with .  As one of the most blogged about bands at the festival the anticipation was quite high for the two person group to hit the stage.  Would they bring the heat like the tubes said they do?  The answer is simple…yes…yes they rocked our faces off.  Live, Derek Miller even seems to embrace some of his hardcore past, playing an Ibanez and moving about the stage as if on a mission.  Little can be said about front woman Alexis Krauss’s presence other than wow.  She managed the crowd and stage like a veteran.  No innocent bystander would guess the band was a little more than a year old and had a mere 32 minutes of recorded material to their name.  The only complaint that can be made is that mixing kept the levels way too low for a band that defines themselves on clipped beats and distortion.  But even with the low amplification, made their presence at Pitchfork known.

Missed Sunday acts: Girls, Washed Out, Beach House, Lightning Bolt, St. Vincent, Big Boi

In its five year running has yet to fail at bringing the best in all genres to three stages to intrigue thousands of onlookers for an entire weekend.  Slapthebass will definitely be attending next year.  So should you.



Preston - who has written 510 posts on Slap The Bass.

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