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Live Recap: Overcoats Open Up The Vic Theatre for Mitski 10.25.18

The Brooklyn best friend duo of Hana Elion and JJ Mitchell, AKA Overcoats, has been to Chicago several times over the past couple of years, each time sharing their cleverly crafted mix of electronic and folk music from their 2017 debut album Young. They’ve performed everywhere from Schubas, Lincoln Hall, The Metro, festivals, and so on. As it turns out, their show at The Vic on Thursday, October 25th created a full circle moment for Overcoats, brining Elion and Mitchell back to the same stage they’d first performed on in this city in 2016, opening for Matt Corby. Towards the end of their set last week, the pair recalled their first time at The Vic, Elion joking “We used to travel by Megabus. Now we’re adults and we rent mini vans.”

While their mode of transportation may have matured, Overcoats also continues to grow tremendously in their stage presence and their sound. When I saw Overcoats perform as headliners at Schubas Tavern in May 2017, shortly after the release of their album, Elion and Mitchell brought a full show of coordinated outfits and choreography to the small and humble stage at the Lakeview tavern. The pair has always had that sense of synchronization in their show, but they’ve managed to adapt those aspects of their show to scale as they move up to bigger stages, all while managing to keep a strong focus on their message. One of Overcoats’ primary messages is lifting each other up as women, and on Thursday night, Mitchell made that known by saying “The future is believing women” at the beginning of their set. The crowd eagerly absorbed what Overcoats had to tell them both between songs and during their songs, cheering their empowering speaking points and cheering their choreography. Some of the audience at The Vic joined along in singing some of Overcoats’ songs like “Nighttime Hunger” and “Hold Me Close,” and they also responded enthusiastically to the couple of new songs performed by Overcoats last week. One of the new songs, called “The Fool,” sounded a little edgier with a shouty chorus that channeled Le Tigre vibes. This new twist to their already complex dynamic that blends different genres together showcases Elion and Mitchell’s fearlessness as artists.

Perhaps the biggest nod to Overcoats’ talent and showmanship, though, was their ability to keep the show going on Thursday despite technical difficulties. Early on in the night, loud feedback could be heard in the house and in the band’s monitors, and it took the venue staff more than fifteen minutes to make it stop. Rather than put the set on hold, Elion and Mitchell played through the noise, determined to keep the show rolling. “We’ll just have to play louder,” they joked. Finally, at the end of the set, the feedback noise stopped, and the duo were able to wrap up their set with “Leave The Light On,” which once again highlighted their dance moves.

After coming full circle since their fist time in Chicago, it’s only a matter of time before Overcoats are not only playing, but headlining bigger stages across the country. Keep an eye out for new music and a second album from the pair, and check out photos of their’s and Mitski’s set on October 25th below.

Catch Overcoats in a city near you—upcoming tour dates here.

Pitchfork Festival Photo Gallery

Already got the post-Pitchfork blues? Relive all the fun with our photo gallery of the incredible weekend, and check out our daily highlights featuring some standout moments during the performances. 

Friday featured Priests,  Hiss Golden Messenger, Vince Staples, Frankie Cosmos, Danny Brown, Dirty Projectors, and LCD Soundsystem.

Sunday featured NE-HI, Kilo Kish, poetry reading by the book fort, Isaiah Rashad, Joey Purp, Hamilton Leithauser, Pinegrove, Jamila Woods, and portraits with Vic Mensa and Taylor Bennett

Pitchfork Fest Day 2 Highlights

After and eventful first day at Pitchfork 2017, we returned to Union Park for another full day of music. During the second day, we managed to watch more than ten bands, but here are the moments that stood out as the top five highlights!

Jeff Rosenstock Became Obsessed Over The Wave

Brooklyn based punk rocker Jeff Rosenstock had the crowd at The Red Stage getting rowdy before the clock struck 2PM on Saturday. From the get go, Rosenstock expressed his elation about his band being invited to play at Pitchfork, even joking at one point that the person who invited his band to play must have gotten fired. Early on in his set, Rosenstock requested that the huge crowd did the wave, shortly after asking, "What if we do a converging wave, and when it gets to the center, everyone just does spirit fingers?" (The crowd happily obliged again). Rosenstock kept the crowd hooked for the remainder of his set with his humorous stage presence and lighthearted songs that had the crowd screaming back the lyrics. If you didn't roll out of bed on time to see him yesterday, catch him tonight at The Beat Kitchen!

Jeff Rosenstock rocking The Red Stage 

Jeff Rosenstock rocking The Red Stage 

Cherry Glazerr Crawled On Stage

Los Angeles based rock band Cherry Glazzer played a very sold out show at Schubas Tavern on Friday in advance of their Pitchfork Fest performance, and as one of the buzziest bands around at the moment, it's no surprise The Blue Stage viewing area filled up quickly for their 2:45PM show. Known for her outlandish stage presence, lead singer Clementine Creevy entered the stage by crawling to her mic stand. As the performance continued, Creevy continued her boisterous antics, making faces at the crowd and working the entire stage. Definitely one of the most entertaining sets at Pitchfork so far, Cherry Glazerr is a band you don't want to miss live. 

Clementine Creevy crawling onstage

Clementine Creevy crawling onstage

Mitski Was So Grateful She Almost Cried 

"I can't thank you enough," Mitski told the crowd early on during her afternoon set, which followed Cherry Glazerr's show at The Blue Stage. Although she's quite the contrast to the over-the-top Cherry Glazerr set, Mitski drew in a massive crowd with her mellow narratives, which provided a nice break from the fast-paced day.  Mitski first mesmerized the crowd with her soft, ethereal vocals, but quickly showed off her chops when the pace gradually picked up and she held out a roaring note towards the end of her set. Mitski reiterated her appreciation of the crowd saying, "This has been my dream since I was a little girl," her voice wavering with her thanks. If you missed Mitski's compelling set, she'll be back in October with The Pixies. 

Mitski singing her heartfelt songs 

Mitski singing her heartfelt songs 

Francis Climbed a Tree 

Francis Farewell Starlite, the man behind Francis and the Lights, has collaborated with everyone from Bon Iver, Kanye West, and Chance the Rapper, recently remixing his song "May I Have This Dance" with the latter. That new collaboration coupled with Chance's tendency to show up announced at Chicago festivals had the crowd buzzing with rumors about a Chancis (Francis + Chance) performance. Although Chance never did end up joining Francis during his set, Francis kept the crowd glued to him the entire time, darting around from one end of the empty stage to the next as he sang over his tracks like "See Her Out (Thats Just Life)" and "I Want You To Shake" from his debut album Farewell, Starlite!  Towards the end of his set, Francis took the energy up a notch, climbing a rig on the side of the stage and eventually making his way over to a tree next to the stage to climb that. Francis's Pitchfork performance reinforced his captivating stage presence as a musician and as an entertainer. 

Francis and the trees

Francis and the trees

A Tribe Called Quest Brought On Nostalgia 

Although it's been a while since they've toured and the iconic 80's hip hop group lost one of their founding members Phife Dawg last year, when A Tribe Called Quest hit the stage at 8:30PM Saturday, the energy at Union Park reached an all time high. Festival goers of all ages could be spotted screaming the lyrics back to the stage, which was lit up by the constantly-changing graphics and videos designed for this farewell tour by A Tribe Called Quest. The remaining members of the tribe also paid tribute to Phife Dawg, leaving an empty mic stand on stage in his memory. The nostalgic performance wrapped up about two minutes before the noise curfew of the festival and left the crowd wandering out of the park in awe of the historic performance. 

A Tribe Called Quest making their Chicago comeback

A Tribe Called Quest making their Chicago comeback

Day 2 also included incredible performances from Vagabon, PJ Harvey, Angel Olsen, and more. Stay tuned for a photo gallery of the whole weekend, featuring photos of performances across the entire weekend, and follow along on our socials for real time updates of the third and final day of Pitchfork!