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Pitchfork 2019 Recap: Saturday, July 20th

The second day of Pitchfork Festival started off with the same sweltering heat as day one, but a fair amount of festival goers showed up as gates opened to take in the full day of music. The forecast showed continuous sunny skies all day to accompany the heat, but the fest ended up being suddenly evacuated around 5PM by a storm that came out of nowhere. The festival organizers were able to make the call just before torrential downpour hit the park, and most attendees were able to seek shelter in nearby bars and restaurants. Unfortunately, Kurt Vile and Freddie Gibbs sets were cut during the storm, but the festival did reopen after an about an hour of downtime, continuing the night with good weather. Despite the evacuation, day two still proved to be a great day with plenty of highlights. Read about my favorite Saturday moments below!

Lillie West of Lala Lala

Lillie West of Lala Lala

Lala Lala, the project of songwriter and musician Lillie West, opened the second day of the festival with the same all-star band roster that had performed the night prior at Metro, which included V.V. Lightbody, KAINA, Sen Morimoto and Nnamdi Ogbonnaya playing alongside West. Despite having the first set of the day, the heat, and the fact that they were coming off playing a late show the night prior, the entire band sounded as flawless and refreshed as ever. The early day crowd listened intently, even during some of the quieter moments of the set, like the performance of “Scary Movie." Lala Lala’s set also included a cover of “Slip Away” by Perfume Genius, who has also previously performed at Pitchfork Festival. Lala Lala has continuously been one of my favorite bands to see play around the city, but this set was my favorite from them to date.



Ric Wilson with the Lane Tech marching band

Ric Wilson with the Lane Tech marching band

Ric Wilson kicked off the Red Stage for the second day, and his set was hands down my favorite of the day, if not the entire festival. Wilson’s set had literally everything you could want from a festival show; an interactive dance party, guest appearances, and a positive message. The Chicago based artist immediately let the crowd know that he doesn’t tolerate any hate by starting his set with a call and response chant where to told the crowd “no racist, no sexist, no homophobic, and no bullshit” behavior would be tolerated here. The positive vibes continued as Wilson danced across the stage with a beaming smile. A few songs into the set, the first guest appearance came from collaborator and Pitchfork Festival alum, Kweku Collins, who played the festival last year. The energetic performance also featured an appearance from the Lane Tech marching band. And finally, Wilson closed out his set with everyone in the crowd participating in a Soul Train style dance off, which left everyone walking away with a smile on their face to enjoy the rest of the festival.


Jay Som performing at the Blue Stage

Jay Som performing at the Blue Stage

After taking a break to cool down, I moved over to the shaded Blue Stage to catch an afternoon set from Los Angele’s Jay Som. The singer’s dream pop tunes provided the perfect mid-day, chilled out set for festival goers, acting as a retreat from the chaos of the festival and the blistering heat. Jay Som and her band played through trusted favorites like “Baybee” and “The Bus Song” as the audience echoed the words back to the singer. The festival set also included a couple of new ones from the upcoming album Anak Ko, out later this summer via Polyvinyl Records.



Austin Brown of Parquet Courts

Austin Brown of Parquet Courts

Parquet Courts played next on the Green Stage, and they brought tons of energy along with them. It took mere seconds into the band’s first song of the set for the crowd to get amped up and start moshing, even with everyone being drenched in harsh sunlight. Starting at 4:15pm, Parquet Courts’ set took place during the day’s sweet spot, when more and more people decided to start showing up. The band’s uptempo rock tunes like “Master of My Craft” and “Total Football” were perfect for setting up the tone of the evening ahead. Unfortunately about 15 minutes before Parquet Courts’ set was slated to end, they made an announcement to the crowd that weather conditions might cut them short. After playing the title track of their 2018 album Wide Awake, festival goers were asked to calmly evacuate the site and find shelter. While it might have been cut short, the part of Parquet Courts’ set that we did get to experience was definitely a highlight of Saturday.


Following the evacuation of the festival and the downpour of rain, the park opened back up around 6:30PM for sets from Stereolab and Belle & Sebastian. As both of these bands played their sets, the sun once again shone down on Union Park and all was right— almost giving the feeling that it was a completely different day.

The Isley Brothers closing out the second night of Pitchfork

The Isley Brothers closing out the second night of Pitchfork

Before long, the sun began to set on Saturday, and it was then time for the legendary Isley Brothers to close out the night. Their spot on the festival lineup seemed a little out of place between more contemporary pop acts HAIM and Robyn, who bookended the weekend as the other headliners. However, when the brothers and their live ensemble made their way onto the stage to “Let’s Go Crazy” by Prince playing as their introduction song, it was clear that we were all in for a show. As the band began their set of throwbacks, even the younger audience members who might have been unfamiliar with the group’s music could recognize bits of the songs that have been sampled by other artists. The Isley Brothers instantly had the audience moving along to their soulful music, and onstage, they had extravagantly dressed backup singers and dancers to accompany them.


More photos of Saturday featuring Lala Lala, Ric Wilson, Jay Som, Parquet Courts, Stereolab, Belle and Sebastian, and the Isley Brothers

Stay tuned for more Pitchfork Festival coverage

Pitchfork 2019: Local Spotlight

Pitchfork Music Festival kicks off this Friday, July 19th and as always, there’s no shortage of Chicago musicians and bands slated to perform this year. Before you head out to Union Park to experience another packed weekend of live music, brush up on our favorite Chicago artists performing this year.


Ric Wilson

Photo By Michael Salisbury

Photo By Michael Salisbury

Ric Wilson’s bouncy, disco-inspired raps have an infectious energy about them, which carries over to his charismatic stage presence. Blending funk, R&B, and smooth hip-hop, Wilson’s work on his EPs BANBA and Negrow Disco, as well as his latest single “Yelllowbrick,” offers a little something for everyone. While he’s able to connect with listeners through his lyricism, Wilson connects best with his audience during his interactive live performances— there’s no doubt he’ll have the full crowd dancing along to his Pitchfork set. Plus, with an extensive catalog of collaborations with fellow Chicago musicians, chances are we’ll have a special guest or two pop up during Wilson’s set.

For Fans Of: Kweku Collins, Joey Purp, Saba

Start With: “No Hands,” “Hang Loose,” and “Yellowbrick”

Where To Catch Him: Saturday, Red Stage at 1:45-2:25pm


Lala Lala

Photo By Alexa Viscius

Photo By Alexa Viscius


Fronted by London-born, Chicago-based singer songwriter Lillie West, Lala Lala has performed at just about every venue in the city and toured nationally, sharing the stage with bands like Death Cab for Cutie, Frankie Cosmos and Wolf Parade. Lala Lala’s music has connected with a wide-array of audiences thanks to West’s knack for honest and introspective storytelling through her lyrics and her fearless exploration of different sonic landscapes on the 2018 album The Lamb. Make sure you get to the festival early on Saturday to catch a set from West and her band, which will likely be packed with veteran musicians of Chicago’s scene.

For Fans Of: Madeline Kenney, Jay Som, Soccer Mommy

Start With: “Water Over Sex,” “Scary Movie,” and “I Get Cut”

Where to Catch Them: Saturday, Green Stage at 1:00-1:40pm


Tasha

Photo By Alexa Viscius

Photo By Alexa Viscius

Chicago singer-songwriter Tasha has been on a roll since releasing a stunning debut Alone at Last in 2018 via Father/Daughter Records. The record garnered praise from listeners and critics with Tasha’s blend of soothing vocals, gentle melodies and poetic lyrics. This year, Tasha has embarked on her first national tour, playing with artists like Helado Negro and Hand Habits, as well as performing at SXSW. Tasha’s self-described “bed songs” that combine indie pop with a soulful touch will ease Pitchfork goers into the third day of the fest, allowing for a tranquil moment to start the final day.

For Fans Of: Gia Margaret, Jamila Woods, Sir Babygirl

Start With: “Lullaby,” “New Place,” and “Winter Song IV”

Where to catch her: Sunday, Blue Stage at 2:45-3:30pm


Grapetooth

Photo by Alex Hupp

Photo by Alex Hupp

A collaboration between Twin Peaks’ Clay Frankel and producer/songwriter Chris Bailoni, Grapetooth’s synth-heavy, new-wave sound translates into a spirited and raucous live performance, which make the perfect Friday afternoon act to get everyone ready for the long weekend ahead. Since Frankel and Bailoni teamed up and released their first single in 2017, they’ve followed that up with a debut full length release via Polyvinyl Records and played sold out shows across the city. From Lincoln Hall to Thalia Hall, each of Grapetooth’s shows have no shortage of dancing and shenanigans— most of their shows have ended up with the audience joining the band onstage for their closing song, “Trouble.”

For Fans Of: New Order, Knox Fortune, Broncho

Start With: “Trouble,” “Blood,” and “Red Wine”

Where to Catch Them: Friday, Blue Stage at 4:00-4:45pm


Whitney

Photo By Olivia Bee

Photo By Olivia Bee

Whitney is returning to play their second Pitchfork, having first played in 2016 following the release of their debut album. Besides already playing Pitchfork, Whitney has also played Lollapalooza and sold out, back-to-back shows at venues like Thalia Hall, so chances are you’ve seen them play at one point or another. However, this show at Pitchfork marks their first Chicago performance of the new era; Whitney’s second album Forever Turned Around is slated for release on August 30th. Their set at the festival will undoubtedly feature the live premiere of some of the new music, so don’t miss out on the Chicago kick off for Whitney’s highly-anticipated new music.

For Fans Of: Kevin Morby, Durand Jones & The Indications, Courtney Barnett

Start With: “Giving Up,” “Golden Days,” and “No Woman”

Where to Catch Them: Sunday, Green Stage at 6:15-7:15pm


Full Pitchfork Festival Schedule 2019

Courtesy of Pitchfork Festival

Courtesy of Pitchfork Festival

Get your tickets to Pitchfork Music Festival here before it’s too late, and catch up on Pitchfork years past below!






Pitchfork 2019: Aftershow Picks

Pitchfork Music Festival returns to Union Park from July 19th-21st 2019. After the final act of the night finishes and you file out of the park, you can keep the P4K party going by attending some of this year’s aftershows. If you need help deciding where to end your nights during Pitchfork weekend, check out our picks of post-festival gigs below!

Friday Night, July 19th

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Grapetooth and Lala Lala at Metro Chicago

Metro will host a doubleheader by Chicago’s own Grapetooth and Lala Lala after P4K Fest Day 1. With Title TK DJing between sets, this show will undoubtedly be a dance party you don’t want to miss!

Where: Metro

Time: 9PM Doors // 10PM Show

Price: $20ADV // $25 Day Of

Ticket details here.

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Ric Wilson at Schubas

Schubas Tavern will host disco-rap extrodinaire Ric Wilson on Friday night, alongside Pixel Grip, Mia Gladstone, and Kiéla Adira. Wilson’s infectiously upbeat music and attitude will be sure to end your first night of the fest on a high note.

Where: Schubas Tavern

Time: 10PM Doors // 11PM Show

Price: $15

Ticket details here.




Saturday Night, July 20th

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Snail Mail at Thalia Hall

Snail Mail will return to Chicago to headline the Pilsen theater following the festival’s second day, with support from fellow Pitchfork artist Tirzah. Both singer songwriters will provide a captivating oasis for festival goers after two long days of music.

Where: Thalia Hall

Time: 9:30PM Doors // 10:30PM Show

Price: $20-$40

Ticket details here.

Black Midi at The Hideout

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London’s buzzed about Black Midi will headline The Hideout, alongside ONO, on Saturday night of P4K. The show is sold out already, so hopefully you managed to snag a ticket already!

Where: The Hideout

Time: 9PM Doors // 10PM Show

Price: $12

Ticket details here.







Sunday Night, July 21st

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Khruangbin DJ Set

Sleeping Village will host the final after party of the weekend with a DJ set from Khruangbin. During their last tour stop in the city, the trio had hosted their first hit DJ set at the Avondale venue, and this time is guaranteed to be just as great.

Where: Sleeping Village

Time: 10:30PM Doors

Price: $20

Ticket details here.


Don’t forget to grab your tickets to the festival here while you still can.

SXSW 2019: The Complete Photo Gallery

Check out our photo gallery from the annual SXSW Music Festival in Austin, Texas— and stay tuned for interviews and more recaps coming next week.


March 12th featuring Husky Loops, Fatherson, and ShitKid

March 13th featuring The Dunts, Thyla, Easy Life, Dehd, Molly Burch, Slow Pulp, Shy Boys, Fontaines D.C.

March 14th: ANCHR Showcase featuring Faux Furrs, Seasaw, The Golden Fleece, Deeper, Pool Holograph, Uma Bloo, Half Gringa, Rookie, Thompson Springs, The Evening Attraction, Blue Dream

March 15th featuring Pottery, Parrot Dream, Black Belt Eagle Scout, HÆLOS, Tasha, Sir Babygirl

March 16th featuring WAND, Fontaines D.C., Gnarcissists, Stuyedeyed, High Waisted, Pinky Pinky, The Dunts, Native Sun, Miya Folick, Kirin J Callinan

Portraits featuring Stuyedeyed, Nardwuar with Public Practice, Pinky Pinky, Native Sun, Ric Wilson and The Dunts