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Pitchfork 2019 Recap: Sunday, July 21st

Pitchfork Festival’s final day rolled around on Sunday, featuring a lineup packed to the brim with some of my favorite artists to close out the fest. Throughout the weekend, the weather forecast for Sunday had gone back and forth— varying from raining all day to showing clear skies and temperatures in the 70s. When the morning rolled around, it looked like we might have gotten stuck with cooler temperatures and rain—especially when gates were postponed nearly an hour with rain and threats of lightning. However, after the morning and brief early afternoon storm, the gates opened and the rest of the day went smoothly and according to plan.

Sunday’s theme definitely revolved around the camaraderie in the Chicago music scene, with incredible sets from some local artists that featured multiple guest appearances. In addition to the Chicago music community, here are the rest of the day’s highlights.

Morgan Simpson of Black Midi

Morgan Simpson of Black Midi

London’s Black Midi played the Green Stage in the early afternoon, getting the energy ramped up for the day with their experimental hard rock. The festival site by the main stage had flooded with the early morning rain, but despite the puddles, fans watching Black Midi didn’t let some mud get in the way of their fun. The band’s high energy was matched by the crowd, who started a muddy mosh pit early on in the set.


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Next up, Chicago’s Tasha made her much-deserved Pitchfork Festival debut over on the Blue Stage. Tasha’s 2018 album Alone at Last showcases her smooth and soulful indie pop, and her set at Pitchfork provided a tranquil escape for festival attendees. I’ve seen Tasha perform captivating solo sets several times throughout the last year, but her festival set was one of the first times I’ve seen her with a backing band. The addition of the band gave her intimate songs a layered and more full sound. Tasha also treated fans to some brand new, unreleased songs, which she performed solo.





JPEGMAFIA on one of his many trips into the crowd

JPEGMAFIA on one of his many trips into the crowd

One of the best things about music festivals is that you can go in with expectations of what bands you’re seeing and what time, but you’re always given the chance to see a band you’ve never seen perform, or even listened to before. On Sunday of Pitchfork, rapper JPEGMAFIA was that artist for me. I wandered over to JPEGMAFIA’s set with no expectations, having never seen him before, and his stage presence was one that immediately drew me (and everyone else) in. After making his way onstage, it didn’t take long for the performer to become very close with the audience; He began his set giving photographers and people in the crowd hugs ,and shortly after, crowd surfed. Throughout his set, he probably spent more time in the crowd than onstage between all of his surfing and standing on the barricade to dance with the audience. JPEGMAFIA is a performer who demands your attention and puts all their energy into keeping your attention for the duration of the show, and he put on one of the best sets of Pitchfork Weekend.




Lisa-Kaindé and Naomi Diaz of Ibeyi

Lisa-Kaindé and Naomi Diaz of Ibeyi

Ibeyi is a duo of French twin sisters Lisa-Kaindé and Naomi Diaz, and while I’ve listened to them for years, I unfortunately never had the chance to see them perform before their set at Pitchfork. Ibeyi’s performance at the fest was well worth the wait and reinforced how much of a fan I am of their music. They started their set and immediately brought positive vibes and good spirits with their kind energy and smiles, but it was their sisterly harmonies and strong vocals that gave me goosebumps. My favorite part of their set was when they used their music to share their political beliefs, performing their song “No Man Is Big Enough For My Arms,” which samples part of a speech by Michelle Obama.


Laura Lee, Mark Speer, and Donald Ray "DJ" Johnson of Khruangbin

Laura Lee, Mark Speer, and Donald Ray "DJ" Johnson of Khruangbin

Texas trio Khruangbin has also been a favorite of mine to see live, and their set at Pitchfork Festival was no exception. While they’re a band of few words and play a lot of instrumental jams, they were able to capture a large crowd with their entrancing blend of funk, soul, and psychedelic tunes. Khruangbin has an effortlessly cool stage presence, making them the perfect Sunday afternoon act.


Julien Ehrlich of Whitney

Julien Ehrlich of Whitney

Hometown heroes Whitney made their return to Pitchfork Festival, following up their 2016 performance at the fest with a kickoff to their new era. Earlier this summer, the band announced their highly anticipated sophomore album Forever Turned Around would be released August 30th, so naturally their first hometown show in almost a year featured some never before played songs. In addition to the new material, what really made Whitney’s set special was the sense of community—both onstage and offstage. When the band performed their popular tune “Golden Days” from their debut album, they got a little help from their friends, including Pitchfork acts Ric Wilson, Tasha, Chai, Snail Mail, Soccer Mommy, and Lala Lala. The audience also sang and swayed along to all of their old favorites from Light Upon the Lake.





Charli XCX

Charli XCX

Charli XCX was definitely one of the more mainstream artists to play Pitchfork Festival this year. As a pop artist, Charli XCX is an artist whose songs are everywhere— songs that you’ll know 99% of the words to because they’re so catchy they stick with you after only a couple of listens. Despite the larger than life pop anthems that she’s known for, Charli’s stage set up was actually pretty minimal. Two massive yellow cubes acted as a backdrop, and the singer made her entrance onto stage by herself, sans a backing band. Though her setup was simple, her fanbase proved to be mighty; Fans camped out at the Red Stage all day to get a prime spot, they wore pink cowboy hats and held up signs with references to her songs. The dedicated fans helped make the set so powerful— as they danced and sang along, the positive energy radiated throughout the crowd.


Robyn closing out the festival

Robyn closing out the festival

Robyn closed out the whole festival with one of the most fun and cathartic shows I’ve ever seen. Robyn’s set up featured a delicately draped backdrop and backup singers, but at the center of her incredible performance stood her legendary electro-pop songs. Getting to experience the live performance of songs like “Call Your Girlfriend” and “Dancing On My Own” in a huge crowd of both friends and strangers all singing and dancing along was the best way to close out the festival weekend.




Photos of Flasher, Black Midi, Tasha, JPEGMAFIA, Ibeyi, Clairo, Khruangbin, Whitney, Chari XCX, Snail Mail, and Robyn

PHOTOS: Snail Mail and Tasha's Pitchfork Aftershow

Sunday Pitchfork Festival acts Snail Mail and Tasha gave Chicago fans a preview of their shows on Saturday night, with an aftershow at Thalia Hall. Both acts put on a stunning show and got everyone ready to see them at Pitchfork the final day. Check out photos from their sets 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.

Live Recap: Snail Mail Returns to TNK Fest for a Sold Out Show with Varsity and Lala Lala

Last year, Lindsey Jordan’s project Snail Mail played a sold out headline show at Schubas as part of Chicago’s annual TNK Festival, and this year, Jordan and her band returned to do the same. Only this time, they played to about five times as many people at The Metro.

From the moment the doors opened at the Wrigleyville venue, streams of fans took their place in the packed room for a great night of music, which kicked off at 9PM sharp with Chicago’s own Varsity. The indie pop-rock five piece delivered a short, but sweet set to warm everyone up for the rest of the night. Varsity kept their between-song banter to a minimum and smoothly transitioned from song to song in order to pack in as many of their tunes as possible into their set time. The crowd sang along to a lot of Varsity’s familiar favorites, like “So Sad, So Sad,” which got a lot of cheers when the opening chords rang out. Before closing out with one of their latest singles “The Dogs Only Listen to Him,” the band tested out a brand new song on the attentive audience.

Next, it was time for Lala Lala, the project of Chicago-based singer-songwriter Lillie West. The set kicked off with the single “Water Over Sex” from Lala Lala’s second album The Lamb, which was just released in September last year, but was easily one of my top played albums of 2018. Based on the amount of people singing and dancing along, it clearly wasn’t just me who had the album on repeat. Like the album itself, the live set showcases the dynamic production and soundscapes of the songs, ranging from the jarring, percussive intro of “I Get Cut” to the mellow and slow-building “Lala Song.”  Although West’s live lineup of fellow Chicago musicians often changes with different tours based on schedules, her current band had great chemistry and seamlessly flowed with one another. West and the band closed out the set on a high note, performing West and WHY?’s collaboration “Siren 042,” which had just been released the week prior. The final song of the set featured Sen Morimoto on saxophone, who will also be joining Lala Lala on their nearly two month tour that kicked off last week.

Finally, with the crowd warmed up and anxious for Snail Mail to hit the stage, the lights dimmed and Jordan made her way onstage with her bandmates. The musicians were welcomed with an overwhelming wave of cheers and applause as they began an instrumental intro, which bled into the single “Heat Wave” from Snail Mail’s 2018 debut album Lush. The crowd immediately became a choir, echoing the lyrics back to Jordan, who gave her approval with a “sounds good” and a smile. While Snail Mail may only have one album out, the band spent 2018 touring relentlessly, and the graceful and humble nature displayed by Jordan on Thursday night was that of a seasoned, veteran performer.

Throughout the rest of the set, Jordan’s humility remained, paired with an effortless and natural stage presence that kept the sold-out crowd hypnotized. Whether it was to songs from the album, like “Let’s Find An Out” and “Deep Sea,” or earlier material like “Thinning” from Snail Mail’s 2016 EP Habit, the audience never stopped singing along. When it came time for Jordan to perform the lead single from the album, “Pristine,” she invited a couple of guests up onstage to lend a hand as backing vocalists. As the night began to wind down, Jordan closed out the set sans band to give a solo performance of “Anytime” and “Stick.”


If you missed out on tickets to the memorizing TNK show, see where you can catch Snail Mail next here.


Photos of Varsity, Lala Lala and Snail Mail at TNK night two

PHOTOS: Snail Mail with Bonny Doon and Miranda Winters at SubT 6.16.18

Snail Mail returned to Chicago this past weekend to headline a sold out Subterranean, accompanied by Bonny Doon and Miranda Winters of Melkbelly. Check out our photo gallery of the stacked line up below! 

Check out the rest of Snail Mail's upcoming tour dates here, and listen to the debut album Lush in full below!

TNK Fest 2018: Five Must See Acts

Ahh, it's January in Chicago, which means snow and sub-zero temperatures. On the bright side, it also means it's time for Tomorrow Never Knows Fest, the annual multi-venue, 5-day, indoor (thank god) festival. Last year we wrote about our five most anticipated bands playing the festival, but we also discovered some new favorites, like Dream Version, Overcoats, and Acid Dad. While we're excited for pretty much all of the bands playing this year, and looking forward to even discovering some new favorites, here are our top five most anticipated acts of TNK Fest 2018.


HINDS

This Madrid quartet consisting of Carlotta Cosials, Ana García Perrote, Ade Martín, and Amber Grimberge crafts irresistibly lively and light-hearted lo-fi rock tunes with melodies that'll get lodged in your head for days, but their live show is where it's at. The four piece exude crazy chemistry and project so much positivity and energy whenever they take the stage, making their set at TNK 2018 one you absolutely cannot miss. Although they're based in Spain, 2017 saw HINDS over in The States quite a bit, performing at Coachella, and co-headlining a tour with Chicago's Twin Peaks. It's been a minute since they headlined a packed Empty Bottle here in the city back in May, though, so make sure you snag a ticket to welcome them back to Chicago. 

When/Where: Lincoln Hall //January 21st, 9PM. Grab tickets here. 

Start With: "Bamboo," "Garden," and "Warts"

ANCHR Recommended Local Bands Playing The Show: PEEL

For Fans Of: Twin Peaks, The Big Moon, Cherry Glazerr 

Photo By Aaron Serrano

Photo By Aaron Serrano

Ron Gallo

Speaking of incredible stage presence, the Nashville-via-Philly singer songwriter Ron Gallo puts on an unforgettable show. 2017 was quite the year for Gallo, which saw the release of his debut solo album, Heavy Meta, following Gallo's time with his band Toy Soldiers.  Heavy Meta sees Gallo exploring serious subjects in a quirky and blunt way, wrapped up in raw and rowdy rock tunes. Gallo toured heavily last year as well, not only touring Europe and The States, but appearing heavily on the festival circuit; playing Lollapalooza, Shaky Knees, Lou Fest and more! This year he's already been booked for Coachella and Hangout, but help him kick things off by grabbing tickets to see him with Diane Coffee at TNK Fest! You can get ready for the show by re-visiting our interview with Ron Gallo here

When/Where: Lincoln Hall //January 19th, 9PM. Grab tickets here. 

Start With: "Young Lady, You're Scaring Me," "Put The Kids to Bed," and "All the Punks are Domesticated

ANCHR Recommended Local Bands Playing The Show: Yoko and the Oh No's

For Fans Of: Cage The Elephant, The Districts, Naked Giants 

Photo by Rachel Zyzda

Photo by Rachel Zyzda

Snail Mail

The brainchild of the Maryland musical prodigy Lindsey Jordan, Snail Mail brings honest alternative rock narratives that deserve your full attention. Following her 2015 and 2016 EPs, Sticki and Habit, Jordan toured extensively with the likes of Waxahatchee and Beach Fossils in 2017. This year is already filling up quickly for her, with Snail Mail being booked for Coachella and national tour dates announced through April. Help Snail Mail also kick off a sure-to-be successful year by coming to her show at Schubas Tavern, which features a stacked lineup of fellow badass bands and artists, including Stef Chura and Ratboys

When/Where: Schubas Tavern //January 19th, 8PM. The show is sold out, but you can grab TNK 5-day passes here

Start With: "Thinning," "Habit," and "Slug"

ANCHR Recommended Local Bands Playing The Show: Bunny

For Fans Of: Priests, Japanese Breakfast, Beach Fossils 

Photo By Audrey Melton

Photo By Audrey Melton

Liz Cooper & The Stampede 

Nashville based trio Liz Cooper & The Stampede blend multiple genres together to create a recognizable yet refreshing sound. The nomadic and multi-talented Liz Cooper fronts the group, and the trio's folk rock melodies mesh perfectly with Cooper's soulful and raspy vocals. The group has caught the eye of many lately; recording Audiotree sessions and performing at their annual festival last year, as well as making an appearance at the massive ACL Festival in 2017. The three piece will perform at Lincoln Hall with Rayland Baxter, and you can get ready for the show by re-visiting our interview with Liz Cooper & The Stampede here

When/Where: Lincoln Hall //January 20th, 9PM. Grab tickets here

Start With:  "Mountain Man," "Hey Man," and "Dalai Lama"

For Fans Of: Desert Noises, Big Thief, Julien Baker 

Photo by Rachel Zyzda

Photo by Rachel Zyzda

Okey Dokey

Also from Nashville, the duo of Aaron Martin and Johny Fisher (guitarist for The Weeks) blend retro and soulful tones into psychedelic rock tunes that completely capture their listeners with the stories told in each song. Okey Dokey's show at TNK fest marks nearly a year since the release of their debut album, Love You, Mean It, which brought on an incredible year for them in 2017. Their show at Schubas will undoubtedly showcase their fun and dynamic spirit, and the lineup also includes former Chicagoan Cut Worms and Sonny Smith, so don't miss it!

When/Where: Schubas Tavern //January 18th, 8PM. Grab tickets here

Start With: "Wavy Gravy," "Coffee Boi," and "Low Rent/ Blue Skies"

ANCHR Recommended Local Bands Playing The Show: Cafe Racer

For Fans Of: Mt. Joy, Omni, Hoops

Photo Courtesy of Okey Dokey

Photo Courtesy of Okey Dokey


There you have it! Again, this list is just the tip of the iceberg. Check out the full line up here, and make sure you get to all the shows early. So many of our favorite hometown bands are playing these shows, and they all need to be on your radar this year! Lastly, get ready for the show by listening to the official TNK Mixtape below.