If you’re a true music fan living here in Chicago, you know that Pitchfork is THE event of summer music festival season. Charming as always, the laid-back festival featured numerous food and alcohol vendors, as well as the brand-new Pitchfork PLUS+ section. In PLUS+, cocktails and food were curated by Chicago’s Land and Sea department (I tried a fish-focused dish from Lost Lake, which was delicious), and included air-conditioned bathrooms, which were a welcome reprieve from Sunday’s humidity. Other features of the festival included the pop-up Saint Heron house on Sunday, CHIRP’s record store, and the poster vendors—I was very excited to snag a Sonnenzimmer piece this year!
Musically, the festival tended to lean a little heavily towards the rock and indie side this year, with acts like Pinegrove and LCD Soundsystem drawing almost shockingly large crowds, but the lineup was excellently diverse nonetheless. All of the hip hop acts were some of the best that I’ve seen at Pitchfork: Isaiah Rashad was extremely charismatic, while Joey Purp brought an intense energy to his set. Of course, A Tribe Called Quest’s closing performance on Saturday was legendary, and a highlight of the festival. Arca and Derrick Carter gave electronic music a great name—Arca’s performance was absolutely wild, as he played high-intensity Latin music and unsettling visuals while rocking heels and a leotard.
My favorites, however, were Nicolas Jaar and Solange. Both artists were mesmerizing in different ways; Jaar put the audience in a trance-like state, making an hour feel like 15 minutes (no exaggeration). Solange, however, felt reverent, as if I was in a place of worship. Tears were shed as she performed her catalogue of hits (shoutout to “Locked In Closets”). While it may not have been my most exciting year at Pitchfork, it was an enjoyable one nonetheless, and a festival that’s always worth going to, in my opinion.