Pitchfork Music Festival returned to Union Park on July 20-22. While there was some light rain, the weather cooperated for the most partand so did the musicians. Ms. Lauryn Hill arrived almost 30 minutes late, but at least she stayed for a full set of music.
For most of the artists, it was not about new music and instead brought their following from past records. This was the case for singer Moses Sumney with last year's Aromanticism and Philadelphia multi-instrumentalist ( Sandy ) Alex G, who had his Bandcamp fanatics packed around the Blue Stage.
The talented Raphael Saadiq, who many know from the group Tony! Toni! Tone!, chatted after his set to Windy City Times explaining he wanted to try new music from his upcoming fifth album called Jimmy Lee about addiction inspired by family members. He felt like this was the arena to present new things such as the song "I'm So Ready." He talked about going to the Academy Awards for his Mudbound nomination, producing Solange Knowles album and being from the Bay Area where he has always been supportive for gay rights. He described his Pitchfork performance as being similar to Prince's Purple Rain in the way that new music was played. Having toured on the Parade Tour in the past, he said, "He was an amazing artist who was our Jimi Hendrix, Elton John and Bob Dylan." Although he didn't know his hometown of Oakland, California, had a gay Pride celebration coming in September, he said his song "Keep Marching" would be perfect for the parade: "I love it!"
Girlpool's Harmony Tividad and Cleo Tucker, who came out as gender-non-binary last year, brought an intense sound to the mixed crowd for their July 21 set.
Chaka Khan was a seasoned pro, with five decades of music condensed down to hits like "I'm Every Woman" and "Ain't Nobody." She mentioned she was glad to be home, and seemed relaxed with the funky "Tell Me Something Good."
Hill was the closing act for the weekend, mentioning several times that the groundbreaking CD The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill is now 20 years old. She did a lot of motioning for the sound to be adjusted that was distracting, but overall seemed to be in good spirits, making for a happy ending to the music festival.
Visit PitchforkMusicFestival.com for future plans in 2019 .