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Pitchfork wrap-up
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times By Brenda Schumacher
2012-07-24

This article shared 271 times since Tue Jul 24, 2012
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Overall, Pitchfork weekend festival attendance (Friday-Sunday, July 13-15) was down more by more than 5,000, and Friday night was hit the hardest with unusually sparse crowds. But rather than feeling like a bust, the evening had a magical all-access quality for the hearty fans who turned out and discovered they could fairly easily maneuver to the front of the stage.

Short lines and plentiful beer made dodging rain drops and the mini lakes that cropped up in the Pitchfork bowl more of a sport than a bother. The much bigger concern was how to arrange the perfect festival itinerary and see the best of the 47 bands performing on the three stages. Friday's rain-delayed offerings revved up quickly with eager openers Willis Earl Beal, The Olivia Tremor Control and Tim Hecker playing as if they were headlining to a full house.

By evening, the fest was in full stride with energetic rapper ASAP Rocky overlapping with the dynamic Vancouver duo Japanroids, who hit the stage hard and were quickly rewarded with drenched body surfers and a clapping, stomping audience. Big Krit, Clams Casino and Dirty Projectors played to enthusiastic, but small crowds. The night closed with a tough choice between the established, poppy Feist and the hungry young band Purity Ring. The crowd split in half and did a lot of running back and forth.

Psychic Paramount and Atlas moth opened Saturday with a touch of meta and Cloud Nothing followed up, playing through the rain burst. They managed to rouse up a mosh pit just before the power cut out, with the first of many weather induced silences in the roughed up Union Park fields. The mid-afternoon set by the punk inspired Cults kicked the festival into full swing.

The highly anticipated all-girl band Wild Flag busted out riot grrl rock 'n' roll show that will go down as one of the best of the fest. By evening, West Coast MC School Boy Q brought some hip-hop, bounce and swagger, and got some hands waving and fan chanting through a good part of his set. Hot Chip had the unenviable task for following Sleigh Bells, arguably one of the most energetic and memorable performances of the weekend, but the U.K. quartet churned out a fun, classic filled set that inspired a few body surfers and serious bopping.

But it was more of a cool-down set than wild dancing one might expect on this Saturday night slot. God Speed You! Black Emperor built its set around two slow-building epic 25-minute songs with crashing crescendos that many fans appreciated while stretched out on blankets. Grimes, playing an eccentric set at the same time on the smaller Blue stage, added to the theatrical mood at Saturday night close.

Sunday brought the fest's first clear skies for Dirty Beaches, which opened with an incoherent, caucaphonic hour. A Lull, Unknown Mortal Orchestra and Milk Music turned out unremarkable sets to smallish, yet pleasant sun-scorched crowds. Danish punkers Iceage peaked curiosity, but technical difficulties and short tempered band members took the fun out of the hardcore romp. Things took a turn for the great and never looked back with Ty Segal leading the ready-to-be-rowdy crowd in a chant of "Oi, oi, oi," then proceeding to tear up the house, playing a blazing guitar while surfing across the crowd, and even throwing in AC/DC's Dirty Deeds, for good measure.

Tweets were flying about a Lady Gaga sighting at the set of rising Compton rapper Kendrick Lamar, whose impressive freestyling apparently needed no help from the Lady, as she remained an admirer standing at side stage, despite the rumors of a duet. araabMUZIK offered a big-time festival experience drawing a massive, sweaty undulating crowd waving hands in the air as the electro-maestro's hands movd like a rapid-fire surgeon sampling and beat making a hip-hop, drum machine mash-up. The lush, hyptonic Beach House followed with a transcendent set, magically captivated the audience with no most pits or stage diving required. The Brooklyn indie trio Vampire Weekend closed out with a poppy, danceable set, sending the weather-weary crowd home on a happy, uncomplicated note.

Follow the link below the image for gallery of photos by Rebecca Smeyne and Joseph Mohan


This article shared 271 times since Tue Jul 24, 2012
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