re-up, i mean re-cap

07.13.07 | 07.14.07 |07.15.07 pitchfork music festival @ union park, chicago.

our third annual (pitchfork / chicago, blow out weekend) has now come and gone. i think that all participants will agree that this year was the best yet due to (in no small part) great weather, great tunes, milwaukee party now, and the wonderful city of chicago.



photo by styles

the festivities began on friday evening when we arrived just in the nick of time for gza’s rendition of “liquid swords”. as the beginning notes of ‘liquid swords’ came pouring out of the speakers, we all knew we were in for a good one. after the first song, gza let us all know that he made the trip to chicago all the way from amsterdam (where the wu was playing a few shows), so there was no shot to hear other members of the clan on the “liquid swords” jams. but my disappointment at this fact slowly began to fade as the show continued. after a few songs cappadonna and killah priest joined the genius on the stage and pushed the set to a whole ‘nother level. seeing one of my all time favorite hip hop albums performed on stage in its “entirety” was a sort of surreal experience. after the album was completed gza shared a few wu tracks and performed a tribute to the late ol dirty bastard. overall a nice start to the festival. it was also rad to hear gza shout out sonic youth and announce them to the stage. good stuff.

sonic youth

photo by styles

a few minutes after gza walked off stage (while i was still reeling from the set) sonic youth took the mic. ripping right into one of my favorite songs ‘teenage riot’ and i knew that i was in for it. now, i have to admit that i am not as familiar with “daydream nation” as a should be, but there was no denying the intensity and awesomeness of this performance. just incredible. highlights included ‘teenage riot’, ‘silver rocket’, and ‘total trash’


twilight sad – 1:00

picture by matt picasso, check out his excellent blog here.

the twilight sad got my “proper” festival experience off to a good start. i was not expecting much, but the band’s short set was just what the doctor ordered to get me going. i loved the band’s intensity at 1pm in the afternoon, rocking through some of my favorite cuts from their newest album. the lead singer was awesome with his eyes rolling into the back of his head during some songs. cannot wait to see these guys again, preferably in a smaller venue.

califone – 1:30

photo by gary smith

again not expecting much. i know of califone, know they are supposed to be good, but have really slacked on their albums. they turned out to be a very tight, talented, and entertaining band. i was very impressed with their set.

voxtrot – 2:00

photo by matt picasso

i checked out voxtrot from a distance, so i cannot give a detailed or accurate account of their set. it sounded pretty entertaining, but did not intrigue me enough to get me closer to the stage.

grizzly bear – 3:00

photo by mike harper

checked out the majority of the grizzly set. i am not a huge fan of the band, but they do have a few tunes that i really enjoy. i was not that impressed with their set, but it did seem that others around me were enjoying. good but not great.

beach house – 3:10

i skipped out early on the grizzly bear set to catch the end of beach house. i got to see the last three or four songs by the band. the sound on the small stage was a bit suspect, but i liked what i heard from the house.

fugiya and miyagi – 4:10

photo by styles

after a nice delay due to sound issues, fugiya y miyagi got the indie kids dancing with a rocking dancy set. i was impressed with what i heard of the set, but skipped out early to camp out for a good spot for iron and wine. i would say that fugiya was good but i enjoyed them more at johnny brendas in philadelphia. having said this (b.i and milky) both watched the whole set and thought that it was one of the best performances of the day.

iron and wine – 5:00

photo by styles

while i was standing around waiting for sam beam to take the stage, i caught the last song by the battles. it was good. i was disappointed to have to miss their set, but i had some tough decisions to make. iron and wine totally rocked it, in my opinion. it was a fairly chilling set but a beautiful and groovin one as well. the set was plagued by a bunch of feedback, but that did not dampen the party. sam beam and friends played a slew of new tunes (i think we may be in for a treat with the new album), a few oldies, and cover radiohead (acoustic ‘no surprised’ encore)! this set was hands down one of my highlights of the whole weekend.

clipse – 7:00

photo by matt picasso

after a short diner break, milky and i proceeded to find an excellent spot for the clipse show. we wanted to be up close to experience this one. i was happy with our decision, cause clipse freaking ripped the house. the virginia duo, absolutely grabbed our attention and took us for a ride throughout their albums and mixtapes. they seemed so excited and interested in putting on a great set, they reacted nicely with the crowd, and just had a great time up there. banging beats / lyrics and an intense stage presence made the clipse set one of my highlight of the fest. the part of the set (for me) was when pusha stated “so this is what it feels to have the album of the year”…”i don’t give a shit what anybody says, we the number one album”. or something like that. good stuff.

girl talk – 8:30

photo by styles

i had all intentions to see cat power but the heat, exhaustion and a chilling set by chan forced me to retreat to the girl talk set. we made out way through the sea of people only to find an extremely uncomfortable spot on a fence. after a few songs getting knocked into the fence and having armpits in our faces (b.i), we decided to leave the festival grounds with hopes to catch the rest of the set out on the street. we grabbed a spot across the street. police cars crowed the road, festival goers / random people gathered and the inevitable dance party started on the sidewalk. we got to witness the rest of the girl talk set and one of the cooler moments in pitchfork festival history (in my opinion) from out new vantage point. our roving reporter styles p had the opportunity to see the set (in the shit), he later told us that grizzly bear joined the stage to do a live mashup of their song the knife (good stuff)! great, great way to end day one!



deerhunter – 1:00

photo by matt picasso

day two started a bit late for me (as my old ass was feeling fatigue start to creep in after two days of music and a bunch of party right now! in chicago). i arrived at union park to catch the last parts of the deerhunter set. i was not expecting to really like deerhunter, but i was surprised to be diggin the bands songs by afar. i was kicking myself for not getting down to the festival early.

ponys – 2:00

photo by gary smith

i grabbed a nice spot on the lawn and dug on the sun and the tunes. i thought that the pony’s rocked it, but their set was hindered by technical difficulties. overall, i thought they were enjoyable but do not consider myself a big fan of this band.

menomena – 2:00

photo by styles

menomena was one of my most anticipated bands to see at the fest, having never seen them before. i was a bit disappointed with the set but i do not believe that the band was at all responsible for my disappointment. the sound, during their set was turned way down. making it hard to hear the goodness that is menomena. even with the sound problems the set was very good and i found myself engulfed in the music. they played mostly new tunes, but played them well. i cannot wait to see these guys rock a small club with a good sound system.

junior boys – 3:00

photo by styles

the junior boys put on yet another set plagued by a faulty sound-system. the speakers kept going in and out, one minute we were jamming to some really loud music the next minute the speakers cut out. even with the sound problems the junior boys put on a good show. armed with jeremy and a bass, a drummer and that other guy – the boys totally annihilated. not my favorite jb’s show, but very good times none the less. dancing in the 3 pm chicago sun, cannot beat that.

sea and cake – 4:00

i was able to check out the sea and cake from afar, but was unable to make a concrete assessment of the show. it sounded pretty good but did not entice me to move in for a closer look.

jamie lidell – 5:00

photo by matt picasso

mr. lidell put forth the most interesting and surprising set of the whole festival. jamie’s album is one thing (a nice rhythm and bluesy disc) but his live show is something else entirely. the man can put on a show. at one point, he started a song by beat-boxing and then recorded it, looped it back, and did some other crazy shit on top of it. he was fun, talented, interesting, and got us moving. by far one of the most entertaining sets of the whole weekend. what a pleasant surprise!

stephen malkmus – 6:00

photo by matt picasso

i was very excited for show, but became a bit disinterested when i realized that the jicks would not be joining malkmus on stage. it would be more of a solo set, so i decided to catch it from a distance. therefor, i cannot say to much about it. i hear he played alot of pavement jams.

cool kids – 6:30

i ran over to the side stage to catch a few minutes of the cool kids set. i has heard so much about this up and coming chicago based hip hop band. they sounded pretty good, but again the sound system failed them. it was way to quiet. they dropped some dope beats, old school rhymes, and claimed to be the black beastie boys. keep your eye out on these guys.

of montreal – 7:00

photo by styles

of montreal put on the stage show of the festival, hands down. there were other bands that i thought played better sets, but of montreal’s stage presence and the freak show that went on up on that stage, would not be surpassed. they played a bunch of new tunes, all sounding good. it is a bit hard to describe what happened on that stage (you kinda had to be there) but there were monsters, syrup, gold spandex clad women, football players, s&m, etc. crazy shit. check these guys out if you have the chance.

new pornographers – 8:00

photo by gary smith

i did not get a chance to see as much of the new pornographers set as i would have like to. it was a long day and a bathroom break and dinner were more important than trying to hear the whole np show. what i did hear from the band was solid. a bunch of new songs and a few classics. highlight for me was ‘spanish techno’.

de la soul – 9:00

i was able to catch about half of the de la show. by this time on sunday evening, i was spent and did not have the energy or patients to deal with the zoo that would be the chicago “l” after the festival. i decided to pack it in after i heard my favorite de la soul song ‘saturday’. i was happy!

** styles p had the opportunity to check out a bunch of the bands at the side tent and thoroughly enjoyed his time. he seemed to have the most fun at dan deacon and girl talk.

** mr. bill caught the field and klaxons on the side stage and really seemed to be impressed with field set.

*** milky expressed interest in jamie lidell, clipse and fugiya and miyagi. i think fugiya stole the fest for him.

(fellas feel free to drop me a more detailed review in the comments or email um to me)

~ by greaterfreedomofmovement on 2007/07/18.

One Response to “re-up, i mean re-cap”

  1. Sounds like an awesome….sucks about menomena…ofmontreal is amazing live….i believe they are going to be at the troc in a couple months.

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