Pitchfork Music Festival 2007

Sorry for the delay. It's been a crazy week, and writing this particular post is no easy task... Pitchfork Music Festival was one of the best music experiences I've ever had.

The beginning. This was our second weekend in Chicago this summer and we were staying with our friend Sal (as usual). We drove in on Friday night so we could hang out with her and have plenty of time on Saturday before heading over to the Festival. While we had no plans to party, it just kind of happens when you're in Chicago, or so we've experienced. Sal took us to Boys Town and we ended up drinking and spending much more than we were planning, but what fun we had. Near the end of the night we ended up at Berlin, where we stumbled upon a performance of Voxbox. Lets just say it was one man, some manequins, some police barrier tape, and a laptop (Apple of course). Check out the link to hear his sound... go ahead, I'll wait.... Crazy stuff huh. It was fun and I was glad I got photos and some video of the experience.


The next morning I got up and looked for my camera. It's no where to be found. Panic started setting in... but it only took a couple minutes to realize it fell out of my pocket in the cab ride home. What a horrible feeling. I really wasn't that heartbroken about the camera, or the photos I had on it from the night before, but what killed me was I had no camera for Pitchfork!! I almost ran out to buy a new one when Sal graciously lent me hers... But unfortunately that means I only got photos of the first day (and far fewer than I was planning).

After the crazy morning, Sal and Chris drove us out to the Festival. I walked in with such high-anxiety. I don't know what my problem was... I think it was all the build-up of going, the stress of losing my camera, not knowing what we should bring into the festival, etc. As soon as we got in, we found the line for the ATM (we blew all our cash for the weekend the previous night). But standing in line, I began to realize just how cool this was going to be. We got there at 1:30 and could hear Califone on a stage across the field. I looked around and saw some of the coolest people I've ever encountered. They were everywhere!!! It had an energy about it that any true music fan would just revel in.

By the time we got through the ATM line, it was time for Voxtrot. We found our way over to the stage and laid out our sheet (we left our folding chairs at home for fear of not having room to use them). At this point I was starting to calm down and really take it all in. Voxtrot sounded amazing... Much more the alt-80's-gay look than I was expecting.

The festival was setup so as one act was on stage C, they were prepping for the next act on stage A. The beauty of this was you could just sit between the stages and turn around for the other show. Precisely what we did for the next act, Grizzly Bear. And as I was expecting, there gathered quite the crowd for this indie-favorite. I've been listening to Yellow House, knowing I should be liking it more than I am. However, seeing them live has given me a new respect for their more spacious, layered sounds. They were fun and really seemed to be enjoying themselves.

In addition to these two main stages, there was a smaller stage (B) that was separated away. Next on the list was heading over to see Fujiya and Miyagi. The side stage was a challenge because it's on an alley with food and vendor tents, so we didn't really get a good view of the band and was kind of hard to hear. But I did hear enough to make me disappointed we missed their previous Thursday night at the Grog Shop. They're definitely still on my "to see" list.

The Saturday ended relatively early. It was D's birthday and he wanted to head out and meet up with our friends to eat dinner and celebrate. We stayed a little while longer to hear some songs by Iron & Wine, but then left. I felt like I was being disconnected from some magical place, and it was at this point I committed to coming back next year and staying the ENTIRE time. Anyone can come with me if they like, just be aware that I'm staying to the bitter end. :)


It was another debaucherous night with friends, accidentally of course. We were out dancing and partying until about 4:30am (a rare feat), so we were a bit slow getting around the next morning. D woke up in good spirits but quickly realized he was still lit and had the impending hang-over to deal with. We ate and got out the door for the show. This time we were just driving and parking so we could just leave the festival and get on the road back to Risingsun. It was a little touch-and-go with D for a while, but we scored a primo parking space and made it in for a couple more performances. We missed Deerhunter, which got a nice plug from Grizzly Bear the day before, but made it for Menomena. I've really been enjoying their album, but once again they sounded great, if not better live!

Last was the big kahuna... Junior Boys. Their most recent album has been a favorite of both D and I for a while, so it was exciting to see them. They really rocked the stage and the crowd was loving it. They played all their best songs and was everything I was hoping for. They were the one act I would have liked to fight my way to the stage for... From this point, it was time to go. We had a 5 hour drive ahead of us.

Overall, a PHENOMENAL experience. So much so that I already started planning for next year. First by promising myself that I'll be staying for the whole thing. But also by creating a list of what to bring, which I'll share with you, in case you you're going next year.

Winking Lizard Blanket - which is a nice fold, up blanket with fleece on one side and vinyl on the other)
Earth Pad - good for laying out and taking a nap, easy to roll up and attach to the back-pack
Skip-Bo - A game for chilling between acts
Sun Guard stuff - Hat, SPF, Sunglasses
And of course Brownies.

Some Updates:

Pitchfork Reviews:
Saturday | Sunday

LiveDaily's Pitchfork Review

Review of Grizzly Bear from You Ain't No Picasso.

Posted: Mon - July 30, 2007 at 07:32 AM           |