Pitchfork Music Festival 2008

[...time to blow through these shows that need posted]

Where to start... Last year's Pitchfork Music Festival was amazing. So much so, that I knew I was coming back this year despite who was performing. I wasn't disappointed.

Of course, one of the reasons that a weekend like this is possible is because of my good friend Sal and her husband Chris. Going to Chicago always results in a good time hanging out with them. Though one of the stipulations this year was that I stay for the entire day (both days) at the Festival, so I didn't get to hang with them as much as I'd like. This year we drove in on Saturday morning, just enough time to drop our stuff w/ Sal and head on over to Union Park.

One of the defining characteristics of Saturday was the rain. It wasn't what I was hoping for, but the show went on and people made the best of it. It was almost a welcome addition. We got settled in time to hear Caribou (from a distance)... From there Saturday day included Jay Reatard, Fleet Foxes, Dizzy Rascal and Vampire Weekend, and !!!. Surprisingly, I really enjoyed Vampire Weekend. They were very fun, and very "festival." Amongst these shows, we ate some festival food and watched mud-diving. By this time, evening was upon us and we we saw !!!, The Hold Steady. We stayed for some of Jarvis Cocker, but decided to head out and meet Sal & Chris for some drinks and food. I was curious to see Animal Collective, but staying wasn't necessary (boy these days are long).

A point of conflict for me at this festival is viewing location. Once D and I sat our chairs down in the lawn, we were able to just swing directions between stages A & C. Stage B was at the other end of the park and we usually interested in the main two stages. The problem is that I would have liked to stand close for some of these shows, getting a better feel for the performance. But this required committment, as being close required no chairs and missing a band on another stage while the one you were waiting on set up. This year we took the easy route and just stayed planted. Sure, I missed some great close-up pics and the crowd's energy, but no where was there a bad seat or a lack of people-watching. We took the path of least-resistance and stayed put.

With Day 2, we parked it in the same location. It worked. We were there in time for the Dirty Projectors. I then walked over to see HEALTH on stage B. I was back at stage A for Apples in Stereo which were great, they played a lot of new stuff. I walked up close for them, hence some of the better photos for them. Back to our seats, we watched Les Savy Fav. I wasn't expecting them to have a lead singer sporting a one-legged, red leotard. Oh, he was also bald(ish), chubby with a beard. F*cking crazy, but lots of fun, and I would totally see them again. Next up were the Dodo's. These guys were okay, and one of the bands I was really looking forward to. They were good, but I'd much rather see them in close proximity in a place like the Grog Shop. Then was M. Ward, who's performance made me want to give the She & Him album another shot. Stayed for a bit of Spirtualized, then headed over to see Bon Iver back over to Stage B. Unfortunately, that didn't work out so well because it was PACKED and you could still hear Spiritualized. We finished off with Spoon, which we only watched a couple songs as we were walking out.

Overall, this festival is as much about the overall experience (food, beer, people watching, etc.) as it is about the music. I think it was this realization which made me more comfortable with just sitting back and taking it all in from the folding chairs near the back. But who knows, that may change next year.

Posted: Sun - October 26, 2008 at 08:14 PM           |