You know Pitchfork Music Festival has begun when Chicago’s Union Park, located on the west side of the city, morphs from your run of the mill park, baseball diamond and all, into a walking catalog for Urban Outfitters, American Apparel, and a dash of a grandma’s closet with music cascading through the crowd.
Braving the rain the crowds poured over to see Japandroids. Holy cow where I have been when it comes to this band. Obviously this crowd and the other photographers were on top of their game as the line to get into the photo pit easily snaked more than halfway back through the fans. These guys energy became apparent through the sound check and carried through the set. High impact dirty gritty punk is at the root of this amazing duo. If you get a chance to see them, do it, and fast. I did not want to leave this set and am still kicking myself that I booked it over to check another band instead.
Going in with an open mind, I was curious to hear some tracks from their latest release and to also see upfront what all the hype is about. I can say that I don’t think there is another band out there that is similar to these guys. They are paving their own path in indie music. After hearing their first song, I was pretty happy with what I heard. The rest of the set was solid, but it also left me conflicted on my feelings towards the band. At times, they seemed all over the place, but other songs had a feeling of organized chaos that made complete sense. So, at this point the jury is still out on my opinion of the band, but the fans were given what they wanted, which is that counts in the end. My only complaint was that I think the stages for Japandroids and The Dirty Projectors should have been switched based on crowd size.
After those sets, it was time to check out the headliner, time to experience the one and only Feist live and in person. I’m only familiar with her hits and have always appreciated her ability as a great female performer, but I’ve never been in such awe of an artist who I was barely familiar with before seeing her. Halfway through her second song ,I had to put down my camera to take in the audience’s response to what was happening around me. Feist easily is what up and coming female vocalists in this genre should aspire to be. Ending my night on such a hight note with her voice guiding me out of the festival grounds, got me excited for what Saturday can holds.
All Photos (c) Daniela Montelongo