Just John and I had the pleasure of attending the sixth annual Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago’s Union Park on the weekend of July 14-16. It was hot. Really hot. The crowds came, though, and were treated to great performance after great performance. Every show I saw over the weekend was top-notch. The festival’s treatment of its fans was also top-notch. Thousands of bottles of water were passed out to the crowds to keep them hydrated (no thanks to the goons who just threw water everywhere instead of drinking it). Security were friendly throughout the entire weekend. Two air-conditioned city buses were brought in to help cool down festival-goers. What follows is a list of superlatives of some of the best, worst, and weirdest moments of the festival. Enjoy.
Best light show: The giant glowing crystals at Animal Collective
Biggest asshole: Ariel Pink, throwing another temper-tantrum and walking off stage halfway through his set
Most “f**k"s per minute: Odd Future
Highest number of gray-hairs in the crowd: Guided By Voices
Coolest stage wear: Nika Danilova of Zola Jesus’ very modern dress
Best mosh pit: No Age (which I stayed in for about five minutes too long, causing a short bout of heat sickness)
Best dance moves: Cold Cave’s Dominick Fernow, whose stomp-n-spin move was endlessly entertaining
Biggest dance party: Cut Copy, who got an entire field of thousands of people to dance
Most frequent weed clouds: Curren$y, unsurprisingly
Worst scheduling decision: Two-way tie between scheduling Odd Future and Shabazz Palaces, two of the festival’s five hip-hop acts, on at the same time and putting DJ Shadow on when the sun was still out, making his projector-using ”Shadowsphere“ completely useless (though, to the festival’s credit, they really couldn’t have put him anywhere else)
Best facial hair: Ian Williams of Battles, whose handlebar-stache perfectly matched his swanky get-up
People who should have passed out from heat stroke but, miraculously, didn’t: Yuck’s Daniel Blumberg, who wore jeans and a long-sleeve, denim button-down and Cold Cave’s Wesley Eisold and Dominick Fernow, both in black jeans, black shirts, and black leather jackets.