thank goodness. Yet, my run at the Pitchfork Music Festival was more than this 30 something could take.
I blame it mostly on the heat - and to the fact that, I don't necessarily like to admit, I am getting older.
My younger brother, Ryan, and I arrived in Chicago on Friday night. After enduring Chicago traffic we abandoned the car and jumped the L downtown.
One of the highlights of the weekend was to meet up with Jon (juanboy
) and eat dinner at Frontera Grill. The eats, company and margaritas! were excellent - despite the incredibly long wait.
We were up somewhat early on Saturday to make our way to Union Park. We filled our backpack with 8 liters of water hoping to stay hydrated on the 108 degree day.
We arrived to see the last half of the Man Man
set. I only have a couple tracks of theirs - but have heard whispers of their incredible live shows. They did not disappoint. Not a moment or spot of silence was spared during their set. I am excited to hear that they will actually be in GR during the month of September.
We then turned our attention to Band of Horses
. I was very excited about this show. Despite some sound issues the set was rock solid. I am just really enjoying this album - and the live performance (although nothing new) was spot on.
We then moseyed on to the food and commerce pavilions - missing The Mountain Goats
. This is an outfit that I have not given much attention to yet. However, many people whose music taste I respect really enjoy this group. I have their album saved in my eMusic list and will download it next month. I am sure I missed out on something very good.
After some decent potstickers and a liter of luke warm water we made our way back to the stage area to check out Destroyer
. Now, I have the most recent album, [album]Destroyer's Rubies[/album], but I am not glowing about this artist. Lyrically, he is the tops. Yet, I just don't dig the whole package.
Nonetheless, his live show was solid. And I enjoyed how much others were enjoying the show.
From a far I watched Art Brut
. They do not do much for me - but the kids were really into the show. During this time we moved up as close as possible at the other stage so we would have a good spot to see Ted Leo
At this point in time, the heat was really getting to me. When Ted Leo came on I gained my second wind. All was good except this idiot who pushed up behind us and thought it was an appropriate time to start a mosh pit. I pushed hard on him and told him to move on - to which he responded, "Ted Leo, Yeah!" It made me laugh when the five-foot-two girl in front of us laid into his chops with both of her fists, and he finally got the picture and moved on.
Ted Leo was phenomenal. Even though during these short outdoor festival sets you mostly want to hear your "favorites" - Ted Leo performed some songs from his upcoming release that really peaked my interest.
These guys were having a rocking good time - and despite the unbearable heat, the crowd was really into the show. They ended on [track]The Ballad of the Sin Eater[/track]. During which Ted Leo excitedly struck himself with the microphone on his forehead several times. To his surprise (I think) he split open his forehead and finished the song with blood running down his face.
At this end - we were done. We were tired, dehydrated, soaked in sweat, and extremely hungry. We jumped on the L and got off in Wrigleyville for some food, and some generous bar hopping. We nearly got into fisticuffs on several occasions because my brother and his friend insisted on wearing their Detroit Tiger caps. The White Sox fans were duly unimpressed. We luckily made it back home for the night.
The old guy of the group awoke earlier than others on Sunday and I made my way to a Bosnian cafe (which had doubled as a night club only hours before). I took down two wonderful macchiatos and leafed through the paper. Soon after my second cup of coffee I met up with the others for the best Mexican breakfast I had ever had.
Satisfied and full, we drove down to Union Park so we could leave directly for our trip back to Michigan. We arrived too late to see Tape 'n Tapes
. I like their stuff and was pissed to have missed the show.
I tried to watch Danielson
- but that shit was just annoying. Ok, I will probably take some heat from the Danielson fans on this one. I think Ships is ok - but the live show was off, and annoying at best.
I walked around and moved onto the other stage to get up front to see Jens Lekman
. Danielson take note - this set was phenomenal. Unassuming and brilliant, Jens pulled off a class act in front of a backing ensemble of women. The show was humorous, polished, and tight. I was very impressed.
I probably should have stuck around to see The National
(another band who I know I need to devote some listening time to) - but curiosity led me to the smaller stage to check outCSS
Their energy and enthusiasm was uncontainable - but the sound production was disgusting. I could only take a couple songs and I had to move on.
I then watched from afar the Liars
. I really did not know much about these guys. I am not sure it is my type of music. However, their sonic assault and thunderous percussion was enthralling. I was really impressed with their show and appreciated the music.
We then caught Aesop Rock
and Mr. Lif
. I really like the old school, indie hip hop - so I naturally enjoyed the show. It just seemed so out of place in comparison to the other shows - and the indie kids were trying their best to not appear awkward. There were a few, however, that knew some of their lyrics.
All eyes were now on mission to burma
. This is another group that I don't really care for. But I certainly enjoyed the performance - these veterans took over the park for an hour, and kicked out the jams.
More than anything I wanted to stay and see Yo La Tengo
perform. Unfortunately, my brother received a call from his work indicating that he had to report by 5 a.m. on Monday morning. Exhausted, we gave up and collapsed into the car to start our 4+ hour drive back.
I am glad to have attended an outdoor festival and see some great performances. Though, I will not be back again. I really enjoy seeing live music - but will stick to small venues that are best for these kind of performances, and this aging music fan.
Hope others enjoyed the Pitchfork Music Festival - and to those who followed the next weekend at Lollapalooza.