The unseasonably chilly July weather didn’t keep crowds away from Wicker Park Fest last weekend.
Milwaukee Avenue was packed on Saturday night with fest goers who were as enthusiastic about the pre-show playlist of Missy Elliot and Ludacris classics as they were for headliner Cults. After a half-hour delay Cults took the stage to open with “Abducted,” and suffered from sound quality issues throughout. The masses didn’t seem to mind, however, swaying right along with vocalist Madeline Follin to the band’s peppy dream pop.
Ted Leo and the Pharmacists took to the south stage to headline Sunday night, fresh off the previous evening’s show down the street at Subterranean. They had no trouble filling the set with old favorites like “Bottled in Cork,” “Where Have All the Rude Boys Gone?,” and “Me and Mia.” The multi-generational diehard fans in the audience were also treated to a handful of new numbers, bearing the band’s signature clever songwriting and tightly played punk-rooted aggression. Citing previous outings at the Taste of Randolph, Do Division, and Taste of Chicago, Leo noted, “For a band that’s not from Chicago, I feel thankful to keep getting invited back for all the major Chicago street festivals.” It’s clear Chicago agrees.