Last weekend, I took a break from a big project to celebrate Chicago’s favorite weekend – Pitchfork Music Festival. It was a perfect opportunity to gather with friends in Union Park to enjoy our best-loved bands and discover new artists.
I picked up the camera and helped cover the festival’s artists and fashion for Chicagoist. Enjoy my favorite moments from Pitchfork 2017!
Pitchfork Day One
The weekend started in the wee hours of Friday morning as LCD Soundsystem’s Gavin Rossum helmed the DJ booth at Berlin. The performance at Femme’s Room was her first after coming out as transgender.
Pitchfork kicked off the weekend on Friday with solid hip-hop sets by Vince Staples, Danny Brown, and Kamaiyah.
Has it really been seven years since I waited in the summer sun all afternoon to get a close spot for LCD Soundsystem at Pitchfork? Despite some time off, James Murphy and company still know how to command a crowd. Watching the opening of the show from the photo pit was unreal, and dancing it out in the field was even better.
Pitchfork Day Two
Women ruled Saturday at Pitchfork. Performances by Mitski, Angel Olsen, and PJ Harvey brought the energy to lead into an unforgettable headliner.
I’m pretty sure I said, “Is this happening?” aloud as A Tribe Called Quest strode onto the stage. I managed to snag a handful of shots in the jammed photo pit, and back in the crowd my feet never stopped dancing throughout the set. It was equal parts party and poignant, especially the Phife Dawg tribute with a spotlight shining on an open mic.
Pitchfork Day Three
Pitchfork Sunday was a celebration of Chicago. Local garage rockers Ne-Hi drew a big crowd early in the afternoon while Derrick Carter proved it’s never too early for house music on the other side of the park.
Joey Purp was lit up what could have been a sleepy Sunday afternoon, and he wasn’t alone. He was joined by some of the Savemoney crew like Kami, Towkio, and Vic Mensa. Amid flying beach balls and squirt guns, I don’t think I saw a crowd have more fun all weekend.
Shoegaze veterans, Ride, had a disappointingly late start. However, what they did deliver was worth the wait. Their fresh and flawless performance was one of the weekend’s best.
Avalanches’ late cancellation had a silver lining – Jamila Woods got moved to a larger stage. She needed it too, as the whole park was spellbound in her feminist soul. American Football brought all the feels home for Chicago in their intimate Blue Stage set.
Powerful, moving, and visually captivating – Solange has certainly grown as an artist over the years, as she acknowledged in her headlining set. After speaking earlier with some fans who had waited up front at her stage since the gates opened, I was glad to see her get into the crowd and acknowledge them. It was a pitch-perfect finale to Chicago’s best music festival.