Feature | August 2, 2019
Pitchfork Music Festival 2019: High Notes & Heat Waves


Chicago’s Pitchfork Music Festival concluded Sunday night after a weekend of blistering heat, torrential thunderstorms, and an array of beautifully curated music from an exciting range of genres. This year’s lineup was packed with as many seasoned professionals as it was up-and-coming artists, with almost all delivering outstanding performances while braving the 100 degree heat. Our team at All Things Go broke down the weekend’s most notable moments throughout the weekend.

divider

Kicking Off with Advisory

Rico Nasty helped to kick off Friday afternoon with a completely packed crowd flooding the smallest stage in the park. Playing fan favorites like “Bitch I’m Nasty”, “Tia Tamera” and “Cold”, Rico’s cult-like following and mosh-able bass heavy beats brought the stage to a safety advisory. For an early show on the first day of festival, Rico hyped up fans for a physically stimulating weekend.

divider

Getting Technical

As Sky Ferreira pointed out at the start of her set, it had been over a year since she performed lived. Clearly a bit nervous, the L.A based synth-pop star ran into major technical difficulties throughout her time on stage. Inner-ear mic complications, set list confusion, and a somewhat cringe-worthy argument with her bandmates had her audience a bit unsure what to expect.

Although the technical specs were amiss, Sky’s voice was transcendent. Sky performed “24 Hours”, “I Blame Myself”, “Everything is Embarrassing” and even debuted a new track titled “Descending”. All technicalities aside, Sky has a beautiful voice that is meant to be heard live and she’s clearly working on new music that will be sure to impress.

divider

The Daytona Experience

Pusha T came on stage prepared to entertain. The G.O.O.D Music president and Kanye confidant repeatedly expressed his need to deliver an unbelievable “Daytona Experience”. Playing most of his tracks off his Kanye produced album Daytona, Pusha rapped with clear-cut flow and didn’t let the energy die down for a second. As a seasoned performer, his set was tight and curated to both old and new fans. Although blisteringly hot, the heat didn’t seem to phase Pusha and the crowd ate it up.

divider

International Success

There was no other performance that compared to CHAI. The Japanese pop-punk girl group helped to kick off the hot Saturday afternoon performances with an out of this world set that created a fascinating show no other artist could compare to. The four girls that make up CHAI had such bubbly and lively energy that even if audiences didn’t know the group, it was impossible to not enjoy yourself. The bright pink outfits these girls sported were adorable, even making a costume change into felt-tasseled ponchos for the track “This Is Chai.” If audiences didn’t know the power and scope of CHAI, this set turned festival-goers into j-pop-rock converts.

divider

“Before the Water Gets Too High”

Parquet Courts started off their set with a great mix of old and new tracks. The band had the audience completely engulfed in their indie/post-punk daze with mosh pits going hard front and center. Right as the band was closing out the hit song “Wide Awake!”, a voice came over the speaker announcing that the festival had to shut down and evacuate. An enormous cloud of rain came down and a thunderstorm started. Parquet Courts didn’t get to finish out their set and Union Park became a muddy mess.

Due to the evacuation, some highly anticipated artists had their sets canceled including Amber Mark and Kurt Vile. The evacuation lasted for about an hour and a half, leaving a lot of audience members to find shelter under trees or building doorways. Once the park opened back up, Freddie Gibbs started a late set where he played a good combination of both old and new singles. The Indiana artist sounded exceptional as he rapped effortlessly through 10 tracks with his entourage hyping him up on stage. While some festival-goers left after the rain, Saturday night closed out with Jeremih and The Isley Brothers both playing their greatest hits.

divider

Final Stretch

Sunday kicked off with more rain, canceling Dreezy’s set, but clearing up quickly with Flasher directly afterwards. The last day of the festival was filled with talented acts, making it feel the most crowded and congested day.

One of the most exciting acts on Sunday was JPEGMAFIA in the early afternoon. JPEG came on stage with nothing but a hoodie and a laptop. Immediately he opened the computer and started playing his production right before storming the stage. JPEG interacted with his fans the most of any performer over the weekend, parting the crowd and jumping down from the stage to mosh with fans.

Following JPEG, Clairo blew away fans with an amazing performance of many of her hits. The 20 year old indie pop performer didn’t seemed phased by the enormous crowd that gathered at the biggest stage for her set. Playing hits like “Bags”, “Flaming Hot Cheetos” and “4EVER”, fans were singing along and came out extremely pleased with Clairo’s bright energy and live singing that sounded just like her recorded voice.

divider

Pop Queens Close the Show

Charli XCX, one of the second to last performers of the weekend, brought in a huge crowd of fans that were caught waiting at her stage two hours before she was set to perform. The British pop star performed some of her all-time hits including “Vroom Vroom”, “Focus” and her newest single “Gone”. Charli didn’t stop moving for a second, dancing across the stage and pumping up fans track after track, and even jumping into the middle aisle and running back to sing to fans further back in the crowd. Charli’s even brought out the Chicago born rapper Cupkakke for their single “Lipgloss”, which had fans going wild

Robyn’s performance was one to remember. The stage was covered in white cloth with Robyn herself and her back up dancers, band, and equipment all dressed in the same white aesthetic. One specific back up dancer danced with Robyn between tracks and had his own solo opportunity to perform in front of the crowd. Robyn played a lot of her newest album Honey, but did not limit herself to new music. Robyn’s ability to sound beautiful and move her body with such grace was extremely impressive and a great way to close out a brilliant weekend.

divider