Amrit and I saw Inception just before the start of this year’s Pitchfork Festival, so you have to read this post with the understanding that the first day may have been a dream, or maybe you are in a dream reading the review, or maybe this is a shared dream (deep). So it was a shock to go from a cool dark IMAX theater to the 90+ degree heat and sun at Chicago’s Union Park. It was a shock for everyone: Someone took to the stage before Robyn to say that water prices had been cut in half to $1. Good vibes to start out the festival. Bad vibes (in a good way) came from Liars’ set. Angus Andrew seemed prepared for the heat: he had on a sleeveless Men At Work shirt (they need the support) and short shorts for his set, though, they would be capri shorts on a normal-sized man (guitarist Aaron Hemphill played directly to a box fan on the side of the stage). But Andrew was still as menacing, intimidating, etc. as ever. Their cover of Bauhaus’s “In The Flat Field” helped, too.
The countdown-to-launch that started Robyn’s set really began when “Fembot” leaked. She kicked off her set with it, in fact, and included lots of otherBody Talk PT 1 tracks: “Cry When You Get Older,” “Dancehall Queen,” “Dancing On My Own.” She did the video’s dance moves for the latter song, perfect if you love her armpits. She also did “Don’t Fucking Tell Me What To Do.” I do wish she’d ended her set with it, but you know what she’d say to that.
I blame Robyn, and not the heat, for the worked-up crowd at Modest Mouse (they performed at the same stage, while Broken Social Scene followed Liars on the other side of the field). Isaac Brock, for his part, is always agitated. But their show, peppered with newer, banjo-and-trumpet songs, was mellower that expected. They did start their headlining slot with “Tiny Cities Made Of Ashes,” which stirred up the kids closest to the stage, and invited the first thrown object of the night. But it was just a Frisbee, and it sailed way over the band, so it was probably an invitation rather than a threat. You know, good vibes.
Enjoy this spread of photos of the fest’s first day, and late night sets from Neon Indian (Thursday @ Bottom Lounge) and Titus Andronicus (Friday @ Subterranean) by Graeme Flegenheimer.