Looking Ahead • Pitchfork Music Festival
Following Mamby on the Beach a couple weekends ago, Chicago festival season has officially begun. We all know that the city gets a little wild in the summer months, but it's not always in a bad way. Thousands of music fans pack out parks on every side to listen, party, and sometimes vibe out to summertime tunes a little too much. One of my favorite in the now extensive lineup of large stages that pop up around Chicago between June and October is the Pitchfork Music Festival.
The publication has a proven track record for selecting the right acts at the right time during their career to perform at the annual festival and this year is no exception. The three day celebration takes place at Union Park on Chicago's west side and features artists from home town indie acts likes Homme, to rock legends like the Beach Boys' Brian Wilson. In addition to the music, the festival is bringing back Flatstock, a collection of the world's best concert poster art, as well the Chirp Record Fair, Coterie Craft Fair, the Book Fort, and even the Old Town School of Folk Music for the kids should you decide to bring the shorties.
As you may have noticed in advance of past festivals, These Days likes to offer up their daily schedule as a guide to all things awesome. There are plenty of tough decisions to make this year, but we hope to make those decisions slightly easier for you. If our taste in music and yours don't mesh all that well (why are you evening reading this?), have no fear, you can always make your own schedule at pitchforkmusicfestival.com. Since you're here though, you might as well check out what we have planned for the weekend, we promise not to let you down.
It's Friday, you're feeling fresh, and if you're smart you took the day off to hit day 1 at Pitchfork hard. Doors open at 3:00pm, but we'll be showing up fashionably late to catch the home grown band and These Days' April cover artist Whitney at 4:15. From there it's time to get a beer, then head back to the Blue Stage for LA's Moses Sumner. The singer/songwriter is up against local favorites Twin Peaks, so you may have to attempt your first successful juggle of the weekend and head over to the Red Stage. You'll be back at Blue soon enough for Mick Jenkins and hang out there for a while to catch electronic music innovator The Range and Las Vegas emcee Shamir. To wrap up night one, take your first stroll over to the Green stage to watch dream pop duo Beach House out of Baltimore. Following the release of their Thank Your Lucky Stars album last fall, Beach House breathes new life into an already lengthy career.
4:15-5:00pm - Whitney - Blue Stage
5:15-6:00pm - Moses Sumney - Blue Stage
5:30-6:15pm - Twin Peaks - Red Stage
6:15-7:00pm - Mick Jenkins - Blue Stage
7:15-8:00pm - The Range - Blue Stage
8:15-9:15pm - Shamir - Blue Stage
8:30-9:50pm - Beach House - Green Stage
Day 1 was busy, and day 2 is no different. Unlike Friday, you're going to get a workout from moving around a bunch Saturday. Starting at 3:20pm, get over to the Red Stage for hip hop legends Digable Plants. After some vintage boom bap sounds, make your way over to the Green Stage for UK based punk band the Savages and back to the Red Stage for Brooklyn alternative rapper Blood Orange who just put out an incredible project, Freetown Sound. There is likely going to be a lot of first time discoveries for music fans at this fest, and if you're unfamiliar with Devonté "Dev" Hynes aka Blood Orange, this is a performance you won't want to miss. Showing out for Chicago for the first time of the day, BJ The Chicago Kid croons his way into the evening hours, overlapping Blood Orange's set a bit. Split your time fairly. Luckily you won't have to cross the pond to see the next act, but you will need to head back over to the Green Stage for psych rock group Super Furry Animals from Wales. Saturday night has some major performances to look forward to beginning with the Beach Boy's Brian Wilson who will be performing his classic album Pet Sounds. Don't miss Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals over at the Blue Stage, his debut album Malibu is arguably one of the best albums of 2016 so far and his performance is anything but dull. Headlining Saturday night is singer/songwriter Sufjan Stevens out of Detroit. Over the past 15 years, Sufjan has changed the way people view christian influenced music while also breaking out into the mainstream. Find out how he did it for yourself.
3:20-4:10pm - Digable Planets - Red Stage
4:15-5:10pm - Savages - Green Stage
5:15-6:10pm - Blood Orange - Red Stage
5:45-6:30pm - BJ The Chicago Kid - Blue Stage
6:15-7:15pm - Super Furry Animals - Green Stage
7:25-8:25pm - Brian Wilson - Red Stage
7:45-8:30pm - Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals - Blue Stage
8:30-9:50pm - Sufjan Stevens - Green Stage
I hope you still have some energy left, Sunday is another packed day with a chance of thunderstorms, so make sure to dress accordingly and prepare for potential mud. That means leave the nice kicks at home. You have to get to the festival a little early today in spite of likely suffering from a hangover. Chicago's own Homme ladies kick off the event on the Blue Stage at 2:30. Macie Stewart, formerly of Kids These Days, and Sima Cunningham released their debut self-titled EP late last year, and those six tracks have already induced the invitation to their first festival stage as a duo. Take a short break following Homme's performance, maybe grab something to eat at the one of many amazing vendors keeping you fed and hydrated all weekend. Enjoy the down time while you can, because the rest of the afternoon gets a little crazy starting with Holy Ghost! a synth pop duo out of Brooklyn at the Green Stage. From there it's Empress Of, a musical experience created by Lorely Rodriguez at the Blue stage and Neon Indian to follow at the Red Stage. Jeremih lights up the Green Stage at 6:15pm and leads us into an evening that we have a lot of reasons to look forward to. LA producer, singer, instrumentalist Thundercat will surely keep the vibes light and active as we gear up for the final night's headlining performances. No need to do anymore juggling at this point, your decision should be a no brainer. Go watch Miguel at the Red Stage at 7:25pm, but don't get too close to the stage (for obvious reasons). Wrapping up the night and weekend is FKA Twigs, an eclectic songstress who just two years ago performed at Pitchfork in the middle of the day at one of the Festival's smaller stages. Well no she's running the show with what's likely to be one of the more memorable performances all weekend.
2:50-3:30 - Homme - Blue Stage
4:15-5:10pm - Holy Ghost! - Green Stage
4:45-5:30pm - Empress Of - Blue Stage
5:15-6:10 - Neon Indian - Red Stage
6:15-7:15pm - Jeremih - Green Stage
6:45-7:30pm - Thundercat - Blue Stage
7:25-8:25pm - Miguel - Red Stage
8:30-9:50 - FKA Twigs - Green Stage