The Pitchfork Music Festival, which took place this past weekend in Chicago, is a more friendly outdoor event compared to Lollapalooza and others. Volunteers passed out water to the hot, the dusty and the drunk as they assembled under an unrelenting sun on day one to see acts like Robyn, Modest Mouse, The Tallest Man on Earth, Wyatt Cenac, Hannibal Buress and Broken Social Scene, who all dominated the three stage set up in Union Park on the first day.
Saturday's line-up was just as diverse with Dam Funk, Freddie Gibbs, Sonny & the Sunsets, Wolf Parade and Raekwon. Festivals such as this one are usually "plug-and- play," leaving little time for sound check. As a result, Dam Funk fell into a hole of technological difficulties, but still managed to bring out a keytar and bang out a few tunes. Freddie Gibbs brought sticky rhymes and a bottle of Hennessey.
Over at the main stage, Raekwon was sweating profusely and declaring his love for hip-hop by rapping an impressive amount of verses not his own from Enter the Wu-Tang. The Chef had to freestyle several tracks while the sound system was slapped around but got it together in time for a rousing rendition "WuTang Clan Ain't Nuthin to Fuck With."
Day three rocked with Sleigh Bells, Local Natives, Beach House and the slew of other acts. All were certainly great, but they paled in comparison to the set by Major Lazer. There were Chinese dragons, girls in tutu's and a ladder for crowd surfing that urged the music lovers into reggae electronic euphoria for close to an hour.
Warmed and baked, the wave surged to the second stage where Big Boi, one half of Atlanta hip-hop super group Outkast, was preparing to perform. Introducing himself as "Hot Tub Tony," Sir Luscious Left Foot launched into a few tried and true Outkast classics like, "So Fresh So Clean," "Ms. Jackson" and "Rosa Parks," before performing his new material with as much gusto. During "Fo Yo Sorrows" and "Shutterbug," the audience roared its approval by singing the hook in unison with hands in the air and spastic dancing.
Over the course of the weekend, there were more than forty acts at Pitchfork this year, each as diverse and original as the next, and we've got a ton more pics of most of them in our slideshow, including El-P, a Skeletor painting, Liars, Wyatt Cenac, Robyn, Yowza!, Modest Mouse, Free Energy, Real Estate, Kurt Vile, Titus Andronicus, Raekwon of the Wu-Tang Clan, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Panda Bear, Freddie Gibbs, LCD Soundsystem, Lightning Bolt, St. Vincent, Here We Go Magic, Major Lazer, Neon Indian, Big Boi, Sleigh Bells, Pavement.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.