Posted in hiphop | music | pictures on July 21, 2008

photos by Elizabeth Weinberg

PE @ PF

8:17 p.m.: Public Enemy takes the stage. Yeah!!!! Or, do they? No, wait, it's really their Bomb Squad production team --- Hank and Keith Shocklee --- laying down some dub-reggae beats on the turntables.

8:45 p.m.: The band shows up but seems in no particular hurry to get going.

8:50 p.m.: Air-raid sirens, three guys in Desert Storm camouflage (the S1W's, who double as dancers and security guards), and finally the megaphone voice of Chuck D. "Bring the Noise" begins a tour through "It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back." This 1988 album served as a rite of passage for a generation in the way it distilled African-American dissent into a series of Molotov-cocktail songs. It still feels like the soundtrack to Eldridge Cleaver's "Soul on Ice" or "The Autobiography of Malcolm X." Its beats --- built on James Brown's "Funky Drummer" syncopations --- were every bit as fierce as Chuck's rhymes. It hasn't dated a bit.

9:10 p.m.: Flavor Flav, who shows up late and is chastised by Chuck D, trumpets his reality-TV show and the audience lets him have it. "Sell-out!" "Boooooo!" Flav is not amused.

9:17 p.m.: Flav momentarily redeems himself by restarting "Mind Terrorist." "Where the volume at?" Indeed, the volume is a few dozen decibels short of adequate. The band's urgency isn't matched by what's coming out of the speakers.

9:45 p.m.: Like a heavyweight boxer sensing a knockout, Chuck D closes in for the kill. "Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos" creeps with menace, and the music surges. The crowd is into it too, as the set closes with a furious "Rebel Without a Pause," "Prophets of Rage" and "Party for Your Right to Fight," before seguing into "He Got Game" and its central riff from Buffalo Springfield's "For What It's Worth."

10:30 p.m.: The band roars through a half-hour's worth of hits after wrapping up "Millions." "Fight the Power" sends everyone home. Time to get home and recharge for Day 2.
[Greg Kot @ the Chicago Tribune]

This happened Friday night (July 18, 2008) @ The Pitchfork Fetsival. More pics below....

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Comments (11)

Wow.

Hands down the most boring set of photos of what is probably an amazing time.

Posted by CJ | July 21, 2008 12:17 PM

What are the chances of them performing It Takes a Nation at a show in NYC? Whoever books shows at McCarren...this would be awesome to see before the warm weather goes away! Get a few other old rappers on the bill to do some classics...GZA (Liquid Swords)...Tribe Called Quest (Low End Theory)

Posted by Nigger | July 21, 2008 12:22 PM

man, i dont give a fuck about pitchfork

Posted by Anonymous | July 21, 2008 12:26 PM

PE was the best act on the weekend, despite a highly problematic beginning to their set. My review of Friday:
http://fightingtheyouth.blogspot.com/2008/07/pitchfork-friday.html

Posted by Reed | July 21, 2008 1:04 PM

way to fight the power 12:26! you snarky dick!

Posted by Anonymous | July 21, 2008 1:19 PM

Look at all the white people fighting the power

Posted by Anonymous | July 21, 2008 1:38 PM

that would be amazing if they did that here. Chuck D's got the best voice in rap!

Posted by Anonymous | July 21, 2008 1:55 PM

> Chuck D's got the best voice in rap!

word

Posted by Anonymous | July 21, 2008 2:45 PM

awesome album

Posted by Anonymous | July 21, 2008 2:51 PM

dance boy dance

how 'bout a shuck and jive

these guys are soooo 1986

Posted by Anonymous | July 21, 2008 4:05 PM

Why is a decidedly NY blog talking about Chicago shows? Your "what's happening" posts can't find their way out of NYC. Granted, New York is its own favorite subject... why bother with a half-assed re-posting of a Chicago Tribune article? So unlike you, NYC.

If you're gonna cover Chicago, then cover Chicago. This fair-weather attempt at coverage is weak, weak, weak.

Posted by Anonymous | July 22, 2008 5:51 PM

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