Posted in music | pictures on July 21, 2014

photos by James Richards IV, words by Zach Pollack, Milos Markicevic & Arielle Gordon

Grimes / Kendrick Lamar / Slowdive
2014 Pitchfork Festival - Day 3
2014 Pitchfork Festival - Day 3
2014 Pitchfork Festival - Day 3

The 2014 Pitchfork Music Festival wrapped up yesterday (7/20) after two previous days of fun in Chicago's Union Park. It was an especially diverse day with plenty of hip hop (Kendrick Lamar, Schoolboy Q, Earl Sweatshirt, Isaiah Rashad), flourishes of heavy offerings (Deafheaven, Perfect Pussy), a highly anticipated reunion from Slowdive, plenty of indie rock/pop (Grimes, Majical Cloudz, DIIV, Real Estate, Dum Dum Girls, Speedy Ortiz) and even more. Here's how the Sunday of Pitchfork Fest went down...

By the time I arrived on Sunday, Speedy Ortiz were well into their set on the Blue stage and playing the fan favorite "Taylor Swift." Speedy's recorded material has always oozed personality and attitude, and their live show does as well. Frontwoman Sadie Dupuis comfortably ad libbed lyrics with various shouts and word extensions throughout their set. The band polished off their live-wire performance with a couple of tunes from their Real Hair EP and their new song "Bigger Party." -ZP

Over on the Green stage, Bandcamp sweethearts Mutual Benefit simultaneously opened up the fest's final day with a few of their sweet, melodic tunes. With an entire live band backing frontman Jordan Lee's soft-spoken, almost falsetto vocal range and feather light lyrics. The crowd was surprisingly full for the early afternoon set, and many closer to the band seemed to know every word off of its debut studio album Love's Crushing Diamond. Highlights included a heartfelt rendition of "Golden Wake" and a take on "Advanced Falconry" perfect for warming people up for the rest of the day. -AG

DIIV kicked off the first show on the Red stage yesterday and played for a fairly large early afternoon crowd, beginning their set with a new song called Follow . The band jangly guitar indie pop made for some excellent summer jams. Keeping with that theme, they played a few tracks that showed hints of surf rock, and the lead singer Zachary Cole Smith wore a colorful flamenco looking shirt that Prince might be proud of. -MM

Perfect Pussy
2014 Pitchfork Festival - Day 3

Syracuse rockers Perfect Pussy drew a huge crowd on Sunday, surprising even lead singer Meredith Graves. Their set was short but powerful, not unusual for a band whose last record, 2014's Say Yes To Love, clocks in at around twenty one minutes. After a lengthy sound check, a rarity for the band, they didn't waste time getting into their set. While they sounded excellent, the real highlight of the show was, as always, Graves' fantastic performance as a vocalist and frontwoman. Her theatrical dancing stood in delicious contrast to the pure energy of each song. The crowd barely got a chance to calm down from one pit before another song crashed down, opening up an even bigger floor. Although the band seemed a bit flustered by the crowd and the midday heat, they never let up, quickly running through hits off of their debut album and demo, touching on fan favorites such as "Interference Fits," "Advance Upon The Real," "I," and "II." -AG

Deafheaven
2014 Pitchfork Festival - Day 3

Next up were Deafheaven on the Green stage. The California crew began their set with the glimmering Sunbather opener "Dream House," and proceeded to match the weather with equal parts soaring shoegaze and metal assault. Lead guitarist Kerry McCoy expertly segued the band into "Irresistible," and then to "Sunbather." That block was followed by their spacey new tune "From The Kettle Unto The Coil," which contains a traditional metal breakdown in the middle. George Clark's guttural shrieks glided effortlessly over the riffage, and he's quite the frontman too, thrashing about the stage. Deafheaven closed their incredibly moving performance with "Unrequited" off of 2011's Roads to Judah. Not all "metal" acts are appropriate for a daytime slot, but Deafheaven were damn near a perfect fit. -ZP

After Deafheaven, I headed over to the blue stage to catch a bit of Isaiah Rashad's set. As one of three TDE rappers of the day (along with Kendrick Lamar and Schoolboy Q), Rashad stood out with his southern flow, relaxed vibe, and raspy delivery. He drew a huge crowd, who danced and sang along to "Heavenly Father" and "Menthol" off of this year's Cilvia Demo. You can hear a bit of guys like Kendrick Lamar and Chance the Rapper in Rashad's delivery, and with the amount that the crowd was feeling it, it'll only be a matter of time before he rises up to their level. -ZP

Continuing the hip hop block, next up was Earl Sweatshirt on the red stage. His DJ played a few songs before Earl came out -- Chief Keef's "3Hunna," Tyler the Creator's "Sandwitches," etc. -- and when he finally took the stage, Earl had the crowd sing along to about half of "Don't Stop Believin'" as it played over the PA. When he actually got started, the first song Earl played was "20 Wave," accompanied by Odd Future associate Domo Genesis. Downtempo tunes from Doris hit much harder than I expected them to, and the crowd was hyped on it. He took things to another level by playing the very heavy "Kill" from his debut album Earl. Earl's been touring quite a bit lately and that definitely showed in his live performance -- he's become a showman and has so much control over the audience. Before playing "Molasses," he had the crowd repeat its hook back -- "Ima fuck the freckles off your face, bitch." -ZP

Dum Dum Girls had some minor technical difficulties before starting their set, but once things got going they sounded great. As usual, they were in matching outfits, and played a mix of the old and new. My personal favorite from the set was "Rimbaud Eyes", an excellent single from their recent Too True LP. -MM

One of the most anticipated sets of the day by many was Schoolboy Q's late afternoon performance on the Green stage. The party rapper got things started with his hit "Hands on the Wheel," and then jumped to 2014's Oxymoron for "What They Want" and "Gangsta." He reached back to his debut studio album Setbacks for "Druggys wit Hoes," and the crowd went nuts. Q's a fine addition to any festival, offering hyped-up vibes and heavy beats. -ZP

Craving some shade, I went to check out Jon Hopkins over at the Blue stage. His seemingly dance-focused set was based upon a series of glitchy Immunity tracks, including bits of "We Disappear," "Open Eye Signal," "Breathe This Air," and others. The Blue stage was simultaneously the place for those who wanted to dance and others who'd rather take a seat and nod their heads along. -ZP

I was fortunate to see Majical Cloudz perform as an opener for The Soft Moon a few years ago and it was great seeing how much more confident the duo had become since then. Frontman Devon Welsh sported his never changing plain white tee and black pants and started a few songs with countdowns that the crowd enthusiastically chanted along with. I was hoping Welsh would later join Grimes on stage during her set to play their collaborative "Nightmusic" from Grimes' Visions album, or maybe their recently unearthed demo about an obese cat. Grimes played the former, but Welsh was nowhere in sight. -MM

2014 Pitchfork Festival - Day 3

Shoegaze legends Slowdive played their first U.S. show as a reunited band this Sunday. While the crowd seemed to mostly be waiting for headliner Kendrick Lamar, who was playing on the same stage a few hours later, their true fans did make themselves known, responding enthusiastically to classics off of their unforgettable 1993 release, Souvlaki. Slowdive lived up to the precedent set by fellow reunited UK shoegazers, My Bloody Valentine, playing a loud, intense set. Songs like "When the Sun Hits," gained a heavy, aggressive edge, giving Deafheaven a run for its money in respect to ferocity. Softer tunes like "Alison" lulled the crowd into a collective bliss. -AG

After that on the Blue stage it was DJ Spinn, who was initially going to perform with his collaborator DJ Rashad before Rashad's untimely passing, but decided to stay on the festival and perform his own set which Chicago Tribute called "a thrilling display of the "ghetto house" sound that has thrived in the city's South Side neighborhoods for the better part of two decades."

Canadian pop sensation Grimes was the penultimate performer of Pitchfork 2014, an honor she did not take lightly. In addition to running through classics, Grimes treated the crowd to two relatively new songs and one for which she was still working out the lyrics. She had seemingly boundless energy, dancing feverishly throughout her entire set. She seemed to be having the time of her life, playing with multiple synthesizers and vocal reverb to create the image of DJ set. This was clearly a different Grimes than we have seen in the past - she was confident, loud, and ready to party with the audience. Fans went crazy for Grimes classics such as "Circumambient" and "Oblivion," and stayed dancing even for her lesser-known songs, such as "Be a Body." However, the highlight of the set was undoubtedly the last few songs. After premiering a new song on which she had just completed production to a rousing response from the audience, Grimes treated the crowd to "Phone Sex," a Blood Diamonds song on which she is featured. She then broke out her dance floor-ready hit, "Go," to the delight of the audience. It was clear when the drop hit in "Go" that this was a new, supersized Grimes, ready to take the world's dance clubs by storm and become the next EDM sweetheart. Always the performer, she closed out her set with her biggest hit to date, 2012's "Genesis." -AG

Sunday headliner and festival bookend Kendrick Lamar put on a helluva show with his excellent four-piece band behind him. Lamar began to hold court with the good vibes "Money Trees" and very live "Backseat Freestyle" off of good kid, m.A.A.d city. The pro band managed to handle every little nuance contained in Kendrick's beats, and there are plenty of 'em. Unlike most of his peers, Lamar isn't much for cutting songs halfway through. Almost all tunes, with the exception of "The Art of Peer Pressure," were performed in their entirety. Virtually undisputed party song "Swimming Pools (Drank)" came next, followed by the boom bap of "m.A.A.d city." The last tune I heard before splitting was the chilled out "Sing About Me, I'm Dying Of Thirst." Kendrick provided the perfect ending to the day and the entire festival. -ZP

Day 1 pics are HERE and HERE. Day 2 pics are HERE and HERE. More of day 3 below...

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Speedy Ortiz

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Mutual Benefit

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DIIV

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Perfect Pussy

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Deafheaven

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Isaiah Rashad

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Earl Sweatshirt

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Dum Dum Girls

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Schoolboy Q

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Jon Hopkins

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Real Estate

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Majical Cloudz

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Slowdive

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DJ Spinn

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Grimes

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Kendrick Lamar

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Comments (37)

SHIT FUCK PISS EAT IT

Posted by Anonymous | July 21, 2014 7:14 PM

Did anybody read that Kanye interview in GQ? He's bat shit crazy.

Posted by Anonymous | July 21, 2014 7:40 PM

OK... so Note to Self: Never attend Pitchfork Fest.

Posted by Anonymous | July 21, 2014 8:21 PM

Why does Crimes always wear that American Apparel dress?

Posted by Anonymous | July 21, 2014 9:49 PM

Perfect pussy singer sort of looks like Hillary Clinton.

Posted by Anonymous | July 21, 2014 10:52 PM

Never attend Pitchfork Fest.

Posted by Massagem Alternativa | July 21, 2014 11:14 PM

Writers who have clearly never heard of slowdive, or music pre-2005 for that matter.

Posted by Anonymous | July 21, 2014 11:28 PM

Drummer from diiv doing way too many drugs...scary pic

Posted by Anonymous | July 21, 2014 11:44 PM

diiv apparel...challenge me.

Posted by Anonymous | July 22, 2014 12:13 AM

Slowdive song "Alison" is spelled "Alison" not "Allison".

Posted by Anonymous | July 22, 2014 12:18 AM

Lots of high school theater geeks and guys with aids in that crowd.

Posted by Anonymous | July 22, 2014 12:22 AM

Meredith Graves for president.

Posted by Anonymous | July 22, 2014 1:36 AM

Wow...Pitchfork really had a Bore Fest this year.

Posted by Anonymous | July 22, 2014 6:51 AM

This looks utterly horrible but is a great reflection of what happens when blogs prop up sub-par bands.

Posted by Anonymous | July 22, 2014 9:06 AM

^ Yeah, nearly everyone in the pictures looked extremely detached and bored.

Posted by Anonymous | July 22, 2014 9:06 AM

quick, take a picture of the 5 black folks in attendance. see, we do have a diverse crowd!

Posted by Anonymous | July 22, 2014 9:19 AM

Hipsterhell.

Posted by Anonymous | July 22, 2014 9:26 AM

Yea, clearly never heard of slowdive, or music pre-2005 for that matter.

Posted by imoveis | July 22, 2014 9:55 AM

12.22 was at home having a "keeping up with the Kardashians" marathon, complete with vaseline and a box of kleenex.
The rock n roll lifestyle.

Posted by Anonymous | July 22, 2014 10:03 AM

DIIV can't afford clothes that fit them because they spend all their money on heroin.

Posted by Anonymous | July 22, 2014 10:46 AM

DIIV opened with a new song with no name. "Follow" is off their first LP and they didn't play it til the middle of their set...

Posted by DIIV fan over here | July 22, 2014 10:52 AM

Devin from DIIV here. Guys, after getting the chance to see Grimes live, I've decided I have no choice but to quit music. Really what's the point?

Posted by Serpent | July 22, 2014 11:07 AM

Grimes is totally trying to act cute at this point .

Posted by Anonymous | July 22, 2014 12:07 PM

Also this is god awful writing

Posted by Anonymous | July 22, 2014 12:13 PM

damnnnn Grimes got all skinny & shit

Posted by Anonymous | July 22, 2014 12:26 PM

These crowd pics are the best. Day 3 must have been "Internet Popular Band" day.

Posted by Anonymous | July 22, 2014 12:39 PM

How has no one commented on this photo of the Perfect Pussy bassist making his infamous man whore face?

http://www.brooklynvegan.com/img/cl/p4kfest/2014/day3/james/perfect-pussy-010.jpg

Posted by Anonymous | July 22, 2014 12:41 PM

diivers can afford anything they want cuz mommy is the editor at VOGUE

Posted by D | July 22, 2014 12:53 PM

The hummus is so deep that you could lose a baby carrot in it

Posted by Anonymous | July 22, 2014 1:24 PM

Anna Wintour is the editor of Vogue, you envious retard.

Posted by Anonymous | July 22, 2014 1:25 PM

Fake D needs to take that shit to Gawker.

Posted by Anonymous | July 22, 2014 1:31 PM

Fake D needs to take that shit to Gawker.

Posted by Anonymous | July 22, 2014 1:32 PM

Allison? Geez, never heard of slowdive clearly, the album and all of the song names off of it include women's names, the album is Sue Vlaki, songs include 'Sue Vlaki Space Station', 'Michonne Gun'

Posted by Anonymous | July 22, 2014 6:42 PM

Spin Magazine is so awesome. It's the best!

Posted by Anonymous | July 22, 2014 10:02 PM

What a great initiative here. I'll look around the site and see if I can offer any additional ideas. Thanks.

Posted by Yepi | July 22, 2014 11:45 PM

The DIIV guys are looking pretty rough. Too many decks taking their toll? Their XXL clothes are starting to look like 3XL.

Posted by Anonymous | July 23, 2014 11:56 AM

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