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Pitchfork Festival 2019 Saturday pics & video (Stereolab, Belle & Sebastian, Isley Brothers, more)

It wouldn’t be a summer outdoor festival in Chicago without a park evacuation due to a thunderstorm and for the 2019 Pitchfork Music Festival, that came Saturday afternoon midway though Parquet Courts‘ set. As the skies opened up, Union Park was cleared from about 4:45 PM till around 6 PM when the cloudbursts ended, dropping temperatures from punishing mid-’90s to a much nicer mid-’70s.

The interruption shortened some of the rest of the night’s sets, but almost all acts still got to play, except for Kurt Vile and Amber Mark.  Stereolab, who played their first U.S. show since reforming the night before for a Pitchfork Aftershow, were the first band after the rain, playing a 40 minute set including “Miss Modular,” French Disko,” “Metronomic Underground,” and “Lo Boob Oscillator.”

Saturday evening also included Belle & Sebastian playing If You’re Feeling Sinister in full, Freddie GibbsJeremih and a headlining set from soul/R&B icons the Isley Brothers, who brought suave charisma, groove and a whole lot of classic hits, including “Who’s That Lady,” “Fight the Power,” “It’s Your Thing,” and a night-ending rendition of “Shout.”

Before the rains hit, there were sets from Jay Som, Cate Le Bon, Japan’s CHAI, Lala Lala, Bitchin Bajas, and Ric Wilson who brought costumes, puppets and horns and more:

First festival appearance? No problem! The perpetually smiling Ric Wilson noted that this was his first ever appearance at a festival. If so, he aced the test. You want hand puppets? Wilson brought ‘em. The Lane Tech Marching Band? Check. A Soul Train-style line dance competition? Wilson not only judged the winners, but jumped into the swirling, undulating mass of bodies as an active participant. What started out as a lazy Saturday afternoon saturated in energy-sapping humidity turned into a celebratory free-for-all thanks to Wilson’s efforts. And, yes, there was music too. In truth, the all-in-fun gimmicks weren’t necessary, but proved to be an extension of the music. A horn-spackled octet merged high-stepping disco rhythms, rap vocals and soul flourishes. Wilson didn’t just perform the music, he embodied it. In a set that was all about unifying his musical and lyrical messages of inclusion, it was only fitting that artist and audience would be dancing together by the time Wilson exited the stage. – [Chicago Tribune]

Check out photos from day 2 of Pitchfork Fest in the galleries above AND below, and you can watch full sets from The Isley Brothers, Stereolab and CHAI, plus fan-shot video of Belle & Sebastian’s set, below.

Pitchfork Fest wraps up today in Union Park with performances from Robyn (who just played Brooklyn), Charli XCX, Snail Mail, Whitney, Neneh Cherry, Khruangbin, Amen Dunes, JPEGMAFIA, Ibeyi, black midi and more; many of those sets will stream live.

Check out pics and video from Pitchfork Friday HERE, and stay tuned for more Sunday HERE.

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photos by James Richards IV (top gallery) and Ben Stas (bottom gallery)

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