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Pitchfork Festival Friday pics (Tame Impala, Courtney Barnett, more)

The 2018 edition of Pitchfork Festival kicked off on a rainy Friday (7/20) in Chicago’s Union Park with sets from Tame Impala, Courtney Barnett, Mount Kimbie, Big Thief, Syd, Julien Baker, Saba, Tierra Whack (who was filling in for Earl Sweatshirt), Open Mike Eagle, Joshua Abrams & Natural Information Society, Julie Byrne, Lucy Dacus (who spoke about books and writing in the Book Fort in addition to her performance), Melkbelly and The Curls.

Chicago Tribune recapped two of the day’s closing sets, from Tame Impala and Courtney Barnett:

Thriller from Down Under: Pedestrian at best? Nah, not at all. Courtney Barnett has only released two studio albums, but she’s already a seasoned pro when it comes to putting together a festival set. For the second time in four years she played Pitchfork with a take-that authority, mitigated by her casual demeanor. Her songs kept throwing out one hook after another, even as her caustic guitar-playing subverted them. The mix of chaos and melody has been honed even since she played the Chicago Cultural Center a few months ago. This time, the mix was much improved, and her keyboardist was more of a presence. As a lyricist, Barnett can be literate to the point of wordiness, but her delivery never felt forced, in part because it was so off-handed. All of which made the blood-letting in “I’m not Your Mother, I’m not your Bitch,” “Small Poppies” and the closing “Pedestrian at Best” all the more thrilling. (GK)

Acid-rock lives: Tame Impala brought the trippy music and a light show to match. They fired off geysers of confetti and threw up lasers that created a canopy of light atop Union Park while divvying up songs from its two most recent albums. The guitar-fed stomp of “Elephant” from the 2012 release “Lonerism” got the biggest cheer, but the more R&B-flavored tracks from “Currents” (2015) were even more deeply awash in the psychedelic fountain that Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker has flowing in his brain. (GK)

Check out pictures from day one of Pitchfork in the galleries above and below, and stay tuned for more coverage of the festival.

If you aren’t in Chicago this weekend, some Pitchfork sets are streaming live. If you are headed to Union Park, find the set times HERE.

photos by James Richards IV and Ben Stas

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