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Pitchfork Music Festival 2013: Sunday Photos

The third and final day of the 2013 Pitchfork Music Festival was just as incredible than the first two, if not more so. After the jump, enjoy the visual odyssey that was Sunday with photos of R. Kelly, M.I.A., Yo La Tengo, Chairlift, Sky Ferreira, Waxahatchee, Run the Jewels, Killer Mike and Foxygen. For complete coverage of everything related to this year’s Pitchfork Music Festival, simply click here.

Pitchfork Music Festival 2013: Saturday Photos

Here’s a selection of photos that I took during Day 2 of this year’s Pitchfork Music Festival. Click past the jump for photos of Belle & Sebastian, Solange, The Breeders, Savages, …And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead, Phosphorescent, Ryan Hemsworth, Parquet Courts and Metz. Check out more photos, day-by-day recaps, and a whole lot of other stuff related to the 2013 Pitchfork Music Festival by clicking here.

Pitchfork Music Festival 2013: Friday Photos

In case you missed all of the action out at this year’s Pitchfork Music Festival, I’ve certainly written plenty about it, but haven’t SHOWN you what it all looked like. Well, this and the next couple of photo posts should change all of that. Join me past the jump for a bunch of photos that I took on Day 1. In this set, you’ll find photos of Bjork, Joanna Newsom, Wire, Woods, Angel Olsen, Mac DeMarco and Mikal Cronin.

Pitchfork Music Festival 2013: Final Thoughts

I’m pleased to be wrapping up this week-long adventure into coverage of the 2013 Pitchfork Music Festival with a quick look back at the weekend that was. Having attended the festival for the last few years, you really get used to how things are run and where you need to go for everything from water to food to restrooms. So as you return in a sense it’s like coming home, and that’s comforting. I never once felt out of my element or like I had no idea what I was doing over the three days. Of course I didn’t quite see everything I wanted to see and hear everything I wanted to hear thanks to traffic delays and one too many hits of the snooze button, but what I missed was miniscule compared to what I saw. Hopefully you’ve read all about those adventures in my daily recaps (Friday, Saturday, Sunday). That should give you a pretty good idea of the best and worst of the music side of things this year. But just for fun, I put together a little list of superlatives, helping to highlight some of my favorite and least favorite musical treats from the weekend. Check that out:

Most surprising set: Killer Mike
Most disappointing set: Yo La Tengo
Set that best lived Up to the hype: Savages
Band that sounded better live than on record: Parquet Courts
Most openly fun set: Solange
Most likely controlled the weather during their set: Bjork
Set that proved punk rock is alive and well: Metz
Veteran act that still has “it”: Wire
Veteran act that has lost “it”: The Breeders
Band whose set would have been far more popular in a different decade: Chairlift
Band that felt so right in the middle of a sunny afternoon: Phosphorescent
Quietest set (artist + crowd): Joanna Newsom
Funniest set: Mac DeMarco
Most gratuitous use of the word “SWAG”: Lil B
Flashiest performance with the least amount of genuine substance: M.I.A.
Most pathetic attempt to attract attention: Foxygen

Outside of those superlatives, I want to talk for a brief minute about how things went overall. Since we’re on the topic of music, let me say a few words about this year’s lineup. To me, it felt just a little bit weaker than in the last few years, though all of the headliners were certainly nothing to sneeze at. Perhaps that’s where most of the budget went this year. I suspect it was telling that unlike the last couple years, the festival wasn’t a total sell out this year. Sunday was sold out, most likely due to obsessive R. Kelly fans who camped out at the Green stage for much of the day just waiting for him. But Friday and Saturday didn’t sell out, as far as I’m aware. I did keep hearing that there were a “very limited number” of tickets left for Friday, so maybe that eventually sold out too. When I look at it, I like most of the artists on the lineup for this year, but I’m not overly passionate about a lot of them. It made for another fine festival overall and I’m glad I saw what I did, but for whatever reason it sometimes felt like something was missing. Not a whole lot of artists really jumped out and grabbed me by the ears, so maybe that’s what it was. If I were put in charge of naming one act each day that was my favorite, the list would be the following: Friday – Bjork, Saturday – Savages, Sunday – Killer Mike. Of all the days, I’d classify Friday as my least favorite, primarily because many of the artists that performed that day were either relatively bland (Woods, Mikal Cronin) or didn’t quite feel like they belonged at an outdoor festival (Angel Olsen, Joanna Newsom). Perhaps I should have made it to Union Park in time for Trash Talk, I heard their set was crazy.

Music aside, let me comment on the amenities this year. Considering the capacity of Union Park every year, festival organizers have gotten everything at just about the right levels to make things comfortable. The restrooms are plentiful and you’ll never wait too long for one. The food booths offer a wide variety of cuisine for even the most sensitive of palates or dietary restrictions. I had some amazing tacos on Sunday. The return of Goose Island as the provider of alcoholic beverages was an inspired move. The availability of key beers like 312 and Green Line was nice, but even nicer was the special Goose Island booth that had a rotating cast of different beers from the brewer’s catalogue, not to mention two beers crafted exclusively for the festival. I tried both of the fest-exclusive beers, and they were delicious. The singular gripe I have, and it’s basically always been a problem, is with water fountains. Union Park has a distinct lack of water fountains, and therefore the few it does have resulted in long lines. There’s nothing that can really be done about that, but I’ve got to hand it to the volunteer crew at the festival for often walking around with cases of bottled water, handing them out to anybody that wanted one. A lot of people were likely spared a trip to the medical tent as a result of such gestures, though I did see at least a few people go down due to heat exhaustion and dehydration. On the whole, this year’s festival went rather swimmingly, where the sets all started on schedule and the lines were never astronomically or annoyingly huge. It’s a sharp reminder that no matter what the lineup might be, this is one of the best-run music festivals in the country. As I stated in my earlier coverage, Pitchfork Music Festival weekend is my favorite weekend every single year I attend. I wouldn’t be surprised if that were true again by the time we reach the end of 2013.

Pitchfork Music Festival 2013: Sunday Recap

Phew, what a weekend! As usual, I’m feeling quite a bit drained from three long days of experiencing the dizzying highs and physical tolls of attending a music festival. It doesn’t get any easier as you get older, I can tell you that. Judging by the average age of the attendees this year, I’m beginning to fall on the older half of the spectrum. In spite of this, I’m never less than excited to attend the Pitchfork Music Festival each year, as I consistently claim it is my favorite weekend of the 52 that take place annually. So I may be tired and writing about the festival in a timely manner has brought its own set of unique challenges, but I’m not anything less than satisfied with how everything turned out. I’ll have my final set of thoughts on how I think the festival went this year, along with a massive photo set from the entire weekend, coming up in the next few days. In the meantime, please enjoy this summary of all the acts I saw perform on Day 3 of the festival, aka Sunday.

Pitchfork Music Festival 2013: Saturday Recap

It always bothers me when things don’t work out according to plan, and the start/end to my Saturday at the 2013 Pitchfork Music Festival was one of those times. In what was supposed to be an early arrival to catch sets from White Lung, Pissed Jeans and Julia Holter, bad traffic turned a short drive into an extraordinarily long one. Thank goodness I finally made it in time for Phosphorescent. Then of course there was the weather. On checking the weekend forecast on Friday afternoon shortly before heading out on Day 1, it said a chance of severe storms on Friday night, then partly cloudy for the rest of the weekend. All was going according to plan until about 9 p.m. on Saturday when it started to pour. Of course it would. Let’s hope the park stays dry enough for Sunday that there’s not mud/sand pits everywhere like last year. As for the music itself, most everything on Saturday was an improvement over the somewhat shaky or mediocre sets on Friday. Let me break things down for you, band by band.

Pitchfork Music Festival 2013: Friday Recap

Most things about Day 1 at the 2013 Pitchfork Music Festival could be considered challenging. Or, perhaps described a little differently, most things except the performances. The main factor on Friday was the weather. A glance at the temperature would tell you the heat index was in the upper 90s, and therefore it bordered on oppressive. Then again, it’s nothing particularly new for this festival or mid-July in Chicago. Still, the volunteer staff could be credited as doing a fair to good job of distributing bottled water to the sweaty masses, even walking around with cases of it through the crowd during sets. Yet if you went to one of Union Park’s few water fountains, the lines were long. The same could be said for all the beverage tents. Everyone was in need of some fluids. And while outside of the heat it was a nice and sunny day, it became less so when severe storms rolled in during the evening hours and effectively shut down Bjork’s set 30 minutes early. It hadn’t rained a drop when organizers pulled the plug on the evening, but there was a pretty great lightning show that could hypothetically have put people in danger. The actual rain, as it was reported to me, started about 30-45 minutes after the park was cleared. Hopefully it won’t be a soggy mess for the rest of the weekend. Beyond weather and lines though, let’s talk about the music itself. Here’s a recap of the artists I saw:

Pitchfork Music Festival 2013: Sunday Preview

I’m pleased to say that we’ve arrived at Day 3 of the Pitchfork Music Festival preview guide. This of course falls during Pitchfork Music Festival Week here on the site, which kicked off on Monday with an Artist Guide, and featured a preview of Day 1 on Tuesday and a preview of Day 2 on Wednesday. So yes, we’ve covered quite a bit of ground so far, and there’s plenty more to go. After today’s preview guide of Day 3, I’ll have day-by-day recaps of all the festival action, and we’ll wrap things up with a final look back at the weekend, plus look at a whole bunch of photos. This is going to be fun! If you’re headed to Union Park this weekend, please remember to dress for the weather (it’s going to be HOT, but will get progressively cooler with each day, and with the potential for severe storms all day Friday). Sunscreen, bug spray, etc. will be your best friend. Also remember to stay safe. Drink plenty of water, and if you’re moshing at any point, keep an eye out for your neighbor. This is one of the friendliest, nicest music festivals you’ll ever go to, so please don’t be “that guy/girl” and take away the enjoyment factor for so many. Sit back, relax, and party with great music and amazing vendors. Here’s your preview guide to all the artists you’ll see on Sunday at this year’s Pitchfork Music Festival!

Pitchfork Music Festival 2013: Saturday Preview

If you’re headed to Union Park this weekend, I sincerely hope you’re following along with this 2013 Pitchfork Music Festival preview guide. There’s a lot of great and interesting artists playing the festival this year, as there are every year, and I just want to make sure you have the absolute best time possible. That’s why I try my hardest to educate you on all the artists on the lineup and try to help you make choices about what bands to see during what hour of each day. Yesterday we previewed Friday, and that’s a shorter day than Saturday and Sunday. So now here’s the guide for Saturday, which is longer and ideally more compelling. I think much of the day on Saturday is beset with fascinating conflicts, so you may want to skip around and catch pieces of different sets all day just to get a fully rounded experience. Now then, without further ado, let me present to you a guide to Day 2 at the 2013 Pitchfork Music Festival!

Pitchfork Music Festival 2013: Friday Preview

Welcome to Day 1 of the preview guide to the 2013 Pitchfork Music Festival. In this guide, the purpose is to take a look at the artist schedule hour by hour and recommend the which acts to see when. I’ll be doing this for each of the three days of the festival, for the next three days leading up to the festival. That will be followed by daily recaps of all the action happening in Union Park in Chicago each day. In case you missed it, yesterday I started off Pitchfork Music Festival week with an Artist Guide, providing web links, audio streams, mp3s and even a Spotify playlist to help get you more familiar with the full lineup of this year’s fest. It’s gonna be a great one, I suspect. Now then, let’s get right into this preview of Day 1 (Friday) at the Pitchfork Music Festival. If you’re going, I hope you find this guide helpful!

Pitchfork Music Festival 2013: Artist Guide

Welcome to Pitchfork Music Festival Week! For the next seven days, you can count on more coverage of the 2013 Pitchfork Music Festival on this site than you can shake a stick at. What does “shake a stick at” mean and how does it apply in this context? It doesn’t matter! Just go with the flow. Anyways, as a grand introduction to this whole week’s worth of coverage, I wanted to help you get fully acquainted with all of the artists performing at this year’s festival. There’s somewhere around 45 or so (I’m too lazy to count), and depending on your tastes there’s a chance you might fall in love with all of them. Of course you’ll never know unless you listen to all of their music and judge for yourself. With that in mind, click past the jump to see a listing for every artist on the lineup, complete with links to their websites, songs you can stream on Soundcloud or Spotify (depending on your preference), and in some cases mp3s or full album/mixtape downloads. It’s quite comprehensive, and I hope you’ll discover something new and great as a result. The listings are ordered by day and (technically) set time, though I haven’t listed the set times here. Additionally, if you’d like to find almost every artist put together in a handy playlist that’s organized by genre (for flow purposes), look no further than this Spotify mix that I put together. Check back tomorrorw for the start of the day-by-day preview guide, where I’ll suggest what bands to see each hour of each day. And I promise that WILL include set times.

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