Being from the Chicago area, I greatly anticipate the release of the Lollapalooza and Pitchfork Music Festival lineups each year. Some years are certainly weaker than others, but, this year, I think that both festivals put together strong lineups.
Pitchfork Fest was a remarkably relaxed and fun festival. The only difficult part was—as cheesy as it sounds—choosing which sets from the vast and diverse array of options to watch. Luckily, Pitchfork happens to be the rare festival that allows you to bounce from set to set with relative ease: the stages are close together which means you don’t have to walk far; the Chicago weather made for an almost too-good-to-be-true forecast to move between outdoor stages; despite the overlapping sets, the times were strategically planned such that you could catch at least a little bit of all your favorites. It seemed, in short, designed to facilitate your having your best time.
The last day of Pitchfork Fest, I’d assert, was the day that had the highest concentration of crowd-pleasing favorites: in just sheer numbers, today’s lineup was the highest up in terms of hitting on almost every conceivable niche of possible audience interest all across the obscurity-to-popularity spectrum. And with Solange—Solange!—headlining, there was nothing to possibly complain about.
After an eventful day one, Pitchfork Fest day two promised an even more saturated schedule. And it certainly delivered on that promise: first of all, with A Tribe Called Quest headlining, all the other bands could have tanked and this day still would have been certifiably historical. Fortunately, however, we were lucky enough that not a single one of the other acts disappointed.
Friday’s lineup promised an electric start to an action-packed festival weekend. Nashville’s own William Tyler played at 4 PM on Friday, followed immediately by Frankie Cosmos and Thurston Moore. The three of these provided a perfectly well-rounded, balanced trio of acts to precede the contrastingly high-energy Danny Brown, who flawlessly delivered intensity and famously rapid rap. Dirty Projectors’ intimidating, otherworldly sounds set a new kind of mood, one that held the audience rapt for a night that culminated in an impossibly fantastic performance by LCD Soundsystem.
A recent article on Pitchfork was published with the bold title “Britpop is Dead: Why Blur’s Comeback Isn’t One.” Blur was once a popular Britpop band, from, you guessed it, Great Britain. As Britpop raged on in the early 1990s, it has steadily declined, but apparently is making a comeback. Using the article as a reference, I intend to examine what the state, or lack thereof, of Britpop really is.