Pitchfork Music Festival 2015: Sunday

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






It was muddy, hot and exhausting, but even still, Pitchfork officially had the coolest 10th birthday party of all time. With incredible performances all weekend long and an evacuation, this year marked a weekend that will stand out for a long time. In a festival that is known for their diverse range of music, the final night was all about hip-hop. One of the final sets of the night, by Run the Jewels, was phenomenal, and Chance the Rapper brought Pitchfork to a close in the most exciting way possible, and claimed the title of ‘Best Performer of Pitchfork 2015.’

 

bitchin bajasBitchin Bajas

As people entered Pitchfork today they might have heard a strange noise. Across the park from the entrance, the faint clicking of a keyboard, tooting of a flute and pounding of drums was the sound of Chicago’s own Bitchin Bajas, an ambient/electronic group who started off the final day of Pitchfork. Maybe it was the unbearably hot weather, or maybe it was the fact that I absolutely can’t sit and listen to someone playing the same repetitive chords on a keyboard and notes on a flute for any time at all, but Bitchin Bajas set took the cake as my least favorite set at Pitchfork.

This would be good music for the soundtrack to a movie (I imagined Star Wars while watching this but that soundtrack is already perfect), but with no plot lines driving this set forward, it was hopelessly boring. – Erin Yarnall

viet cong2Viet Cong

Even though they stayed “up until 5 a.m. drinking tequila,” Viet Cong put on an impressive performance on Sunday, blasting their post-punk riffs throughout Union Park. Songs like “Continental Shelf,” which were fun, and also masterfully performed (especially the bass line which carries the song) were key for the early set.

As it was another brutally hot day, their set was too much to get into for some members of the crowd. Even though it was a massive crowd, a lot of Pitchfork attendees found themselves sitting on the outskirts, not really getting into the music — well, except the one shirtless guy who was freaking out in the crowd and was a huge focus for the video screens. This was a shame, because Viet Cong is a really good band. – Erin Yarnall

wax1Waxahatchee

It’s always weird to see Waxahatchee play big events like this. I’ve seen them in Logan Square basements, in the tiniest of clubs and now at Pitchfork Music Festival playing to thousands. At the same time, it’s completely natural to watch that progression, because since Katie Crutchfield’s first album as Waxahatchee, “American Weekend,” was released in 2012, she has blown up. With two more releases under her belt, and now a full band to back the former solo-project songstress, the sky’s the limit for Crutchfield.

Her latest album “Ivy Tripp” has been incredibly well-received, and is where Waxahatchee derived most of their setlist from, including “Under a Rock,” “>” and “Stale by Noon.”

Although the band has come so far from their origin, they don’t act like it, as they came on to the stage and quietly said “Hello” before launching into their set, which still reads like a page from Crutchfield’s diary.  – Erin Yarnall

thejulieruin4The Julie Ruin

After watching the always great Sleater-Kinney last night, Pitchfork attendees were treated once again to a riot grrrl legend on Sunday as The Julie Ruin, fronted by Kathleen Hanna of Bikini Kill and Le Tigre, took the stage early in the afternoon. Her songs aren’t as in-your-face as they were throughout her tenure in Bikini Kill, but The Julie Ruin still packs a punch, and raise awareness about inequality and feminist issues, as Hanna led into a song by saying “This song’s about when you’re a woman and you have to constantly diminish your talent and say you’re sorry.” Despite the seriousness of their songs and messages, The Julie Ruin was also enormously fun. During “Ha Ha Ha,” off of 2013’s “Run Fast,” the band’s debut album, Hanna’s dancing dominated the stage and spread throughout the crowd, with fans moving their feet despite the sun blazing down at them.

The Julie Ruin’s set was about more than watching a legend return to the stage like a nostalgic reunion, despite Kathleen Hanna’s impressive track record in punk music, The Julie Ruin can stand on their own as a talented group of artists, and their set at Pitchfork placed them as another of Hanna’s incredible accomplishments.  – Erin Yarnall

courtneybarnett2Courtney Barnett

After long tours, dozens of festival slots and a masterful debut album this year, Courtney Barnett has undoubtedly proven herself – and her Pitchfork set wasn’t any different. “Sometimes I Sit and Think and Sometimes I Just Sit,” is a storybook of everyday moments told like an internal monologue. It’s fun, quotable and whip-smart, and Barnett on-stage is no different. She’s a performer who can paint a smile on everyone’s face with effortless coolness.

“How many of you have been to Australia?” she asked, to a few cheers. “You can lie, I don’t care.” – Kirsten Onsgard

jamiexxJamie xx

“I wish The xx were playing, this is boring,” is something I overheard during Jamie xx’s DJ set at Pitchfork, which is understandable. Watching a DJ perform for 45 minutes on a boiling hot day is not for everyone. But Jamie xx is unlike a lot of DJs, who sample popular songs in order to get a crowd reaction.

After his acclaimed release this year, “In Colour,” he doesn’t have to. It an album filled with dark, hypnotic and anxious moments that burst into brightness. At surface level, it’s a sound that’s best suited for a club, but its sheer enormity and beauty rang across the park with ease. – Erin Yarnall & Kirsten Onsgard

agcook2A.G. Cook

Do I completely understand PC Music? No. But after A.G. Cook’s set, I get it, and I’m a believer in this beautiful 8-bit meets dialup meets hyper pop music. Cook is the label head of PC Music, home to Sophie (who cancelled Saturday) and Hannah Diamond, among others. He mouthed along to gaudy and sugary pop vocals, which he layered atop glitchy beats, and the addition of a strong bass undertone ramped up his live set. He’s certainly no household name and an unfamiliar face, but a tight crowd flailed and hopped with excitement. – Kirsten Onsgard

rtj3Run the Jewels

Killer Mike and El-P have been performing the same setlist since the release of “Run the Jewels 2” (and even performed a very similar one at Lollapalooza last year, prior to its release), but when it’s done with such gusto and chemistry, it feels new every time. The duo is still riding high off of last year’s outstanding release, which is just as brutal and frantic as it is honest and self-conscious. Zach de la Rocha made a guest appearance for his verse on “Close Your Eyes,” which could have felt like scrappings from Coachella, but thanks to Run the Jewels’ energy, it was a treat. – Kirsten Onsgard

chanceChance the Rapper

There was a rumor throughout the day that in Pitchfork’s closing set, Chance the Rapper was going to bring out Kanye West. But at close to 10 p.m., as Chance the Rapper performed “Chain Smoker,” the last song of his set, the crowd realized Kanye wasn’t coming — and that was totally fine.

Not only was Chance an astounding performer, but the production value of his set blew away anything else at Pitchfork. By utilizing different backdrops, screens and an impressive light show, Chance the Rapper turned his performance into a production, with guest Kirk Franklin making moments into full-on gospel renditions. The Chicago native commented on the difficulties of touring, and how he is sometimes not into it, but is always excited to play Chicago.

“This my show,” he made the crowd chant.

“I used to play basketball on these courts,” Donnie Trumpet yelled, pointing to the courts to the right of the stage.

Backed by the Social Experiment and after the release of “Surf,” Chance isn’t the same performer he was two years ago, or even the same one who headlined Lollapalooza last year. And if his promises remain true, he’s still evolving. “This is my last show in Chicago at this point in my life,” he said. But no matter how big Chance the Rapper gets (and already is), he’ll always be as proud of his hometown as his hometown is of him. – Erin Yarnall & Kirsten Onsgard

[box]Friday recap: Wilco, CHVRCHES, Panda Bear, Mac Demarco[/box]

[box]Saturday recap: Sleater-Kinney, Future Islands, Bully[/box]