Finally, the inclement weather conditions subsided. For the first time this weekend, the fields weren’t so soggy and the sky was clear.
Sunday turned out to be the weakest day of the festival thus far. Between the frail sound of the opening groups and boring middle acts, all that was really left to look forward to was headliner FKA Twigs.
The first band of the day was Porches, which was easily one of the best. Their sound definitely fits better in a club or small venue setting, but they managed to hold down the opening slot admirably and better than most of the other acts that played that day.
Some other good: Sun Ra Arkestra was a bizarre blend of jazz and space rock. The group is a continuation of Sun Ra’s famous backing band more than 20 years after his death. Kamasi Washington continued the eclectic jazz portion of the day with just as much fervor.
Some more good: Empress Of managed to fill the festival space more than one would expect with such a club ready sound. Neon Indian and The Hotelier are festival veterans so they brought more than enough experience and vitality to the red and blue stages, respectively.
Now for some of the bad. Luh blended rap rock with house inspired beats which made for a stilted summer night. I usually love Jeremih but he seemed both uninterested and incapable of translating his decadent sexual tension adequately to the festival atmosphere. Maybe if he would’ve played deeper into the night it would’ve worked better.
The final two acts were the most important of the night. Miguel was impossibly good. The crowd was more involved and interested in his performance than every other artist this weekend (except Brian Wilson, of course).
Headliner FKA Twigs definitely doesn’t have the songs to close out an entire festival, but her star power and theatricality more than made up for it. There was a band of backup dancers that frantically followed her every move. She finished the night blending high art and culture with carnal simplicity.
The final day of the festival was a bit of a let down. The fact remains though that this was one of the weakest Pitchfork Music Festivals in recent memory. Not enough star power. Not enough good middle acts. But when something was good, it shone brightly.