Despite a storm that was expected to delay the festival, things at day one of Pitchfork Music Festival went off without a hitch. Or at the very least, things started on time.
The first act, Car Seat Headrest, was definitely one of the highlights of the night. Between the stomping sincerity of some older tracks and the mesmerizing repetition of their newer stuff, Will Toledo’s rock outfit blew most of the festival’s later groups away.
Next was Chicago’s biggest hyped band, Whitney. Whitney’s sound is incredibly bizarre: it mixes soul and punk rock, birthing this weird union of gruff and heart. They played a cover of Bob Dylan (a poorly selected one to be honest) but they more than justified the hype train.
Skipping ahead past the banal singer-songwriter types, Twin Peaks, a band that “loves Chicago for all that it’s done for them,” was their typical tight self. Nothing extraordinary. Just skate-punk being skate-punk.
Carly Rae Jepsen was the act everyone seemed to be waiting for on Friday. Her live show was spectacular but admittedly toned down due to the festival atmosphere. Still, her hits made an army of fans sing in complete harmony, something that is difficult to accomplish.
The next important group (in my mind) was Broken Social Scene. Most people love them and typically, I’m not a huge fan. That being said, their sound translates so well to the festival format it’s almost impossible not to start dancing along. They played their “hits” with frenetic energy.
The final act of the night was Beach House. Somehow they got a headlining spot which baffles me. I admit I’m biased against their plodding, boring sound, but the truth is that they really don’t have the chops to close-out a night of music. You need some sort of special energy to adequately end the first night of a festival. My opinion? Beach House is fine, but definitely not better than Broken Social Scene. No sing-alongs in sight.
Friday seems like the weakest day of the festival since it starts so late (for the baby-boomer after work crowd, of course). Check back tomorrow for a recap on what should be the best day of the festival. Brian Wilson and Savages play, to name a few of the breathtaking Saturday acts.