Pitchfork Music Festival is back in Chicago for its eleventh year on July 14-16 with an eclectic lineup of big and small name artists that’s sure to make for an eventful weekend.
The Union Park independent music festival is a far more intimate affair than the more widely known Lollapalooza, and the annual July event that attracts thousands of independent music lovers to Chicago has once again put together a strong list of non-headliners. Although this year’s festival’s headliners include LCD Soundsystem, A Tribe Called Quest and Solange, it’s the acts located further down the lineup poster that are deserving of more recognition.
With today’s multitude of festivals, it’s easy to see recycled artists. But Pitchfork crafted a group of interesting and up-and-coming musicians and bands to play the festival and The PHOENIX is here to discuss some of what the lesser-known acts have to offer.
On Friday, LA-based artist and activist Madame Gandhi is scheduled to bring her strong-minded electronic music to the Red Stage. Amidst today’s wild political and social climate, Gandhi’s outspoken set shouldn’t be missed.
Later on in the day, Vince Staples and Danny Brown, two rappers who have been making waves the past few years, are following one another on the Green Stage. Their performances should provide for a wild one-two punch in the middle of the evening.
Another strategic scheduling is Thurston Moore Group leading into Dirty Projectors. Moore’s set should prove why he is one of the most influential guitarists in contemporary rock music, right before Dave Longstreth, lead singer and guitarist for the Dirty Projectors, revives his band with new music for the first time in five years.
Early Saturday, Vagabon’s voice is set to grace Union Park. The Cameroon-born indie singer has been gaining traction, so the 1 p.m. scheduling is one worth getting there early for. Shortly after, Cherry Glazerr’s fuzzy, synthy slacker-rock singalongs on the Blue Stage should be where you turn to continue your day two.
The last choice of the day is the toughest of the entire weekend: PJ Harvey and her live show going up against SURVIVE, the breakout group who provided Netflix’s popular show “Stranger Things” with its groundbreaking retro soundtrack. Picking between the two could be tough, so seeing part of each might be the way to go.
A good start to Sunday, the last day of the fest, is with adventurous R&B singer Kilo Kish, who most notably has collaborated with Childish Gambino, Earl Sweatshirt and A$AP Ferg. After that, Chicago’s own NE-HI will make audiences jump around to their infectious and loud rhythms.
Later on, Chicago rapper Joey Purp is scheduled to deliver his well-rounded and definitive style of spitfire rap to a hometown crowd that is likely to be packed. To close out the weekend, Nicolas Jarr should be able to put on quite the set on the Red Stage while pioneering rockers American Football close out the Blue Stage.