Who Should I See At The Pitchfork Music Festival?

Jul 17th, 2009 // 19 Comments

So I’m writing my posts today from Chicago, where I’ll be attending this weekend’s Pitchfork Music Festival, which collects a ton of the more popular artists operating under the shifting rubric of “indie” and deposits them in the city’s Union Park. This is my third time attending the fest, and it’s definitely one of my favorite better multi-day, multi-band extravaganzas thanks to the beautiful space, the wide variety of reasonably priced foodstuffs, and fond memories of Jarvis Cocker’s spellbinding set last year. This year’s most anticipated bands for me are the epic Northwest outfit Built To Spill (playing an all-request set), the New Wave revivalists M83, and the Danish dream-rockers Mew (who I’m hoping will sprinkle their set with material from their forthcoming album No More Stories / Are Told Today / I’m Sorry / They Washed Away // No More Stories / The World Is Grey / I’m Tired / Let’s Wash Away. But perhaps you think there’s a band on the bill that I shouldn’t miss? The full schedule for the weekend after the jump.

A=Aluminum Stage, B=Balance Stage, C=Connector Stage

8:40 (A) Built to Spill
7:20 (C) The Jesus Lizard
6:10 (A) Yo La Tengo
5:00 (C) Tortoise

8:40 (A) The National
8:30 (B) The Black Lips
7:30 (B) Matt and Kim
7:25 (C) Beirut
6:30 (B) Lindstrøm
6:15 (A) Doom
5:30 (B) Wavves
5:15 (C) Yeasayer
4:30 (B) Ponytail
4:15 (A) Final Fantasy
3:35 (B) Bowerbirds
3:20 (C) The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
2:40 (B) The Antlers
2:30 (A) Fucked Up
1:45 (C) Plants and Animals
1:45 (B) The Dutchess & The Duke
1:00 (A) Cymbals Eat Guitars
1:00 (B) Disappears

8:40 (A) The Flaming Lips
8:30 (B) The Very Best
7:30 (B) Mew
7:25 (C) Grizzly Bear
6:30 (B) Vivian Girls
6:15 (A) M83
5:30 (B) Japandroids
5:15 (C) The Walkmen
4:30 (B) DJ/Rupture
4:15 (A) The Thermals
3:35 (B) Women
3:20 (C) Pharoahe Monch
2:40 (B) The Killer Whales
2:30 (A) Blitzen Trapper
1:45 (C) Frightened Rabbit
1:45 (B) Dianogah
1:00 (A) The Mae Shi
1:00 (B) Michael Columbia

Oh, and Dianogah! Yeah, WNUR memories.

Pitchfork Music Festival [Official site]

  1. The Thermals, for sure.

  2. Saturday: Fucked Up, Yeasayer, Ponytail

    I don’t have any strong opinions on the rest of the bands, but I would never miss these three. (No idea if they’re playing opposite each other.)

  3. @Dorgon: they aren’t! (i just updated the post w/the schedule)

  4. Of the lesser-known acts:

    Rupture doesn’t play in the US very often. Probably shouldn’t skip him. DOOM and Lindstrom will probably be good times also.

  5. @sicksteanein I know you were laready going to see them so it wasn’t a recommendation so much as pure excitement!

  6. Seconding the Fucked Up recommendation.

    Also, I hope you like our city’s mid-May weather (probably better for an outdoor festival than the usual July heat, anyway). At least there isn’t much chance of rain this year.

    And on a purely selfish note, I hope Idolator has extensive Pitchfork coverage, as some of us ran into budget issues and aren’t going.


  8. otherwise: yo la tengo, ponytail, tortoise. can you tell i’m OLD?

  9. I mean, that Lips all request set is gonna be the jam.

  10. frightened rabbit, the mae shi. two bands i’ll probably never get to see live.

  11. Friday: The Jesus Lizard (who apparently still kick people in the teeth)

    Saturday: Pretty much only DOOM and Fucked Up. What a lame Saturday.

    Sunday: Lips, Mew, Pharoahe Monch and The Thermals. I only imagine that those last two would be awesome live (no solid evidence), so.

  12. @TheRunningboard7: Totes. Maybe on paper it doesn’t sound that exciting, but I saw the Thermals in April and it was the most cathartic show i’d been to in seven forevers. I think my personal experiences at the time increased that feeling but still: every single song was a sing-along anthem and while they do not take themselves too seriously, they have gotten seriously tight as a band.

    Also looking forward to BTS. I saw them at Lolla in 2006 and wasn’t too impressed ( their lack of comfort with the venue was palpable) but I’ve been reappreciating their back catalogue in recent weeks and think that given the all-request setup and the more favorable (and at night, gorgeous) setting of Union Park, they will truly shine.

    While there are a couple of unfortunate scheduling conflicts, at least it won’t be hard to fit in snacktime on Saturday (Yeasayer/Wavves, I’m looking at you).

  13. Agreed on Dianogah, btw. As a Chicagoan, they were sort of always in my peripheral vision. Fast foward a few years, Jay Ryan turns out to be a friend of a friend and thus I went to see their record release show in Dec. – highly enjoyable. Definitely hitting that one after a robust brunch at Lou Mitchell’s!

  14. As luck would have it I accidentally* saw The Antlers last night, and really liked what they do. Kind of neo-shoegazer radiohead meets sigur ros kind of stuff.

    *was at the spot to record one of the opening bands.

  15. It sucks that The Very Best is up against the Lips because both are must sees. Maybe try to dash over at the end of the set?


  17. I am looking forward to seeing The Jesus Lizard tonight!

  18. Japandroids but you definitely need to see the mae shi. It’s really lame that this is going to be their last show in this incarnation because their live sets are incredible right now

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