Pitchfork Fest 2008 came and went. It seemed like it would never arrive, and here I am writing a review of it. Summer sure does fly by.
Saturday morning was a rainy affair, but the weather pretty much cleared up by the time Jay Reatard took the stage for his 12:30 PM set. I was not too familiar with his music, but his set started off the day great. High-energy garage punk with few stops in between. I will probably retrieve his LP, Blood Visions and give that a spin. My big complaint is that the volume was too quiet for the big stage, and he would definitely benefit from playing in a small club. He reminded me of Bob Pollard in that he announced the name of the song he was about to play. I dig that, and I'll probably do the same for Random Candy.
We caught some of Caribou's set while waiting for Fleet Foxes, and wow, they sounded terrific. I wish I could have seen more.
Naturally, Fleet Foxes were next. The Chicago Tribune (and nearly every music publication) has been whacking off to them for a few months, and with good reason. Their record is really cool and different. Of course, all the reviews of their set in the next day's newspapers were super-positive. They sounded great, but the festival setting is totally wrong for them. They deserve to sell out Metro and warm some interiors. I was impressed that they quieted the crowd as much as they did, but that's partly due to the fact that the acoustic guitar was so fucking quiet.
It didn't take much for Andrew to coax me into watching part of Fuck Buttons' set. I was really impressed with this band. Noisy, loud, and with some melodic flair, the Fuck Buttons were right up my alley. I recommend seeing them and buying their newest LP. This was my great "surprise" set of the fest.
Vampire Weekend was awesome. I am in a different world from everyone that says their live show is underwhelming. They delivered. I had a great time, and so did my friends. Their new song is incredible, and they even gave "Blake's Got a New Face" a much-needed boost.
!!! - are they a joke band? Terrible.
The Hold Steady rocked really hard. They played a lot of new stuff, and I did NOT hear "Stuck Between Stations." I wish they had included it in the set. This band is well suited for all environments, including festivals. Craig Finn is hilarious.
We caught Jarvis Cocker's set as we waited for Animal Collective. What a snoozer! No Pulp, no care. Sorry.
Finally, Animal Collective took the stage as headliner. Wow. I am a believer in this band. They had the best set of the weekend. Bright, trance-inducing lights perfectly complimented their zany takes on old songs. And hell, they played "Comfy in Nautica" by Panda Bear. Their show was the kind of show that turns non-believers into believers, casual listeners into avid fans, and the rest into melted snow. They sucked all the life out of me, as a matter of fact. Hail AC!
Sunday review coming soon.