Pitchfork Music Festival 2018 has come to a close and we are already having withdrawals. The lineup this year was a truly incredible mashup of great indie, rock, hip hop, and alternative music. They did a splendid job at snagging some top level performers, both established and up and coming. Despite some nasty weather throughout the weekend, the rain pretty much held off or remained light, allowing for the festival to remain relatively cool rather than the typical mid-July heat that typically swamps Chicago. If you have your ear to the ground in terms of music, then this was a weekend you surely did not want to miss.
Some of our favorite performances we caught were The War on Drugs, Ravyn Lenae, Saba, and Circuit Des Yeux. The War on Drugs’ sonically large sound carried off throughout the festival grounds really well. For such a large band, their execution was tight and refined.
Ravyn Lenae performed on the same stage the next day, and for a 19-year-old just beginning to pop off, she had the most captivating stage presence. The audience really loved her, which was made most evident when a stagehand brought out a microphone stand wrapped in a pink feather boa and people roared in applause at how great she was before she was even on stage. Lenae played a mix of songs from her various EPs, commanding the audience’s attention and really dominating her set.
Saba, another young Chicago artist on the come up, bounced across the stage for his first Chicago show since the release of his latest album, CARE FOR ME. He had his whole Chicago crew behind him, and brought out a whole bunch of other Chicago artists for the last song of his set, “Westside Bound 3.” Of all the Chicago artists who played Pitchfork this year, Saba definitely encapsulated the love and community that is happening in the city right now.
Circuit Des Yeux also impressed us very much. Haley Fohr, the voice behind Circuit des Yeux, stood rather unassumingly still on stage. With some gentle lights and smoke behind her, her simple stage presence was surprisingly captivating. Her voice is deep, and her concentration on her music was so evident that it made the audience really care about listening to it.
In addition to all the great performances, Pitchfork also hosted a variety of local food, clothing, jewelry, poster art, and vinyl store vendors. It would have been easy to spend the entire day eating and shopping, as every vendor is excited to share their story of creation with you. This is a fest that provides ample opportunities to take breaks between sets, and offers up nice places to cool off and relax.
Overall, we couldn’t have enjoyed our time at Pitchfork in Chicago this year any more than we did. We can’t wait to keep up with all the artists who performed, and are already looking forward to next year!