Day Three – Sunday
By Jodi Root
2:42 PM – Bummed I missed the 1:00 PM set of the Mae Shi, but catching a few of Blitzen Trapper’s fun, summer tunes on the A stage make it A-OK.
2:52 PM – Remembering that Pitchfork is just as much about discovering new as well as catching current faves, I trek to the B stage to learn me about some Killer Whales. Dudes are wildin’ out, loud crazy noise—I’ve got my first beer of the day in grip and there is a man dressed in a banana costume to my direct left.
3:17 PM – Pharoahe Monch is about to blow shit up on the C stage—dj is hyping up the crowd with some Wassup Chicago’s. Getting pumped.
3:43 PM – “Hip hop is officially in the building.” (Well, close enough, we’re in a park. . . but we get it.) There’s a helluva dance party going on right now and the kids at the C stage just learned that hip hop is “Right Here” in Chicago. Clouds of mystery smoke begin to puff from the dense crowd, billowing towards the stage. Mad turntable scratching action ensues. Happy summer, ya’ll.
4:00 PM – Crowd’s ohhh’ing along with Pharaohe, Showtime’s killing it. This is Desire!!
4:05 PM – Simon says. . . you know the rest. This is the shit.
4:19 PM – Interesting transition from some blazing hip hop into the upbeat summer pop sounds of The Thermals, who just kicked off some jams on the A stage. “I Let it Go” and “I Called Out Your Name.” Man, I love these guys.
4:32 – The Thermals are now busting up some Nirvana. . . Yessssss. I’ve seen what I need to; time to check the B stage for some dance party action.
4:39 PM – DJ/Rupture is blaring some Irish/pirate boogie jams. This noise is eclectic and off tha hook. Jungle rhymes, booties shaking. Found a cigarette butt free patch of grass to land with my girls for a break.
5:19 PM – The Walkmen are cutting it up! Hella packed crowd, it’s much warmer today than the past two days. . . there’s a gentleman sporting Ralph Lauren boxers in front of us who is REALLY getting into the beats. Ohhhhh, summer. . . .
6:02 PM – The Walkmen are still strumming along—very chill and super solid summer soundtrack. Sprawled out by the upper right baseball diamond, double fisting 312’s in efforts of getting rid of my drink tickets before go time. Just waiting on M83 to start.
6:19 PM – M83!!! Lovely blue sequin top! Sunlight is reflecting from the beautiful glitter strands. . . I want it. Bubbles are floating, dream synth pop at its best. Only wish it was louder, though . . . the translation of M83 is so much more mesmerizing indoors at full volume capacity.
6:27 PM – “We Own the Sky.” I wish John Hughes was here.
6:32 PM – “Kim & Jessie!” Hips involuntarily sway in the shimmying crowd. The back of the crowd isn’t really into it as much as they should be, but the M83 fans are eating this shit up. So pretty. Again, wish the volume could be adjusted higher. . .
7:06 PM – Headed to front to nab a good Grizzly Bear spot, run into DJ STV SLV of the Hood Internet and DJ Bald Eagle. They like Grizzly Bear too.
7:11 PM – M83 curtseys, bows. Cute.
7:25 PM – Grizzly Bear takes the stage, opens up with Veckatimest’s opening track, “Southern Point.”
7:43 PM – What aren’t you agreeing with, Mr. Rossen? What’s with all the head shaking? These boys are all just so pretty, especially the clarinet playing kewpie doll. The crowd is definitely enjoying them some Grizz Bear action.
7:59 PM – Awww, here it is. “Two Weeks!” Time to boogie to 2009’s Biggest Indie Summer Jam!
8:24 PM – “While You Wait for the Others”: Exactly what’s going on as Flaming Lips begin to set up their bright neon blue arch backdrop to the right diagonal A stage.
8:40 PM – A naked, animated golden woman shimmies on the big screens. Men begin to jump out of a pulsing, glowing cartoon vagina. I guess The Flaming Lips are being born. There’s a plastic afterbirth on the stage and it’s growing. . . Oh wait, that’s just Wayne Coyne being born in his inflatable gerbil ball. The crowd goes nuts as he rolls amongst the fans. Confetti guns shoot, psychadelia ensues. Dancing frog men to the right, dancing kitty girls to the left. Coyne returns to the stage only to whip out a flame thrower. “We played here 16 times in one year—in 1994.”
(Time Unknown): I’m not going to kid myself, there’s no way I took accurate enough notes with precise times at this point. It’s The Flaming Lips and I’m partially loaded. Stoners to the left and right of me are frantically boogying, and giant balloons are all up in everybody’s business. Suddenly I noticed my friend and I are surrounded by ecstatic fun. I can only imagine what the kids on acid up front are feeling right now. My friend whispers in my ear, “I feel like they’re from Narnia, they came out of the screen from another world . . . someplace magical.” I can’t help but agree. Highlights I did manage to scribble in my Lisa Frank notebook include “The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song,” “Fight Test,” some new tracks and an incredibly slowed down, intimate crowd sing along to “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots.” So far, so good—but the sound quality could have been sharper. Also kind of wish Wayne would stick a sock in it and play more songs from Write the Night vs. yapping about how they always play the fan favorites. . . We love you dude, but c’mon, stick to the beats.
9:44 PM – (Wow, I remembered to write down the times again). Finally, my anticipation ceases—the familiar guitar opening to “She Don’t Use Jelly.” Pitchfork 2009 is an official success. I turn around one last time to the balloon party and peace out, tired as hell, towards the Pink Line as the festival closer “Do You Realize” begins. Good night Chicago, this gal is tuckered out of brews, all things deep fried and loud beats—at least until Wicker Park fest next weekend that is. . .
My personal highlights from the weekend: Dancing to Yeasayer’s “2080” in the rain; Beirut opening with “Nantes,” Matt & Kim’s closer “Daylight,” Pharoahe Monch busting out both “Desire” and “Simon Says,” Grizzly Bear’s super fun live rendition of “Two Weeks” and Flaming Lips’ “She Don’t Use Jelly.”
Discuss: What were your highlights? What could have been better? How do you think P4K 2009 fared up to 2008?