The first day of Pitchfork Music Festival 2010 wasn’t off the charts but it wasn’t a complete letdown either. It was somewhere in the middle. And the top picks for best showings came from Swedish electro-rocker Robyn, Chicago-loving Broken Social Scene and non-Float On playing Modest Mouse. All of it making up the nexus of worthy warm-up to get things going.
What’s In It For You?
Band reviews, crazy fans sightings and links to super-comprehensive reports that Anderson Cooper, Don Lemon and Lester Bangs would be proud of. Do I need to tell you to read on?
Live Music vs. The Heat (no this isn’t about Lebron James, sorry)
Swedish electronic firestarter Robyn bounces around on the stage giving fans a great show and taking their minds of the swelter with white hot versions of tracks of “Don’t F*cking Tell Me What To Do” and other tracks from her latest album Body Talk Part 1. Then as evening approached, the heat finally broke and a welcomed breeze blew through Union Park giving the crowd some relief.
Broken Social Scene Really (Really) Loves Chicago
The last time I saw Broken Social Scene they were doing a mini-backstage concert at Rothbury. And Friday’s show was a grand return in full stereo as most of the band was back on stage together blazing through tracks from their latest album Forgiveness Rock Record. The grateful gushing and multiple Chicago shout outs that leadsinger Kevin Drew showed for the Chicago crowd and the city as a whole was much appreciated and very kind.
But after the Modest Mouse best of (minus Float On) set finished up the night, I think the bands should’ve switched spots on the bill, since BSS is the one with a new album out and Modest Mouse is still working on an forth-coming album and didn’t play any new songs.
Friday Night Fan Sightings
Having covered Pitchfork since it’s been held at Union Park, this was by far the most packed I’ve seen the grounds on a Friday night and it makes me wonder what it will be like over the weekend.
The masses relaxed on blankets, kicked back in camping chairs and squished together shoulder to shoulder in front of all three stage areas as we all settled in to soak up the indie-rock tunes.
Pitchfork Slashes Cost of Water To a Buck to Battle The Heat
I’m sure fans loved the refreshing move by Festival Organizer Anders Smith Lindall who helped make it easier for fans to chill out and stay hydrated by announcing the cost of water will be cut in half to $1 and that water bottles would be given to fans in the front row of the main stage.
According to festival staffers, thankfully no fans were injured or fell victim to the heat. And with the sheer volume of fans, an expected 54,000 over the weekend, there was no shortage of fan’s celebrating, self-expressing and reporting their favorite moments of Day One.
Here’s a quick list of some fan sightings that wizzed by me while the music played and some fan expression gems I discovered via Twitter as other fans tweeted their own sightings and experiences.
So you can join in the fun, we’ll be using the hashtag #pitchforkfestfans for the rest of the weekend as we discover more fan gems and share them with the Twitterverse.
- The festival grounds were packed and as we navigated our way to a spot in the middle to enjoy Broken Social Scene and then Modest Mouse, I was stopped by a wall of fans who playfully told me that I couldn’t pass them unless I did a “jig.” So I wiggled my hips and dipped my shoulder doing the best free-form jig I could and thankfully it was good enough for them and let gave me an affirmative “woot woot!” and let me pass. It was a great moment that made me smile and certainly will be added to the 2010 list.
- A sighting of a hipster with a thick green painted on moostach. And when I tweeted my citing, a fellow fan who read the tweet jokingly called me out for making fun of a poor guys face fungus.
- A fan with strong arms who inspired another fan to take a picture
- A fan ranks Robyn above Broken Social Scene
- Isaac Brock of Modest Mouse wants fans to learn from his mistakes: In-between songs, he explains how a fan threw a glow stick on stage and after Brock bit into the glow stick, he realized that the glow stick was broken and unfortunately swallowed the chemicals and could now spew glowing spit.
How Did The Live Comedy Stand Up at Pitchfork?
Well, I’d love to tell you that I got to experience the comedy stage performances in person. But do to scheduling conflicts, I missed the comedy acts going on the B stage. Nonetheless, as reported by the team of writers from the Chicago Tribune, it looks like the comedic riffs rocked the stage with a vengeance.
“Eugene Mirman closes out action on the comedy stage with a set that proves, if nothing else, stand-ups deal with sound bleed far better than most bands. “That literally is the sound of the rock ‘n’ roll spaceship landing,” he says to a few hundred, mostly-seated revelers as Broken Social Scene performs across the park. “I bet that band is like, ‘Turn that comedy down!’” Mirman also suggests a new slogan for Sbarro (“Great Italian food…if you’re a raccoon”), critiques grammatically ambiguous protest signs (“Abortion: It’s neither here nor there”) and inadvertently hits on the relative lack of diversity in the crowd after wandering down into the first row: “I knew it, you are all mostly white.”
And if I could split myself in to three people, I would be Greg Kot, Andy Downing and Kevin Pang from the Chicago tribune. But I can’t. But you CAN read their complete review of Day One since it does a fine job of wrapping up the day from all three stages.
Lastly, this morning I had the pleasure of discovering the super-investigative Pitchfork reporting by Vocalo.org. The coverage is so comprehensive it’s as if like there was an oil leak gushing out on the grounds at Union Park.
And I think I also saw CNN’s Anderson Cooper in the press tent talking to Broken Social Scene, or maybe it was Don Lemon chatting with Modest Mouse?
In any case, be sure to check out the work of Vocalog.org’s Justin Kaufmann as he take a funny and informative approach to covering Pitchfork “like a blanket.”
That’s it for now. Stay tuned for more as Day Two unfolds….