Hello readers. I am recently returned from a Chicago/Utah combo trip and I would like to now begin reporting on this little vacation I had. First up: On my second day in Chicago I went to the second day of the Pitchfork Music Festival. I thought I'd lighten the Chicago-post photo load by looking at this day on its own.
I arrived at Union Park an hour'ish after the festival gates had opened. The weather was perfect: sunny, a little hot, no humidity, occasional refreshing breezes.
Not much was popping at that time. Kevin Morby, the first musician I planned on watching, was doing his sound check
Over in a corner at the Blue stage Chicago footwork producer RP Boo had drawn a crowd. Up to this time, I had found Chicago footwork music practically unlistenable and just Did Not Get It. But RP Boo had his speakers turned up loud and a group of dancers taking turns on stage and Now I Get It.
Lost in a Pokemon hunt
At the Red Stage this band called Girlband was giving it all they got and making a magnificent racket, but this photo conveys none of that. Singer was screaming himself hoarse but this photo doesn't tell you that.
Over at the Green Stage, Kevin Morby started his set. His music sounds just like he looks, and I wasn't there out of any tremendous Kevin Morby fandom
I was there because Katy Goodman of La Sera, the band whose concert in June brought me back to rock n roll life, was one of his back up singers.
Oh and guess who else was at the Green stage? Chicago resident Sarah, too long not seen for the past five years. Turns out loud music festivals aren't the best place to fully catch up on 60 months gone by, but we did our best.
Post-Kevin Morby, caught Royal Headache for a moment. Didn't realize they were such old dudes. I like this one song of their's called Honey Joy, though.
Back over to the Red Stage, where we'd spend just about the whole rest of the day, for Digable Planets. The view mostly looked like this the whole time. 90's Hip Hop reunions really get people throwing their hands in the air.
When Digable Planets were done a lot of the crowd left so we were able to move up closer to the stage for Blood Orange, who was basically auditioning for the role of "New Prince" with his set.
The crowd thinned out again when the Blood Orange fans headed for other stages, so our spots got even better for Brian Wilson. He and his band actually started about 10 minutes early, which was a fine surprise. All the musicians (there were about 13?) were on stage and looked ready and then someone walked Mr. Wilson out to his piano and it was time to go!
Brian didn't sing the high parts and didn't sing a lot of the low parts and wasn't playing the piano most of the time but he did introduce most of the songs and you know what, it was great having him. His band was excellent and fellow Beach Boy Al Jardine helped with a lot of the heavy lifting. It was great fun singing along to all the songs (He was there to play Pet Sounds, start to finish, and followed it with 5 or 6 other Beach Boy classics—considering Beach Boys songs were the sing along songs of my early early childhood, it was actually much more than "great fun" to sing along, more of an "absolute treasure") and making Beach Boys jokes/puns. If I had a bucket list, I think I checked off a big box that evening.
I wanted so bad to get a good pictures of this classy lady in white and pink while she was living it up to the Beach Boys music but she was too quick for me.
There were still a number of bands left after Brian Wilson but I had gotten what I came for, so I didn't really care too much that the crowd was shifting to the other side of the park for Sufjan Stevens. So I photographed strangers, ate a chicken sandwich (you'll have to trust me on that), checked out the record and print fair (again, please trust me), caught a minute of Anderson Paak, and called it a (great) day before the entire festival population swarmed the El station.
I walked home from the Ridgeland stop in Oak Park talking with Jeff on the phone, but by the time I got to OPRF I was like "Eh, maybe I should've called for a ride?" It was a long day on my feet! I felt like my leg bones were going to fall through my heels by the time I got home.