Pitchfork Music Festival 2017 took place July 14, 15, and 16th in the near west neighborhood of West Loop in Chicago drawing a full crowds of both local and visiting music fans each day for a variety of genres, hip-hop, shoe gazers, funk, rap, dance, rock and more.
Union Park, Chicago
Divided between three color-coded stages, Pitchfork Music Festival's line up has constant acts performing largely avoiding complete overlap. Timed so that fans can catch nearly all sets with the exception of a few head-to-head afternoon time slots one can take in much of what is offered. Factoring in easy access, and short distances between stages Union Park is a great setting. Additional to all the food and beer vendors, this festival is known for a whole row of silkscreen poster art and vinyl shopping.
But what impresses the most is Pitchfork's impresario depth and diverse taste. They know how to choose interesting rising stars like feminist torchbearer Madame Gandhi and Chicago's Jamila Woods. But also booking older favorites with Derrick Carter, P.J. Harvey, and The Feelies while ending each evening with endeared headliners LCD Soundsystem and A Tribe Called Quest.
This year did have a few hiccups including the last minute cancelation of The Avalanches due to band member Toni DiBiasi's health issues. Ride ran late due to some technical difficulties but was quick in getting their groove: all concerns quickly forgotten. All said, these incidents are understandable, forgivable and no negative reflection of the production. Arab Strap was underwhelming as if rehearsing. Very casual swilling beers and their back to the audience at times. In contrast to the emerging acts with something to prove to the world, hungry to perform and win over new audiences, Arab Strap seemed a bit disengaged from their performance. Oddly at least four daytime acts ran a fog machine. That seems a big misguided.
Besides the headlining closing acts, the big wins were P.J. Harvey, Madame Gandhi, Francis and the Lights, Cherry Galzerr, Dawn Richard and Jamila Woods. Harvey was at her best stage craft and performing and Woods blossoming into the talent we all see in her. Fans held out hope for a cameo appearance with Francis and the Lights but no Chance this time.
In order of photos: Danny Brown, Dawn Richard, Dirty Projectors, Hiss Golden Messenger, Kamaiyah, LCD Soundsystem. Priests, Thurston Moore Group, Vince Staples, A Tribe Called Quest, Angel Olsen. Arab Strap, Cherry Glazer, Jeff Rosenstock, P.J. Harvey, The Feelies, Vagabon, Weyes Blood, Colin Stetson, Derrick Carter, Hamilton Leithauser, Isaiah Rashad, Jamila Woods, Kilo Kish, He-Hi, and Ride.