Pitchfork Music Festival Day 1, Union Park, Chicago

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Pitchfork Music Fest brings their annual showcase of musicians back to Union Park.

Take a moment with me and let us rewind to Thursday the 13th of July.  

I was anxiously anticipating the start of the festival the next day when I received an email asking if I would be interested in photographing the legendary Screaming Eagle of Soul that night. For those of you who don’t know who that is – Charles Bradley – How could I pass it up?  I arrived at House of Vans just as the doors were opening and got settled inside.  Bradley’s band warmed up the stage with some funky soulful beats.  Charles himself came out moments later and showered the venue with deep passionate emotion that only he could.  Throughout the night Charles went backstage and changed outfits only to reemerge like the phoenix that he is.  It was an honor and unbelievable way to kick off my Pitchfork weekend.

Friday morning:

Panic set in that I was either going to screw something up or forget something important.  I spent hours pouring over the contents in my bag and making sure I had EVERYTHING I could need.  I arrived to Union Park right when the gates opened at 12:00.  Checked in and instantly went to the first stage to cover the first act of the fest.  Madame Gandhi kicked things off in high gear.  She came out strong lyrically throwing down rhymes left and right.  Mid song she jumped onto the drum kit on stage and jumped right into the music being played by her DJ.  Overall she had a great set and it was a perfect way to start the day.  SETLIST

Priests kicked off things on the Green stage.  They sound like a 50’s-60’s diner rock with a punk style.  The female fronted band had a great voice and total punk attitude. She strutted around the stage fiercely and put on a great show for the crowd.  SETLIST

Hiss Golden Messenger slowed things down for us a bit.  They are a great band, with loads of talent.  M.C. Taylor fronts the band and has a very similar sound vocally to Bob Dylan.  I really enjoyed their set and was glad I got to see them.  I especially was looking forward to seeing Phil Cook formerly of Megafaun on keys.  He didn’t disappoint.  SETLIST

Thurston Moore Group was an absolute treat.  Moore is one of those musicians that has been breaking the mold and changing the music scene for decades.  His project is no different.  He continues on with some of his traditional stylings with eerie guitar sounds and heavily distorted riffs.  His latest release doesn’t have as much singing on it, but is a great album to throw on and chill to.  The only thing cooler than their unique sound was possibly the vintage – beat to hell – fender strats.  Check the photos above for some close ups. SETLIST

The rest of Friday highlighted hip hop artists.  Chicago has a legendary hip hop scene and it  was in full effect all weekend long at Pitchfork.  Friday’s hiphop artists were straight fire.  Vince Staples and Danny Brown each brought their unique rap styles to the stage.  The crowd loved both acts and sang along with them.  Overall they were a great way to end my first day at Pitchfork.  Vince’s SETLIST, Danny’s SETLIST

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