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Pitchfork Music Festival 2014 Preview: Saturday

By Staff in Arts & Entertainment on Jul 16, 2014 4:00PM

Photo of Danny Brown via his Facebook page, by Sara Karens

Saturday will see Pitchfork Music Festival in full swing as thousands descend on Union Park to take in a staggering variety of musical acts. Here are a few the Chicagoist staff is personally looking most forward to seeing.

School’s out for summer.
Twin Peaks on the Green Stage at 1 p.m.

You’ve waited all year for festival season and there’s no reason not to arrive early with Twin Peaks kicking off the day. The local lads wrestled with the rain to deliver a fun set in true garage fashion at last year’s Riot Fest, and we’re looking forward to seeing them back in festival form a few weeks ahead of their new album’s release. We’re already feeling the flavor of their sophomore effort. Here’s hoping they don’t grow up too fast. — Jessica Mlinaric

Best chance to start dancing early:
Wild Beasts on the Green Stage 2:30 p.m.

Shake off Friday night and get to Union Park early to see British indie-rockers Wild Beasts bring their signature synth sounds and haunting vocals to the Green Stage. This is the quartet’s first time playing Pitchfork in the U.S. after playing the Paris version of the festival back in 2011. The group returns from a brief hiatus in 2012 when they decided to take some time off from the road. The band returned earlier this year refreshed with their fourth album, Present Tense. These guys are seasoned tour and festival veterans, so expect to be rewarded for your early attendance with a tight live show. — Gina Provenzano

Best fuzzy guitar.
Cloud Nothings on the Red Stage 3:20 p.m.

We’ve had an ear on Cloud Nothings for quite a while now, ever since hearing “Hey Cool Kid” on Dylan Baldi’s debut EP back in 2009. Back then the Cleveland native was just 18 years old recording lo-fi pop in his parent’s basement. Now Baldi’s style is described as midwest post-punk. After partnering with Chicago producer Steve Albini for their break-out album, Attack on Memory, just a couple of years ago, the trio has just released their fourth LP, Here and Nowhere Else. While further refining their sound every step of the way, there’s still sure to be plenty of fuzz and reverb on the Red Stage this afternoon. — Michelle Meywes

tUnE-yArDs, photo by Holly Andres
Best set to show off your modern dance moves.
tUnE-yArDs on the Red Stage 5:15 p.m.

Likely one of the festival’s biggest draws, tUnE-yArDs make a triumphant return to Pitchfork Saturday evening after first gracing Union Park in 2011. This time around, expect the same unique vocals from Merrill Garbus, blaring saxophones and some ukulele. But, if recent festival dates and their recent Late Show appearance are any indication, the festival goers will see more of a stage show this time around with a full band and lots of trippy dancing. Many tracks from tUnE-yArDs recently released third album Nikki Nack quickly became staples of our summer playlists and we’re excited to see how she brings her richly layered songs to life on stage. — Gina Provenzano

Best artist who swore off lean.
Danny Brown on the Green Stage 6:15 p.m.

Life has changed for rapper Danny Brown since his last Pitchfork appearance in 2012. The shaggy leader of Detroit’s “Bruiser Brigade” hip-hop collective released his debut album, swore off lean, and collaborated with the UK’s fanciest pop export. That’s not to say the 33-year-old has lost his edge. The self-proclaimed "Adderall Admiral" is a master of obscenity, but his charming demeanor matched with an assaulting flow turns songs like “Blunt after Blunt” and “Smokin’ and Drinkin” into full crowd singalongs. It’s a delightfully twisted sight to behold and definitely not one to miss on Saturday afternoon. — Robert Martin

Most likely to thoroughly confuse you yet still get you dancing.
The Field at the Blue Stage 6:45 p.m.

It’s hard to categorize The Field’s approach. It’s electronic based but feels warm and acoustic at the same time. The Field’s minimalist approach sometimes gets confused with the chillwave camp but I hear more of an early Detroit techno edge to his music. But again, it’s hard to categorize since he tends to jump easily from subgenre to subgenre with the primary throughline being meticulously crafted beats stripped down to razor thin precision in their attack. The result is a slippery effectiveness that keeps you on your toes while simultaneously working to bliss you out. — Jim Kopeny / Tankboy

St. Vincent, photo by Jim Kopeny / Tankboy
Best way to witness the divinely dynamic.
St. Vincent on the Red Stage 7:25 p.m.

Annie Clark is nothing if not prolific—from her incredible command of an array of instruments, to her lyrics that rollick between a playful surreality to raw and poignant emotion. Her latest album navigates both strange and familiar songwriting landscapes—from love songs, to quirky self-reflections, to her current hit and masterpiece, Digital Witness that comments on the deluge of images and information in our 21st century reality. Her songs are delightfully sewn together with complex, infectious, haunting beats and guttural horns. Her show on Saturday at Pitchfork will no doubt be a festival highlight. — Carrie McGath

Best throwback to ‘90s music you may have forgotten about.
FKA Twigs on the Blue Stage 7:45 p.m.

FKA Twigs sounds like a cross between late ‘90s Aaliyah and Massive Attack, with gorgeous R&B vocals draped across richly dark and smooth Trip-Hop-like beats. Did you forget about trip-hop? British musician Tahliah Barnett never did. Her latest single, the sexy and dramatic "Two Weeks," with its creepy droning undertones, is likely to be her breakout hit. Her dramatic visual style (she used to be a professional ballet dancer) paired with a strong sound system should make this quite a show. — Melissa McEwen

Best way to end your Saturday with a band that it took way too long to finally come out and tour again.
Neutral Milk Hotel on the Green Stage 8:30 p.m.

After a hiatus, one of the original American indie groups that ended up influencing so many is finally making its way to Pitchfork. Neutral Milk Hotel’s complexity mirrored that of their mid-1990s origins, a time of deep disillusionment and idealistic hope. Their thoughtful, highbrow lyrics amid a diverse blend of horns, guitar, and percussion will make for a diaphanous and eclectic set as this year’s nostalgic inclusion. Old fans will be lost in a sweet reverie while new fans will be born. — Carrie McGath

See also: Friday's preview, Sunday's preview

Tickets are still available for Friday, but the rest of the festival is sold out.