Pitchfork Music Festival 2015 Preview: Sunday
By Tankboy in Arts & Entertainment on Jul 17, 2015 6:35PM
Chance the Rapper
Every year we recommend a few acts the staff is personally excited about for each day of Pitchfork Music Festival. Today we're highlighting the bands we're most excited to see at Union Park this Sunday. This list is by no means comprehensive, so if we missed an act you're looking forward to seeing, let us know and tell us why you're excited to see them!
Best reason to leave your books at home.
Single Mothers on the Blue Stage at 1 p.m.
Don’t you dare mention McSweeney's in earshot of Single Mothers. Drew Thompson and crew have some strong words for the erudite affectations that may or may not be represented among Pitchfork’s indie set. The Canadian quartet spew hardcore vitriol, so be sure to arrive early Sunday for a dose of ranting sarcasm over a high-speed punk pileup.—Jessica Mlinaric
Four men on a mission.
Viet Cong on the Red Stage at 1:45 p.m.
The ambitious full-length self-titled debut from the Canadian quartet Viet Cong should prove nothing short of pumped up as a delicious Sunday starter. If they open with "Continental Drift," we only ask that they close with album highlight "Death," a riveting multi-act piece stretching from guitar riff a la Peter Buck low on oxygen to a patient, drum-driven interlude that decrescendos into a complicated demise. It might hardly be afternoon, but this set should pop our eyes wide open for the day ahead. —Kristine Sherred
MOURN, photo by Kimi Selfridge
Best reason to relive that mid-’90s Matador collection of vinyl.
MOURN on the Blue Stage at 1:55 p.m.
MOURN may hail from Barcelona but their sound is vintage NYC indie circa 1996. The guitars are strummed violently, causing scratching rhythms to emerge from under a torrent of drums and cymbal crashes. Surly and growling vocals cut through the mix and the whole affair is a slurry of angry ennui, if you can imagine such a thing. The Blue Stage has a history of giving bands best served in clubs the intimate environmental feel that suits them best, so we’re looking forward to MOURN blowing the leaves off the trees overhanging the stage. —Jim Kopeny / Tankboy
Most likely to unexpectedly singe your eyebrows.
Waxahatchee on the Green Stage at 2:30 p.m.
Katie Crutchfield a.k.a. Waxahatchee has a knack for writing haunting, atmospheric songs that complement her strong clear vocals and conversational phrasing. So if you’re looking to get your melancholy on then Waxahatchee will scratch that itch. However, it’s not all self-reflective dirges here; what makes Crutchfield most interesting to these ears is her ability to take something that feels intimate and confessional and then suddenly explode it into a shuddering wall of sound. Expect to lean in to get closer to the music only to have it turn on a dime and take your head off with a shifting dynamics, enveloping you in a morphing sense of sound. —Jim Kopeny / Tankboy.
Have an afternoon dance party with an icon.
The Julie Ruin on the Blue Stage on the Blue Stage at 2:50 p.m.
Fans still in awe of what will undoubtedly be a killer Sleater-Kinney set who want to see another founding member of the Riot Grrrl genre can check out Kathleen Hanna and her latest group The Julie Ruin make their Pitchfork Festival debut Sunday afternoon. For Hanna fans, this will be a rare Chicago appearance for the front woman—also of Bikini Kill and Le Tigre fame—whose struggles with lyme disease were recently documented in the poignant documentary The Punk Rock Singer. From what we’ve heard of the group’s latest singles and revisiting their full length 2013 LP Run Fast, we’re excited to get up close and dance along with one of our favorite icons. —Gina Provenzano
Freddie Gibbs, photo by Nick Walker
Freddie Gibbs and Madlib on the Red Stage at 3:20 p.m.
Before you experience one of the most talked-about rap acts of the past year, why not get a taste of one of the most slept-on? Underground legend Madlib joined forces with perennial heat seeker Freddie Gibbs on 2014's Piñata, a back-to-basics rap album that emphasizes crate-digging sensibilities over radio-friendliness. If you come for the smooth, soulful beats, you'll want to stay for the razor-sharp bars courtesy of Gary, Indiana native Gibbs. —Andrew Morrell
Where to see every single music writer at the festival crowding close to the stage.
Courtney Barnett on The Green Stage at 4:15 p.m.
If you haven’t heard about Courtney Barnett by now it must be because you never read any writing about music, ever. But there’s a reason the music press is falling all over themselves to give Barnett kudos: She’s just really that fucking good. Her earlier work trended more towards the alt-country side, but her latest album Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit traded the twang for a rawk approach that’s still solidly her own. Her lyrics are like lassos spinning out to capture you and draw you in, and her voice is a force of nature that feels inevitable, so you may as well dive in and get carried away by its currents. —Jim Kopeny / Tankboy
Best place to nurse your recent heartache.
How to Dress Well on The Blue Stage at 4:45 p.m.
It’s a shame Chicago’s own How to Dress Well has an unfortunate time slot, sandwiched between both Courtney Barnett and Jamie xx. But those willing to take a risk and venture over to the Blue Stage, even just for a few songs, will be treated to Indie R&B crooner and Pitchfork darling How to Dress Well, a.k.a. Tom Krell, bare his soul through haunting lyrics of heartbreak and catchy layered beats. This will be How to Dress Well’s second Pitchfork Fest appearance after his debut in 2011 and it’s a well earned-spot with his latest full length album What is this Heart? appearing on many 2014 Best Of lists. —Gina Provenzano
Best mostly wordless tunes to vibe to.
Jamie xx on the Blue Stage at 7:45 p.m.
Chances are you are already familiar with Jamie xx’s work, whether you know it or not. This London-based producer is half of the musical trio The xx. His are the haunting melodies that lend an ethereal feel to Romy Madley Croft’s beautiful vocal stylings. This year saw the release of his first solo album, In Colour, and he has already had a few hits. Find a great spot to sway or a nice seat in the grass and just let yourself be lost in the flow. —Sophie Day
Technically this is Run The Jewels' second appearance at Pitchfork, since El-P's 2013 set basically turned into the duo's first appearance. Photo by Samantha Abernethy
Best reason to be late for Chance the Rapper.
Run the Jewels
Two years ago, El-P and Killer Mike each held their own mid-day slots, on different stages, at Pitchfork. Mike went on first, without El-P in tow, and delivered a smattering of bangers from past and present, interspersed with impassioned monologues on everything from the perils of urban living to the simple joys of smoking weed with your wife. At one point he actually burst into tears. He carried that energy into El-P's set about an hour later, joining him on stage to perform songs from their then-recent collaboration Run the Jewels. It was perhaps the best rap show I've ever seen, and it can only get better now that the duo have a couple years of touring under their belt. —Andrew Morrell
Best reason to run away from Run the Jewels.
Todd Terje and the Olsens on the Blue Stage at 7:45 p.m.
With a title as momentous as It's Album Time, this album best epitomizes what an album should be. Norwegian DJ Todd Terje (pronounced terr-yeah), who over the past decade has made a name for himself in the dance circuit, pulls out stops you couldn't even see in his first solo album, released in 2014. The beats are impossibly danceable and the live drum kit enhances the experience ten-fold. We love croony lyrics and all, but we can't wait for the buoyant instrumental hour with Todd Terje and the Olsens. —Kristine Sherred
There’s a chance this could be the best set of the weekend.
Chance The Rapper on the Green Stage at 8:30 p.m.
We couldn’t go without mentioning the nicest guy in hip hop, who also happens to be incredibly talented. Here’s the brief history: After receiving a suspension from school, Chance the Rapper (Chancelor Bennett) put that time to good use and recorded his first mixtape, 10 Day, at Chicago Public Library and Digital Youth Network’s YOUmedia studio. That was at age 18. A year later, he recorded the critically acclaimed mixtape, Acid Rap. Now 22, and a legit headliner, he hasn’t stopped giving back to the community that helped cultivate his success. Just last month Chance hosted a free teen-only music festival on Northerly Island, and this week on Windy City Live he talked about teaming up with Chicago Parks for surprise field trips with local kids. During that same appearance, he also promised some “special surprises” for his set on Sunday. At the very least, we’re betting it involves sharing the stage with Donnie Trumpet and his Social Experiment crew. Likability aside, we’re in for a helluva fest closing set from this young star. —Michelle Meywes Kopeny