By Andrew Hertzberg
I was the lone ranger covering the Pitchfork Music Festival for WCR this year. With the end of the Fest comes a few final thoughts, on an entirely subjective scale. It was another great year with the few kinks offset by the general kick-assery of the rest of the Fest. The schedule puts too many similarly-minded bands together (FlyLo/Nicolas Jaar, Thee Oh Sees/Ty Segall, Lotus Plaza/Atlas Sound), but they get a B+ for variety: indie, garage, metal, hip-hop, experimental, pop, dance, electronica all well represented (and without any boring folky music); maybe time to give jazz another try?
Best cover: Wild Flag covering "See No Evil" (originally by Television)
Best crowd surfing: Ty Segall
Wish I checked out more of: Flying Lotus
Wanted to see but no regrets about not because Wild Flag and Sleigh Bells were awesome: Schoolboy Q
Best at meeting expectations: Thee Oh Sees
Not the worst, but not as exciting as I was hoping: Japandroids
Biggest letdown: Saturday night headliners
Gender that owned the weekend: Female (specifically Feist, Alexis Krauss and the ladies of Wild Flag)
Best recorded act that’s awful live: Cults
Best live act not as great recorded: Willis Earl Beal
Best stage: Blue
Fan Wins: Mud pit at Liturgy, two dudes air-guitaring at Sleigh Bells
Fan Fails: Hawaiian shirts (seriously…what the hell?), snootiness at Sleigh Bells. Yes it’s all glitz, no substance. That’s why you enjoy it. Godspeed = more substance and more yawns/bored expressions.
Best (non-WCR) Coverage: Underground Bee (Robert Loerzel) (see what I mean about women owning it?)
Food Wins: Curry on top of Homemade Pizza Co. veggie slice, enough Newcastle for the whole weekend this year
Food Fails: Chicago Diner’s vegan Reuben (too sloppy), Goose Island Cheese Pretzel (too inconsistent over the weekend), Big Star (too non-existent)
Best Non-Music Related Part of the Festival: Book Fort
Next year: Open Friday gates earlier. Give us more than 20 minutes to get to the first band. More art / books / games please. Need veteran acts that people still care about. Need more international acts. 2014: give Grimes a bigger stage.
Overall Winners of the Weekend: These guys