Sunday, July 19, 2009

Pitchfork Festival 2009: Friday

Austin and his pappy picked me up around 9am and began our trip after picking up Jack Seaton. The trip took around 5.5 hours, including a very mediocre Arbys meal (since when do they not serve 5 for $5) and a pit stop. We checked into the Marriott at 2pm or so and got acquainted with the room. In anticipation of the festival scene, we left around 3:45 but the doors wouldn’t open up for a little while. The neighborhood surrounding Ashland Ave. and Union Park is pretty quaint in some spots and pretty crummy in others. Fortunately, the park lies one mile from our hotel and makes for an easy stroll as transportation. Tortoise began on time at 5pm and started off slow. They set the mood for a spacey atmosphere but I felt like their sound didn’t translate well from the album. Listening to Tortoise outside of the comfort of my bedroom in the late hours of night did not feel right. We left after I heard a few songs off TNT and got a great spot at the Aluminum Stage with Michael Blair, his sister Jackie, her friend Erika, and a few buzzmckillingtons. Yo La Tengo really hit the spot for me, playing many of my I Can Hear the Heart… favorites. They played one fun new song and played a very diverse set as far as genres covered, but that’s what Yo La Tengo is all about. We watched Jesus Lizard from afar (glad I was afar) and waited somberly for Built to Spill. Built to Spill played pretty topnotch. Rain drizzled all over mid set, bettering the mood created by noisy guitar solos and classic Perfect From Now On. When hecklers put a damper on the mood, Built to Spill seemed to knowingly pick up the jam. I found myself bored during their trancy noise parts, and especially excited during their synchopated parts. “Carry the Zero” got the crowd revved up right before their last song. We went back to the hotel afterwards and I had a difficult time sleeping soundly with midnight hot wings filling my gut. The excitement of the festival scene made me feel like an excited little kid again. Racing around collecting free pins and stickers, talking admirably to the forefathers of the Chicago scene selling merch, and waiting endlessly for my favorite artists brought my mind to recall exactly how important the music community is to me. I was on the same page with everyone. No one is weird at Pitchfork. Everyone here gets it!

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