Set List Bonus: Pitchfork Music Festival

  • Kendrick Lamar performs at the Pitchfork Music Festival on July 20 in Chicago
    Photo: The Recording Academy
  • Beck performs at the Pitchfork Music Festival on July 18 in Chicago
    Photo: The Recording Academy
  • Giorgio Moroder performs at the Pitchfork Music Festival on July 18 in Chicago
    Photo: Roger Kisby/Getty Images

Welcome to The Set List. Here you'll find the latest concert recaps for many of your favorite, or maybe not so favorite, artists. Our bloggers will do their best to provide you with every detail of the show, from which songs were on the set list to what the artist was wearing to which out-of-control fan made a scene. Hey, it'll be like you were there. And if you like what you read, we'll even let you know where you can catch the artist on tour. Feel free to drop us a comment and let us know your concert experience. Oh, and rock on.

By Jenna Goode

For many, the Pitchfork Music Festival has become a journey toward music discovery, which these days can be a daunting task, with so much music available at our fingertips. Now in its ninth year, Chicago's Pitchfork Music Festival has been helping music fans discover new music, and artists get discovered with a curated lineup that includes numerous genres, indie artists, established artists, and local bands.

The biggest draws at this year's installment, taking place July 18–20, included GRAMMY-winning producer Giorgio Moroder, GRAMMY winner Beck, indie rockers Neutral Milk Hotel, and GRAMMY-nominated hip-hop artist Kendrick Lamar.

Friday drew in yuppies like me who skipped the last few hours of the work week to cut loose and enjoy the perks of a Chicago summer — music, food, art, and sunshine. I began my day at the record market, where I was in vinyl heaven. There were rare albums, discounts and plenty of people passionate about collecting to chat with. In the distance I heard the soothing sounds of Sharon Van Etten's raspy voice while I browsed.

My first day at the festival was spent like many attendees, sitting on a blanket in the field with a view of both of the main stages while children played with footballs and Frisbees and adults enjoyed their beverages and conversation, occasionally interrupting to applaud the current performer. This unassuming, welcoming and laid-back atmosphere sets Pitchfork apart from other festivals.

Day one of the festival closed with a set from Moroder, who had the crowd grooving to his Daft Punk collaboration, "Giorgio By Moroder." Then came Beck, who demonstrated the diversity and depth of his lengthy discography as he performed a few tracks from his forthcoming album, Song Reader. His eccentric, and sometimes erratic, dance moves brought an immense energy to the set. "Loser" was clearly a crowd favorite as nearly everyone belted out in Spanish, "Soy un perdedor." For the encore performance Beck busted through the caution tape strung across the stage and dove into an impressive harmonica solo before singing the comical "Debra."

Day two was notably the most fashionable day of the festival. I saw numerous women rocking heels and platforms well over three inches. Mesh shirts, sun dresses and cutout clothes were also popular attire. Women were not the only ones getting into the fashion; men also sported designer labels and carefully manicured beards.

The elusive Jeff Magnum performed that evening with Neutral Milk Hotel. The anticipation for this set was high since many have waited nearly a decade to see the band live. The TV screens were shut off and the band asked the audience not to photograph during the set, which consisted mostly of songs from their 1998 album, In The Aeroplane Over The Sea. The crowd swayed and nodded to the catchy "The King Of Carrot Flowers" before they closed their set with the sweet yet haunting "Oh Comely," during which many couples slow danced.

And for those who didn't come with a significant other, event sponsor Goose Island printed and posted missed connections from on a missed connections board at the festival. A typical post read: "You had pigtails and a floral skirt. I was wearing a Death Grips R.I.P. shirt. Call me."

Lamar was clearly the most anticipated artist of day three as fans pushed their way up to the front more than an hour before his start time. He began fashionably late, but to no one's dismay. Hitting the stage with a full backing band, Lamar was sharp and flew through most of the tracks off his GRAMMY-nominated album Good Kid, M.A.A.D City. His encore performance included the crowd favorite "A.D.H.D," during which fans enthusiastically responded "f*** that" back to Lamar during each verse. The crowd left on a high from his performance. Not even the crowded Green Line trains could kill our vibe.

(Jenna Goode is the Project Coordinator for The Recording Academy Chicago Chapter. Goode has interviewed artists such as Tame Impala, Daniel Lanois and Born Ruffians. She has also covered music festivals such as Electric Forest, Lollapalooza, and Pitchfork. Her work has been previously featured on the Chicago Chapter's page, and Loud Neighbor Music Blog.)

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