Pitchfork Music Festival : Day Two

Cults on the Red Stage

Atlas Sound [Green Stage – 2:30] —
Atlas Sound is the solo project of Deerhunter’s lead singer, Bradford Cox. Cox had the audience captivated from his white face paint (still unsure of the purpose of that. Does anyone out there know?) to his crazy computer-based instrumental synth. Lyrically, Atlas Sound is generally Cox’s stream-of-consciousness, while he loops his own recordings to create the sound of a huge ensemble. It was absolutely awe inspiring to see one man make so much sound. Saturday was a really rainy day at P4K but, somehow, the rain worked to Cox’s advantage. It was lightly sprinkling and perfectly melding with his dreamy and pop-y music. Toward the end of his set, it started absolutely pouring. Audience members took out their umbrellas and rain poncho’s or ran for shelter (I was in the latter category), but Atlas Sound could still be heard throughout the entire park. It was really beautiful and felt kind of meaningful, like something out of a movie. Atlas Sound will now forever be my go-to for rainy day music.

Cults [Red Stage – 3:20] —
Cults. Cults! CULTS! I’ve heard many things about Cults’ live performances, and I could not wait to (finally) see them live for myself. Oh man, it was a f***ing fabulous experience. Madeline Follin (vocals) and Brian Oblivion (guitar) had amazing chemistry, and their pre-show banter was incredible. They clearly made sure to keep the audience involved in every part of the fun. Follin had great stage presence, which really got every single audience member out of their comfort zones. Opening with “Abducted,” the first song off their self-titled, debut album, it seemed like the CD was just playing on my iPod, as per usual … but even better than I’d ever heard it before! As a collective unit, we were all screaming along to the hits. There were some technical difficulties with Follin’s mic, but things were quickly fixed in time for everyone to “Rave On.” 😉

Youth Lagoon [Blue Stage – 3:50] —
I had to haul ass from Cults at the Red Stage to make it in time, but this set was definitely worth it. There is no doubt in my mind when I state, “The Youth Lagoon show was the most beautiful show at Pitchfork.” Trevor Powers, the man behind the music, took the stage and it was suddenly silent. His 2011 debut album The Year of Hibernation is stunning and very intimate. Powers took a large, sweaty, tired crowd and created what felt like a tiny, intimate gathering. Powers closed with “17,” which is my personal favorite Youth Lagoon song, and it was an exceptionally beautiful ending to a show that I wouldn’t have missed for the world. (Though I’m probably a little biased because, again, “17” is my favorite.)

Sleigh Bells [Green Stage – 6:15] —
If I had to award one concert in the world for the “Sexiest, Most Badass Experience Award” … well, then I’ve found the winner! Alexis Krauss (vocals) put on one of the sexiest, most passionate and intense performances I have ever seen. She was high energy, exceptionally dynamic and, what I really loved, is that it truly seemed like she was loving the performance just as much (if not more) than anyone else in the whole park. Plus, when hits like “Infinity Guitars” and “Comeback Kid” started pumping through the speakers, the crowd lost it.  Krauss’ amazing energy coupled with the loud, powerful, dance-punk jams drew the largest crowd I have seen at Pitchfork. Krauss and Derek Edward Miller (guitar) certainly deserved the immense recognition that they received. I am now 100% more excited to see this duo storm the stage at Pygmalion in September (much like I said about Dirty Projector’s performance on Friday.)

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