WPGU at Pitchfork 2010: Day 2

Here’s a short recap of the action on Saturday, Day 2 of 3.

Real Estate [Connector Stage, 1:45-2:20 PM]

After Free Energy amped up the crowd on Saturday it was time for Real Estate’s beach rock sound to cool everyone off during the scorching midday heat. For a band that only has one album to roll through they definitely failed at cooling down the crowd and instead sparked a stoned out version of the 1963 film Beach Party. Instead of bikini-clad blondes and Frankie Avalon dancing on a shore, it was cats from New Jersey playing fuzzy California-tinged rock with urban hipsters swaying about in their tight jeans and colorful knockoff Ray-Bans. The set was excellent with highlights being their self-titled record’s first track “Beach Comber” and the fuzzy, sunny jam of “Pool Swimmers” initiated by frontman Martin Courtney tantalizing the crowd about a fictional pool behind the stage. – Tom Pauly

Delorean [Aluminum Stage, 2:30-3:15 PM]

Luckily for Delorean the weather was as sunny and bright as the tone of their music. The Spaniards took the stage and dazzled the surprisingly large crowd that turned out for their set in the blistering hot sun. The keyboardist attemted to do his best Geologist from Animal Collective impression, but all the feeling was there. Following the success of their Aryton Senna EP from last year, the band opened with standout “Seasun”, as well as mixing tracks in from their newest release, Subiza. Many of the songs follow the same structure and share a similar vibe amongst them, but they all contain that comfortable sound with redeeming indie pop qualities. – Patrick Singer

Titus Andronicus [Connector Stage, 3:20-4:10 PM]

After seeing Titus Andronicus own the Subterranean Friday night I was curious to see how they’d hold up in even more intense heat and sunshine. They certainly did not disappoint the crowd who “oohed” and “whoaaohhed” along to everyone of Patrick Stickles’ Springsteen-esque lyrics and onslaught of guitar licks. Titus Andronicus’s latest album The Monitor was a focal point in the performance as they also opened this set with the epic 7+ minute “A More Perfect Union” and continued the onslaught of guitars and horns. The nearly nine minute “A Pot In Which To Piss” was another highlight where Stickles’ vocals and gritty guitar molded into an absolutely classic performance. It was also extremely cool to see more members from their touring partners Hallelujah the Hills join the party onstage as they did the previous evening. All in all, Titus Andronicus brought the grimy rock ‘n’ roll that I hold so dear to my heart. – Tom Pauly

Raekwon [Aluminum Stage, 4:15-5 PM]

I’ve seen Wu-Tang and it’s members’ solo sets a handful of times, and each time, they’re late. You can book it. So when Raekwon stepped onto the stage 20 minutes after his scheduled start time, I wasn’t surprised like most of the festivalgoers around me. With that being said, the sound for this entire set was awful. The backing beats weren’t loud enough, and the sound would frequently cut out through the first handful of tracks the Chef ran through. Although most of the set was heavy on Wu Classics, I can’t even complain. There’s a reason those songs are classic and a reason that people like them. Raekwon would have done the Festival a disservice if he neglected “Ice Cream,” “C.R.E.A.M.,” “Da Mystery of Chessboxin,” and the like. His blunted, hoarsed voice just meshes perfectly with his “reality rap” lyrics but the Chef also knows how to work a crowd. The native New Yorker proclaimed that “Chicago pizza is the best in the world!” and he brought out the Chi-Town Breakers – a group of small 10ish year olds- to break dance over the well-known, “Wu-Tang Clan Ain’t Nuthin’ Ta F*ck Wit.” All in all, no energy was lost after getting smoked out by the East Coast all day. – Tom Pauly

Jon Spencer Blues Explosion [Connector Stage, 5:15-6:10 PM]

Easily the act I was most excited about seeing all weekend. Leaving most of their 21st century material where it belongs (in the gutter), the Blues Explosion lived up the their name and blew the crowd away like it was 1996. For fans of the White Stripes and last decades garage rock revival, the Blues Explosion had to be an immensely enjoyable experience. Spencer, who looks like a string bean combo of Elvis and Jack White, motored through a set of his signature garage-country-punk-rockabilly jams including classics like “Bellbottoms” (that saw the entire crowd screaming the word along with Spencer) and a majestic “Soul Typecast.” Spencer’s gyrations and stage persona is remarkable for someone who’s been in the game for 20+ years and it all came to a raucous conclusion during the set closer “Magical Colours” which saw Spencer absolutely destroy a microphone. Once again, the East Coast dominated the stage. – Tom Pauly

Wolf Parade [Aluminum Stage, 6:15-7:20 PM]

If you missed out on Wolf Parade’s set, you were definitely missing one of the best Canadian indie rock bands out there today. The four piece rocked their set with songs from all over their stellar catalog and did it with total strength and control. As someone who personally favors their debut Apologies to the Queen Mary most over their latter two records, it was a pleasant surprise to see those tracks intertwined with the new material. The dual lead singers have their own projects with Handsome Furs and Sunset Rubdown (both releasing albums last year), amongst other collaborations, but Wolf Parade is clearly their strong suit and showed it throughout their set. – Patrick Singer

Panda Bear [Connector Stage, 7:20-8:30 PM]

Panda Bear, love him or hate him. Those are usually the general opinions of the Animal Collective member’s solo work. The man does wonders in the studio, but like Animal Collective, the live show can be hit or miss. Going into the show, you should basically expect to not hear any songs you know and get ready for some lengthy periods of experimentation. Personally, Person Pitch could be one of my favorite albums ever. It’s just confusing Lennox only chose “Ponytail” to put into a set, at a festival put on by a largely influential media outlet that named Pitch Album of the Year in 2007 and also put it in their top 10 for the decade. I found myself distracted by the droning of his keyboard and the lack of composure throughout the set. Talented? No question. Satisfied? Not quite. – Patrick Singer

LCD Soundsystem [Aluminum Stage, 8:30-10 PM]

I want to make this clear, with absolutely no doubt in my mind LCD Soundsystem was the most fun I will have at Pitchfork this year. Done. James Murphy and his band took the stage with a barrage of lights and a wondrous disco ball. For the life of me I can’t remember the first song that he played, but I know that it was a nice introduction to get everyone moving and ready for the second song, which was “Drunk Girls” from his new album This is Happening. The second the first chorus hit the everyone in the crowd went nuts. All at once my personal space went from a little bit to absolutely nothing, which was perfectly fine. The whole audience grooved throughout the set with songs from all three of his albums as Murphy seemed to be singing his heart out on stage. They played a slow-down version of “I Can Change” which at first disappointed me but by the end won me over completely seeing that this version was actually more fitting to the songs meaning. On the album I greatly enjoy the dance tune and did notice it’s semi-depressing tone but seeing Murphy shout it out made the song that much better. LCD finished out their set with a slow “New York, I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down” which almost made me forget that they didn’t play “Dance Yrself Clean”, but not completely. On the whole the performance was fantastic and well worth the many sweaty bodies pressing up against me at all times. – Dylan Sutcliff

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