WPGU at Pitchfork 2010: Day 3

Here’s a short recap of the action on the final day of the festival.

Washed Out [Balance Stage, 2:50-3:20 PM]

The genre of chillwave is a new sensation around the indie music scene, and for one, I’ve enjoyed what I’ve seen and heard. The minimalist sound is hard to make sound great, but Ernest Greene aka Washed Out does it about as good as anyone out there. Unfortunately, one man and a laptop playing “chill” music doesn’t always transfer into a great live show in an outdoor venue. Put this man in a club or a small bar and you have a completely different story, but for a festival set it might not be his niche. I’ve seen numerous videos of him performing with a full band and it sounded spectacular, but Greene was the only one to flash the goods on the Balance stage for his set. Great act for festival, a bit underwhelming overall. – Patrick Singer

Beach House [Connector Stage, 3:20-4 PM]

I was extremely excited to Beach House perform songs like Norway and Zebra live, and when it happened I was pretty happy with it. The stage was surprisingly uncrowded (perhaps a gathering was forming to see local natives on the next stage to perform in 25 minutes). With a backdrop of shimmering pastel colored diamonds hanging from the rafters, Beach House remarked that they were excited to be back in the states. They later commented on the heat as the set continued (A theme harped on by artists attempting to tie in on stage banter). – Nick Jones

St. Vincent [Connector Stage, 1:45-2:20 PM]

If you love hyped live shows, you must love St. Vincent. I’d heard it form a few folks when they came through Champaign recently, that you have to see Annie play guitar. “Chick can shred”. And to be honest she could. It was a strong performance and the instrumentation in each song provided something different and interesting. I only wish she did more playing of guitar and less pounding on the top of it… – Nick Jones

Local Natives [Balance Stage, 3:35-4:15 PM]

Local Natives performed on the smallest stage at Union Park on Sunday, and I think it worked to their advantage. The scene was packed, and from what I could gather, seemed to have the most genuine excitement from the crowd that was sustained all set long. When “Airplanes” was played, a few paper ones took to the sky. They closed with “Sun Hands” and the crowd did just that with theirs, enjoying the heat with their palms. – Nick Jones

Major Lazer [Aluminum Stage, 6:15-7 PM]

The set of the weekend… Lazer drummed up the biggest dance party, with the craziest on stage antics. The volume and energy was so completely needed for Pitchfork, and Major Lazer filled the void. Only LCD gave Major Lazer a run for their money when it came to excitement. I’ll leave it with a quick run down of things happening on stage. Climbing a later and stripping down to boxers, then attempting to grasp the lights hanging from above to the chagrin of the stage directors; A 300 pound muliti-racial facial sitting incident; A manly man on man wrestling match; Stage dives; “We goin’ get drunkk, we goin’ smoke weed and get high, and someone in this crowd goin’ to get pregnant tonighttttt”; Dragon costumes and strange women on stage. End of story. – Nick Jones

Big Boi [Connector Stage, 7:20-8:15 PM]

“Rosa Parks”, “Ms. Jackson”, “So Fresh So Clean”, “The Way You Move”, “Bombs Over Bahgdad”. Big Boi took us as close as we could to an Outkast concert and it was great. As for most hip hop shows, there’s always an entourage on stage with the lead rapper, and in this case during the show several little kids came out onto the stage, one girl spinning on her head for nearly an entire song. Standing watching this set made you realize how deep Big Boi’s catalog actually extends, and when you don’t hear a single song you disapprove of, you seem to forget about the more visible and flamboyant of the Outkast duo, Andre 3000. “Shutterbugg” and “General Patton” from Big Boi’s new solo album made you see “Sir Lucious Leftfoot”, not Outkast’s second half. – Patrick Singer

Sleigh Bells [Balance Stage, 7:40-8:20 PM]

The transition from Lazer to Sleigh Bells was quite a smooth one for the crowd that made the short migration. Kickin’ off with a WPGU favorite and “Tell Em”, leading track off their stellar debut Treats, Sleigh Bells kicked ass. Alexis Krauss just has the performing part down pat. She’s hot, she knows it, and she knows how to rap/sing. Can a man ask for more? For me this was the closer, not Pavement, sorry. – Nick Jones

Pavement [Aluminum Stage, 8:30-10 PM]

After a tantilizing 5-10 minute rant by Drag City Records’ Rian Murphy (even though it was set up, it was abnoxious), Pavement took the stage and cranked out hit after hit. For a band in which Pitchfork absolutely bows down too, their live show reinforces their reputation. Surprise opener “Cut Your Hair” was an immediate jump start to the set that contained songs from all over the map and hit all the bases. Early Pavement tracks “Conduit for Sale!” and “Gold Soundz” were spot on, and “Stereo” and “Grounded” showed the band hitting on all cylinders. After 10+ years away from their original roots, the band is back and didn’t miss a beat. What a great conclusion to the festival. – Patrick Singer

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