The weather for the 2nd day of the festival did not start off by looking very promising at all. It looked as if it was going to rain forever and not stop. The thought of spending an entire day soaking wet, probably cold and miserable around a bunch of muddy people was not exactly the most intriguing thing in the world to me, but I was willing to go through with it if it meant that I would get to spend the entire day discovering new music. I had made peace with the fact that sometimes perfect weather just isn’t in the cards.
Now, it is impossible to see all of the performances at Pitchfork, the way that the schedule is set up the Aluminum and Connector stages alternate back and forth all day but the Balance stage is off on the other side of the park and the sets run in syncopation with the other two. So if you wanted to catch anything on the Balance stage (reserved mostly for more electronic acts like Atlas Sound, Fuck Buttons etc. and “less popular” acts like King Kahn and his Shrines) chances are you would have to skip out on some or all of a full performance on one of the main stages. I did try my best to catch as much as possible. I would now like to sum up my Day 2 experience in as few words as possible. I joked with my brother that I would write “one word” reviews. They won’t be one word, but I am going to boil down my thoughts as simply as possible for each of the bands that I saw this day.
Titus Andronicus: Loud. Many guitars, a lot of noise and lots of energy. It was raining when they played but they didn’t care, and because of that neither did I. I’m keeping my eye on them.
A Hawk and a Handsaw: I actually missed them, but it wasn’t because I didn’t want to see them, it was because I was going to be seeing them the next week at the Calgary Folk Fest. I loved them. More on that when I blog about the Calgary Folk Fest in the next couple of days.
Jay Reatard: Punk energy. Numbskull Flying V-guitars and a lot of atitude. Good for a half hour set. Too much schtick, not enough substance. Using metal/glam/punk gimmickry ala FUBAR as some sort of ironic statement. No thanks.
Caribou: When they played “Melody Day” the rain stopped and the sun was shining for the rest of the day. In other words I was standing there in awe and it was absolutely amazing.
Fuck Buttons: You know when you are young and you wander into a Radio Shack and play with everything they have? I was excited for them, and then after 10 minutes I realized they weren’t going to do anything and I left. Fuck Buttons? more like Suck Buttons. Fuck you, thanks for wasting my time, you fucking untalented assholes.
The Ruby Suns: Good songs, I liked them. Performance could have used a little bit more energy, and a bit more instruments being played live, less prerecorded sound. What’s the point of a live performance?
Vampire Weekend: Jimmy Buffet for 20-somethings.
!!!: Great set. They make you dance. The most the crowd moved the entire weekend was during this set. The first sign of crowd-surfing. I love !!!.
The Hold Steady: Pretty straight forward punk rock with the edge cleaned up a little bit. I liked it. They were definitely all about getting the crowd going. Great polished set.
Atlas Sound: Moving. Ambient. Great.
Jarvis Cocker: He is so British you can hear his accent upon sight. Jarvis Cocker loves to fuck, as is evidenced by the three types of songs that he writes: songs about women he has fucked, songs about women he is fucking, songs about women that he wishes he had taken the opportunity to fuck. All of these songs were great. Jarvis is a great showman.
Animal Collective: An amazing barrage of new material that held me and the rest of the audience transfixed for over an hour. The sound didn’t stop for their entire set, and I have never experienced an hour and a half go by so quickly. Amazing end to the day. I think Animal Collective should only ever play in the dark. It worked so well in an outdoor festival setting.
That’s my day 2 roundup. I hope you enjoyed it. You will notice the video player below, it contains my videos from this day. Featured in the videos are Titus Andronicus, Animal Collective, !!! and Jarvis Cocker. Tomorrow will wrap up the Pitchfork Festival, day 3.