Pitchfork Day 2 recap

by Raghav Mehta

The torrid Saturday sun beat down on Chicago’s union park as Free Energy opened day two of the Pitchfork music festival on the Aluminum stage. Their bouncy, 70s-inspired power pop resonated with their seemingly well-rested and receptive audience eliciting more than the obligatory head-bobs and served as an appropriate kick start for the eventful second day. On the opposite end, hometown trio Netherfriends cranked out Shawn Rosenblatt’s atmosphereic synth-pop before a sparse crowd ridden with lethargic hash heads and curious faces who were most likely unfamiliar with the Chicago-based up-and-comers. Nonetheless, Netherfriends succeeded in reproducing Rosenblatt’s arrangements live. Unfortunately, the crowd shrunk considerably afterwards as Sonny and The Sunsets took stage¬¬ — which is a shame, because the surf-pop quartet is one of the more satisfying acts among the undercard. Sonny Smith’s playful demeanor is a fresh cross between Elvis Costello and Jonathan Richman. But right as the day began to lose its momentum, Titus Andronicus delivered festival go-ers a much-needed shot in the arm with their truly epic performance on the Aluminum stage. Donning American flags, the New Jersey patriots plowed through their set, performing material from both their albums with immaculate execution. Highlights included “Battle of Hampton Roads” and the superlative closer “Four Score and Seven.” The band’s cathartic barroom-punk anthems stole the show. After a mid-day packed with Indie mainstays like Wolf Parade and Panda Bear, LCD Soundsystem closed the night, opening with the high-energy “Us V Them.” The disparate audience — ostensibly drug-fueled — was condensed with numerous dance circles scattered throughout as the band recounted hits that spanned the entirety of frontman James Murphy’s nearly decade-old catalog. In spite of being the final set of the day, the crowd kept up with Murphy as he closed with “New York, I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down,” which can only be properly described as majestic. Things that were hip: Titus Andronicus’ set, dance circles, “Bro-downs” Things that were not so hip: Raekwon’s technical difficulties, parents who brought their children, $6 beers. Keep following our at night and our twitter throughout the day. Photos by Jules Ameel.