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Riot Fest Coverage 2017


This year, WLUW returned to Riot Fest in Douglas Park for a packed weekend of rioting. We covered some of the highlights from the fest below, but stay tuned for more coverage and photos posted on our social media accounts. 

Queens of the Stone Age 

Kicking off their set with songs from their latest album, Queens of the Stone Age, fronted by the King of the Wild West himself, Josh Homme, clad in a plaid flannel, reeled the crowd in closer and closer with each strum of his guitar, as the light show providing support to QOTSA's performance pulled that imaginary rope even tighter. Josh teased the crowd, singing songs like an earlier artist from the day, Danzig's tune “Mother”. Every song bled seamlessly within one another, with the absolute power of their instruments and supporting devices. It wasn't until Homme uttered the lyrics of the new album's single Feet Don't Fail Me, did the crowd realize the next song. Josh was poetic with his comments in between songs, with his comments such "Five minutes ago will always remain five minutes ago, and 5 minutes from now will always remain in the future, and it will remain unsure. Right now is all we have, and we'll have it together", before starting an oldie, Smooth Sailing. After performing more songs from their latest album, QOTSA shredded into No One Knows, as the cameras were so heavily focused on Josh's foot trembling under his set of pedals. A slew of older songs, with one of my groovy favorites, and definitely a favorite with the rest of the crowd, "I Wanna Make It Wit Chu" prevailed as Josh took a drag from his cigarette in between lines, and rest of the band followed with backing vocals. The guitar riffs for the rest of the set continued to pulse through each audience member with such force and vigor as they relived years of their past music, with guitar and drum solos to make any fan happy. Closing their set, QOTSA definitely showed Chicago as much love as they could.

-Austin Edington


Laden in all white skirt and shirt combo, Angus Andrews of Liars strutted across the riot main stage Friday performing mostly older material and a few songs from his latest, TFCF. The sun was hot as hell and I was eager to see how the experimental project would execute the complex layering of sounds. Angus played a synth board while two in the back ripped on a filtered guitar and drums. The intense release of self was channeled through droning vocals, body thrashing and hair whipping. All appropriate considering the content on his new work commemorates the 15-year ending of a creative relationship with his band mate. The energy was thick and the crowd in the front was totally entranced by his dark and erratic set.

-Madeline Wakenight 

Beach Slang

Adorned in his usual attire of a bowtie, and his corduroy pants, Beach Slang played early in the day, bringing donuts for some lucky attendees to "help sober up the lousy hungover animals". Doing exactly what they set out to do, Beach Slang punched Chicago right in the heart with their fast, melodic tunes, accompanied by their stomach-turning lyrics, reminding the audience of the emotions we all feel, as the lead singer practically made love to the microphone. Covering Santana's Smooth half-way through their set, the lead singer James reminded the audience that Beach Slang will never be professional, as they always have been. Spin the Dial hit to the crowd like a ball of lead, kickstarting a wave of moshing and failed attempts at crowdsurfing. James drank throughout Beach Slang’s set, as the heat of the early afternoon laid like a shroud over everyone present. However, despite the heat and a few minor technical difficulties, the audience and the band, remained supportive, with a wave of chants aimed towards the road manager. Having fun with their last part of their show, they covered bits of Lit’s “My Own Worst Enemy” with a poor and joking remix of the lyrics, the beginning of RHCP’s “Give It Away”, and finally with more of a serious, dedicated tone, the entirety of “Where Is My Mind” from the Pixies.

-Austin Edington 

TV On The Radio 

TV on the Radio took the stage as the sun was setting, and their dreamy melodies quickly drew the audience in like a magnetic pull, as more and more people filled in to see the power and good vibrations, making every piece of the puzzle a picturesque experience. Those smooth vibes didn't last, as the band propelled themselves into harder tracks such as "Lazerray", further proving the awesome talent of each member of the band, making the bigger picture of TV On The Radio a match made in rock and roll heaven. The chunky bass lines preluding a number of their songs laid a heavy foundation for each song as TV On The Radio mastered a wide range of genres, from blues rock, to new wave, to indie, providing to be pleasing to the ear for each member of the crowd. For those in the audience who weren't fans before seeing them, TV on the Radio ensured with combined ethereal skill, that everyone walked away happy by the end of their set.

-Austin Edington 

Built to Spill 

When I first saw that Built to Spill was playing Riot Fest, I was pretty stoked. To then see that they will be playing my favorite Built to Spill record in its entirety (Keep It Like a Secret), I just about lost my mind. What I didn’t expect was that they performed as a trio, as opposed to the usual 5-piece. Questioning what the show would sound like with limited instrumentation, they kicked off their album celebration with “The Plan” with a full sound. During the set, singer/guitarist Doug Martsch took over the performance with guitar solos, guitar loops and pedal experimentation to fill in the missing pieces that the full band would have had. The crowd reaction included a lot of jumping in excitement as the band went from track to track, including their arguably most popular song “Carry the Zero”. Unlike some other full album performances at Riot Fest this year, Built to Spill didn’t end up playing anything else from their discography at the festival, however, they had some time for those other fan-favorites at their Riot Fest Late-Night show the night before with Dinosaur Jr.  

-Paul Quinn 

New Order

One of the main attractions of this year’s Riot Fest was New Order, who was sandwiched between Ministry and Nine Inch Nails on Friday. A huge takeaway from their performance was covering two Joy Division songs: "Disorder", which played second in their set, and "Love Will Tear Us Apart", which was played as the encore of the evening. With having a set that totaled eleven songs, fans watching the performance were left with wanting more (Age of Consent would have been nice to hear), however, it did seem like most attendees were hanging out and waiting for Nine Inch Nails to close out the night.

-Paul Quinn 

Dinosaur Jr 

Dinosaur Jr. put on one of the most underrated performances at this year’s Riot Fest, with covers by The Cure (Just Like Heaven), Deep Wound (Training Ground), and Last Rights (Chunks). The biggest aspect of their set was that they also were celebrating an album at Riot Fest that they played in full: You’re Living All Over Me, which turned 30 years old this year. J. Mascis and his group put on an amazing show for all the Jawbreaker fans trying to get a good spot for their reunion.

-Paul Quinn 

Bad Brains

Yes, Bad Brains played Riot Fest. Yes, they had their original line-up. And, yes, they still play hardcore punk music. This was one of the first shows since frontman/legend H.R. had brain surgery (seriously) after dealing with SUNCT, which is a neurological condition that will give you harsh headaches, randomly, at all times of the day. Making a full recovery from the surgery, the hardcore reggae punks played a scorching set including “Banned in D.C.”, “Attitude”, “Pay to Cum”. To really cap off their set, the highly influential punk band brought out the singer from Lamb of God, Randy Blythe, to finish the set.

-Paul Quinn 


The one and only Buzzcocks were also included on the packed Riot Fest line-up, and brought a wave of nostalgic punk tunes on the first day. With an earlier set time, fans were still rolling in and probably stayed at the same stage for the rest of the day (X, Death From Above, Ministry, and Nine Inch Nails all followed). With only half of their original line-up, the Buzzcocks proved to fans that they can still play punk rock music and compete with the bands who were more than half their age. Having Buzzcocks on the line-up really proves that Riot Fest is the grown-up version of Vans Warped Tour.

-Paul Quinn 

Best Coast

Not sure what was more majestic during Best Coast’s set this past Sunday evening; their music playing through the speakers on the Radicals Stage, or their beautiful hair flowing in the wind. It is hard to describe Best Coast’s effortless musicianship and their captivating stage presence, but we will give it our best shot. By opening with “Bratty B,” lead singer Bethany Cosentino instantly welcomed the crowd into an intimate look at her world. Filled with witty and outspoken lyrics, Best Coast’s music makes you feel as though you’re driving down the highway on a warm summer night. Crowd favorites included “Crazy for You” and “Feeling OK,” which were preceded by Cosentino reminding the crowd to simply be kind to one another and accept everyone for who they are. Best Coast’s performance was a refreshing change of pace during Riot Fest’s upbeat weekend.

-Chloe Churukian & Olivia Cerza 


After being hyped up by DJ Tyga, M.I.A. came on in a black and orange “Fly Pirates” jumpsuit with her dance crew. Coming at a fully amped crowd, Sri Lankan born and London raised, M.I.A. opened her set with 2016’s politically charged track, “Borders.” The crowd felt like a high-energy dance party with M.I.A. returning the energy. From climbing her set, to climbing into the crowd, this lady didn’t stop moving.

-Frankie Diemer 

The Teaches of Peaches

Performing shirtless is not Peaches main *shock* factor, or her main point. Transcending gender norms in her power pop music through explosive and explicit lyrics like “F*** The Pain Away” and “D*** In The Air”, Peaches amplifies the voice of female sexuality and empowerment. What’s in The Teaches of Peaches? Explosive language and poignant sexual empowerment.

-Frankie Diemer 

Vic Mensa

The first word that comes to mind when thinking about Vic Mensa’s performance this weekend at Riot Fest is “storyteller.” Turning inward during his Friday night set, Mensa told bone-chilling tales about Chicago’s gun violence that hit close to home. The Hyde Park native opened up about losing his older brother to gang violence, putting his heart on the stage and dedicating “Heaven on Earth” to him. However, Mensa did not fail in getting the crowd charged up with club hits like, “U Mad,” truly showing his musical range within those seemingly short 60 minutes. The simple pleasure one gets from listening to Mensa’s versatile and emotionally honest raps is something next-level; especially when you’re hearing it live.

-Chloe Churukian & Frankie Diemer 


Paramore’s performance was undoubtedly one of the highlights of my weekend. Goddess (and frontwoman) Hayley Williams’ passion and energy was infectious, which was made apparent through the crowd’s constant excitement. As their set flowed seamlessly from old to new songs, Paramore didn’t disappoint in any way. Classics like “Brick by Boring Brick” and “Ignorance” ignited a nostalgic fury within the crowd, while newer songs including “Forgiveness” and “Hard Times” reminded everyone that Paramore is not defined solely by music they released years ago. During her introduction for “Misery Business,” Williams asked the members of the audience to close their eyes and imagine the person that they were 10 years prior. By acknowledging all of the growth the crowd and Williams had undergone in the past 10 years, “Misery Business” became an anthem of empowerment and new beginnings. Before closing their set with “Rose-Colored Boy,” Williams described Riot Fest as a positive and essential celebration of music and expressed that she was very excited for Paramore to have been a part of it. I could not agree more.

-Olivia Cerza 

Cap’n Jazz 

Cap’n Jazz’s fun and sloppy performance was everything I had hoped it would be and more. Although the band was only able to release one studio album in 1995 before breaking up, their influence on the formation of the Midwestern emo scene is undeniably important. It’s been over two decades since Cap’n Jazz has released any new music, but it seems as if this year’s Riot Fest would not have been the same without them. Right off the bat, these Chicago natives opened their set with “Oh Messy Life,” an ode to adolescence which perfectly embodies the essence of the group. Between songs, singer Tim Kinsella shared witty remarks, drunken stories, and spontaneous interactions with the crowd, which constantly kept the audience on their toes. The set also included passionate performances of “Little League” and “Puddle Splashers,” as well as a memorable rendition of A-Ha’s classic, “Take on Me.” With their fascinating music choices, endearing personalities, and timeless spirit, Cap’n Jazz claimed their spot as one of the most memorable performances throughout the weekend.

-Oliva Cerza 

The Regrettes 

While only giving this band a 30-minute set was a criminal offense, The Regrettes jam-packed every second of their memorable performance with great music and love. Kicking off their show with “I Don’t Like You” immediately created a fun and electric atmosphere. This band's energy is contagious. Lead singer Lydia Night dedicated "Seashore" to Donald Trump, as well as all of the "mini little Trumps" we face every day in our own personal lives. The many mosh pits (including Night’s specific request for the audience to participate in a “Wall of Death,” which was when Olivia’s life flashed before her eyes) were matched with The Regrettes’ upbeat and groovy tunes. The crowd’s excitement was reciprocated by the members of the band as they danced and sweat along with us. The humid heat and insane amounts of dust in the air didn’t slow this showdown, as the crowd (and especially Austin) continuously talked back and forth with Night and bassist Sage Chavis in between songs. As the show came to a close, The Regrettes gave a sneak peek into their upcoming projects by sharing a new song.

-Olivia Cerza & Austin Edington 

Action Bronson 

From the first "put your motherf***ing hands up", Action Bronson kept his flow going his whole set smoother than country crock butter. Following up with his second song "The Chairman’s Intent", a fan favorite, fans waived his book "F**k, That's Delicious" in the air the whole time. Stopping his set to tell the crowd to "grab their groin for this nasty beat", Action is nothing short of a performer. Commanding every beat with a phone, Action had control over the crowd, preluding every song with laughable comments to keep the vibe going, from "shake ya ass for this one", to "put your middle fingers up for this one". Action's lyrics, as he comments, are all spoken with a serious air of passion, discussing his own personal struggles such as "I would give my right lung if I could dunk just one time", or him repeating "don't hurt me again, don't hurt me again..." Smoke billowed through the crowd the whole set, as if when Action demanded that the crowd to “spark up”, he ignited an army of fog machines to pursue over the skyline in the distance. Restarting “9-24-7000” because he was unimpressed with his own flow,  Action ensured the best for us, only taking a small sip of water before tossing the bottle behind him. Finishing up his last song, Action left the crowd wanting for more as he chanted "Ride that Harley into the sunset", throwing the mic in the air, Bronson walked off the stage, taking his last words' advice.

-Austin Edington 



So THIS was the performance that ended Riot Fest. THIS was the band that Riot Fest magically brought back together. Jawbreaker, an late 80s and early 90s punk band from California who has toured with Nirvana and Green Day, were making their third performance in only 21 years, where they had two small warm-up gigs earlier this summer. Kicking things off with Boxcar (1234 who’s punk, what’s the score?), Jawbreaker kicked off an electric, high-energy set full of fan favorites. This was easily one of the best performances all weekend.

-Paul Quinn 

Thank you Riot Fest for putting on such a show. We'll be back next year ~~ 

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Adds for the Weeks of August 15 & August 22 2017

It's the end of August and classes are just about to start which means a new Fall Schedule for WLUW. We've got some fresh format DJ's that'll be spinning this rotation in the weeks to come.

Check out what we're adding this month ---

  • Girl Ray – Earl Grey 

  • Frankie Rose – Cage Tropical 

  • The Yorks – The Yorks 

  • Guantanamo Baywatch - Desert Center 

  • EMA - Exile In the Outer Ring 

  • Rainer Maria – S/T 

  • Kelley Stoltz - Que Aura

  • Trailer Trash Tracys - Althaea 

  • Minor Poet - And How!

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Adds for the weeks of August 1st & August 8th 2017

what what new adds

  • Cornelius – Mellow Waves 
  • SassyBlack – New Black Swing 
  • Growl – Won’t You 
  • Moonshine Freeze – This is the Kit 
  • Tristen – Sneaker Waves 
  • Valley Queen – Destroyer 
  • Jen Cloher – Jen Cloher 
  • Overcoats – YOUNG 

To check out what else is on rotation at the station, peep this handy playlist:

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Adds for the Weeks of July 18 & July 25, 2017

Fresh Rotation Ads: 

  • Waxahatchee - Out in The Storm
  • Washed Out - Mister Mellow
  •  Crumb – Locket
  • Toro y Moi - Boo Boo
  • Shabazz Palaces - Quazarz: Born on a Gangster Star / Quazarz Vs. the Jealous Machines
  • Ratboys – GN
  • Broken Social Scene - Hug of Thunder 
  • Japanese Breakfast - Soft Sounds from Another Planet
  • Us and Us Only - Full Flower
  • Sun Seeker - Biddeford
  • Art Feynman - Blast Off Through the Wicker 


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Pitchfork 2017 Coverage

This year, WLUW took on the crowds in Union Park for Pitchfork Music Festival's 12th year, and boy was it an event. Here's what we thought of some of the killer acts we saw this year. 


William Tyler

Weekends like Pitchfork make your knees scream louder than the artists performing, and sets like William Tyler’s offer a much needed reprieve. The Nashville guitarist, perhaps most well known for his time in ambitious alt-country bands Lambchop and Silver Jews, managed to transport the audience to the Blue Ridge Mountains for 45 minutes with his fully instrumental set, with the bulk of the material coming from last year’s excellent Modern Country. Tyler’s unique blend of Fahey-inspired fingerpicking and psychedelic dynamics was backed by a full band that was partially comprised of members of Hiss Golden Messenger, an earlier performer. Even the short delay due to a faulty amp did not hurt his set, almost serving instead as a period to digest the performance up until that point. His songs occupy a strange space where they function perfectly well as background music but are exponentially more rewarding when listening with an active ear. While it appeared most were content to sit and converse in the back during the performance, William Tyler played an accessible and unobtrusive set that showcased one of greatest guitarists in recent memory.

-Alex D.

Washington D.C. quartet Priests do not make sunny music, yet they were tasked with being one of the first bands festival attendees saw walking into day one. Fresh off their eye catching debut Nothing Feels Natural, Priests were one of the more anticipated early day acts of the weekend but fell short of a truly memorable set. Katie Alice Greer was one of the most arresting and commanding vocalists of the weekend and the band behind her was energetic.

-Alex D.

Vince Staples
Between twitter squabbles and locking down an endorsement with Sprite, Vince Staples has been keeping busy this summer. After dropping his second album Big Fish Theory in June, Staples has continued to op the charts and keep the crowds feet moving with 36 minutes of boasting electronic bangers. Featuring on “Ascension” from the Gorillaz latest album Humanz has helped solidify his popularity. Pitchfork festival goers were all hyped for fan favorites from Summertime ‘06 such as “Senorita”,“Lemme Know”, and “Norf Norf”. Newer tracks “Yeah Right” and “Big Fish” evoked the whole crowd to shout the lyrics and cram together at the drop of the beat. Although he has caught some flack for his dark lyrics, it doesn’t look like Staples wave will crash anytime soon.

-Kaylie P.

Danny Brown
There’s nothing stopping 36 year-old Daniel Sewell, our beloved Danny Brown, from turning the crowd to a rowdy one. Performing staples like “Bruiser Brigade” from his 2011 album, XXX, to more recent tracks off of 2016’s Atrocity Exhibition, Brown lifted the crowd up with an incomparable energy. Utilizing call and response interaction and his relentless, energetic bars, the crowd was moving with a strong vigor. One former WLUW staff member left the concert with a head injury that bled into his shirt– let that speak for the performance itself.

-Sue N.

LCD Soundsystem
LCD Soundsystem announced that they would no longer be a band a few years ago. They made a documentary film of their final performance at Madison Square Garden, and everyone thought they were done. That was until last year they came back to the music world with a few festival performances, leading up to this year where they announced a new album and played one of the best performances at Pitchfork this year.  Kicking things off with a fan favorite “Yr City’s A Sucker” and leading straight into “Daft Punk is Playing at My House”, LCD Soundsystem kicked off their headline set with a whole lot of dancing. In the heart of their set, they also played two of their new songs “Call the Police” and “American Dream”. The most memorable part of the show was when they played their hit song “Dance Yrself Clean”. A simple sing-along to the “Ahhhh”’s that turned into the festival’s largest dance party. Concluding with “All My Friends”, LCD Soundsystem gave the festival-goers an excellent ending to day one.

-Paul Q.

Dirty Projectors
Since 2002, the Dirty Projectors have released eight full-length albums fronted by David Longstreth. Between 2007-2013, Amber Coffman was a major contributor to the group including my personal favorites and (in my opinion) Dirty Projectors staples, like Bitte Orca and Swing Lo Magellan, both of which were fronted by the harmonized vocals of Coffman and Longstreth. Following the end of their relationship both romantically and musically came a 2017 self-titled release featuring only the vocals of David Longstreth. Having followed the Dirty Projectors and being familiar with the dynamic of having two vocal performers in the project, the most recent dynamic for the act felt more along the lines of Dirty Projector, opposed to their plural title. David Longstreth held his own during the set in a much different way, toying with experimentation both vocally and instrumentally. The set was both interesting to watch unfold as well as it was enthralling to watch Longstreth become comfortable leading the group’s most recent sonic development.

-Frankie D.

Dawn Richard
Before her performance at Pitchfork, Dawn Richard was one artist that a few festival goers thought, “Who?” But after her performance on Friday, few could deny the artist’s sound and talent. Energy uncompromised, Richard commanded the stage and captured her audience’s attention with her vocals, charm and candor with a sick outfit to boot. Performing songs from her latest album, REDEMPTION, Richard had the crowd soaring with fan favorites like, “Love Under Lights” and turned her fourth studio album’s high-energy, electronic sound into one that translated easily to a festival environment with a live band.

-Sue N.

Frankie Cosmos
Hot off of their 2016 album Next Thing, which Pitchfork named “Best New Music” when it was released, Frankie Cosmos, aka Greta Kline, took the Blue Stage on Friday afternoon in front of a large crowd on the opening day of the festival. Rocking what seemed to be a fresh buzz cut, a beautiful purple guitar, and an all-black outfit, Kline lead her band into sing-a-longs with new songs such as “Fool” and “On The Lips”, to older fan favorites like “Birthday Song”.

-Paul Q.

Arca & Jesse Kanda
Venezuelan producer/songwriter/mixing engineer/DJ Alejandro Ghersi, aka Arca has produced for legends like Bjork among others while creating three solo albums from 2014 onwards to critical praise. A set from this ethereal mixing genius can’t exactly be articulated into coherent words, so I’ll leave you with a few comments from WLUW’s staff and audience commentators from the set:

“Reminded me of a fever dream”

“I haven’t seen an artist perform who was so sure of what they were doing

“Latin jungle beats party”

“Hot af”



Weyes Blood
Natalie Mering sang her prayer-like hymns with vocal precision during her Saturday set, taking the crowd into the other-worldly that she creates and has created under the moniker of Weyes Blood ever since she was 15. Her vintage, 70’s sounding rock perfectly matched the intense afternoon heat with drowsy, shoegaze-esque instrumentation. A wonderful act to see live, as her mystical voice sounded better in person. She ended her set with a cover of CAN’s hit, “Vitamin C.” and I freaked the f out.

-Madeline W.

George Clinton
When the Parliament Funkadelic took the stage Saturday, fans looked around at each other wondering “Where did the rainbow hair go??” As George Clinton took the stage wearing a fedora over his head, with not much hair underneath. The lack of rainbow dreads didn’t stop Clinton and the Funkadelic from putting on a performance of all sorts of fun tunes. Aside from the funky music, the stage antics really got the crowd going. With appearances from “The Nose” (A guy with a long nose, which was picked, white furry pants, and a furry coat) who showed off some incredible dance moves, the Parliament Funkadelic took over the show at times with George sitting on stage, drinking his water, with one of the largest smiles on one’s face.  Playing a variety of Funkadelic favorites from “Get Low” to “Give Up the Funk”, to closing with “Atomic Dog”, I saw the nostalgia in the older Funkadelic fans, and the “WOW I’m seeing a LEGEND” faces on younger fans. The funk was alive and well on a beautiful day.

-Paul Q.

Angel Olsen
Ah yes, the angel herself. There is something so utterly charming about her that she could say anything (funny and not) and the crowd would laugh. Aside from her commentary between songs, her rich voice took the large crowd into a trance of pure emotion that she purveys in her new album Woman, as well as her previous album, Burn Your Fire For No Witness. Playing songs from both albums the quality was A++ now she has a full band to fully flesh out her minimal songs. During the set I couldn’t help but think of her as a modern day Dolly Parton or some iconic country music star of the next generation.

-Madeline W.

PJ Harvey
Now I’ll admit, PJ Harvey was in a tough spot at Pitchfork on Saturday. She followed Angel Olsen, and was right before A Tribe Called Quest. So unless you snuck out of Angel’s set to get a solid spot for PJ, you were in a mix of festival-goers who were grabbing their food and drinks to wait for Tribe’s set, which included lots of conversation, which took away from the on-going performance. However, I was “that guy” who snuck his way up to have a good view of the talented sax player and vocalist. From the colorful outfits at the Angel Olsen set, I thought it was cool to see the opposite, as Harvey and her band only wore black and white outfits, and the video screen was also in black and white to amplify their effect. The set consisted of a good chunk of selections from Harvey’s new record The Hope Six Demolition Project, in which the set opener and closer were from her latest release. With the emphasis on the new record, Harvey and company still snuck in there some of her best songs such as “50ft Queenie”, “Down By the Water”, and “To Bring You My Love”. One of the sets that turned people’s heads as they were passing through for a Tribe Called Quest.

-Paul Q.

Cherry Glazerr
Los Angeles native, Clementine Creevy fronts the power punk outfit, Cherry Glazerr. Creevy, along with Hannah Uribe and Sean Redman formed back when they were in high school in 2012 and have continued to evolve in their noise pop punk sound up until their most recent release, Apocalipstick. Bringing a powerhouse of drums, bass, guitar and vocals, Cherry brought vigor to Saturday afternoon’s performance at the Blue Stage. With ample hair flipping, drawn guitar solos and quite a bit of energy bouncing between bandmates, Cherry Glazerr has evolved since their high school formation and bring along a new air of confidence.

-Frankie D.

A Tribe Called Quest
In Tribe’s first live concert appearance since the tragic death of founding member Phife Dawg, there was a palpable loss felt between the remaining members of the Queens rap collective and throughout the audience. A mic was left open for Phife to spit posthumous bars, which left an eerie feeling, yet one that was met with the crowd in awe. Ali Shaheed Muhammad, Q-Tip and Jarobi White with an appearance from Consequence, put on a show incorporating a mix of older tracks off of records like The Low End Theory and Midnight Marauders, to 2016’s We Got It from Here...Thank You 4 Your Service. Tribe put on an energetic and legendary set on Saturday night that sent an incomparable energy over the waves of people in Union Park.
RIP Phife Dawg.

-Frankie D. 


We had a chance to sit down with Jason from NE-HI a few months ago at their album-release show and talk about their latest record Offers. A few months later we caught the local indie-rock quartet playing at a festival that, according to the band, was only a few blocks away from home. Their set comprised of a lot of dancing on stage to their music, with playing quite a few songs from their latest record. Kicking the show off with their single “Stay Young”, NE-HI played a set of their more upbeat tracks, filling the festival grounds with some rock n roll. A very energetic set from the band brought people in wondering who they were, and having them leave as a new fan.

-Paul Q.

Colin Stetson
This was probably one of the best Pitchfork sets I have seen, and my personal favorite at this year’s festival. Colin Stetson is just a man with a saxophone, but his music is a whole lot more. He mastered circular breathing, which is an extremely difficult technique, but it allows him to continuously play his instrument without a break in the sound. Dressed as the stereotypical sound guy at a show, Stetson intrigued the early crowd with his experimental jazz set. The continuous playing already made his set special and unique, but with him adding percussion with the slapping of the keys on his saxophone, and, what sounded to be yelling through his saxophone while he was playing, made his set easily one of the most complex and interesting performances.

-Paul Q.

Attracting more of the older crowd at Pitchfork, Shoegaze listeners perked up once Ride finally hit the Red Stage after tending to some technical issues. Frontmen Mark Gardener and Andy Bell conjured forth ethereal sounds from past and presents albums. Pushing forward their reunion album, the band performed the first two tracks off Weather Diaries, “Lannoy Point” & “Charm Assault” early into the set. Considering their turbulent past, the crowd welcomed and appreciated the new, reformed Ride but showed enthusiasm for more classic tracks such as “Vapour Trail” & “Leave them all behind” from Nowhere & Going Blank Again, respectively. After a dreamy performance completely engulfing the senses with searing guitar and upbeat drums courtesy of Loz Colbert, the band signed records and talk with fans like myself.

-Kaylie P.

Nicolas Jaar
Chilean-American composer Nicolas Jaar warmed up the swath of people getting a spot for Solange, as well as attracting his own sizable crowd during his evening DJ set at the red stage. Hunched over muddling words into the mic to create multi layered, spacey soundscapes, Jaar was welcomed by all ears. The sonic textures eerily scraped, glitched, and popped the background while simultaneously being swayed by building, colorful synth loops in the foreground. The trancey set of experimental electronic music felt like a breath of fresh air from tired festival goers.

-Madeline W.

Francis and the Lights
Francis Farewell Starlite’s dance moves are next to none. Starlite’s R&B project featured himself (Francis) and a fair amount of Lights on stage. Although he was performing entirely solo, he fully occupied the space with moves like I’ve never seen before. At one point during the set he scaled the stage, and in other track, climbed a tree and performed from the branches above the crowd. Starlite drew comparisons to Phil Collins in his performance both in vocal tones and in the way that both performers put their whole selves into their live shows. If you get a chance to see Francis live, you’ll pick up a new move or 2 for sure.

-Frankie D.

Isaiah Rashad
Wasting no time kicking off his set, Tennessee native Isaiah Rashad didn’t address the crowd directly until about three songs in, where he evaluated the crowd and said, “Y’all look mature, so we’re gonna skip the bass.” Though on the contrary, Rashad did in fact bring the bass to his set. Rashad and his on-stage DJ fed off of each other’s energies and interacted with the audience frequently throughout the set. Alternating between flawless bars of storytelling, Rashad’s singing parts were really what blew me away. WIth slick yet vulnerable and raspy vocals, Rashad’s voice stunned while still immersing the crowd into his rhythms through repetitive versus sprinkled amongst the unraveling of of tumultuous storytelling. Set to bouncing, driving beats, the set was easily danceable to a steady groove. Rashad prefaced the set by saying he just wanted to make “energetic tunes to vibe to” which was entirely emulated in his performance.

-Frankie D.

Joey Purp
Joey Purp played to his hometown in an animated and high-spirited set on Sunday afternoon. He referenced the countless times he had been standing in the crowd at Pitchfork Music Festival, pointing across the crowd saying, “I’ve been here before. And here, and there” which sent a message between performer and audience of being one in the same. With beats that are easily danceable and accentuated when paired with bouncy rhythms and bars, the crowd moved to Purp’s steady beat.

As one of Chicago’s very own I had predicted that Joey Purp would bring out a feature on his most popular song “Girls” and face of the Chicago hip-hop/rap scene, Chance the Rapper. The audience got 2 for the price 1 as he brought out other members of the SAVEMONEY enterprise Towkio & Vic Mensa at the Blue Stage. The squad's presence had the crowd thrown into a frenzy of moshing as beach balls, confetti, and streamers popped off.

Purp ended the set by referring to Chicago’s notorious negative news headlines and crime rates, saying that he intends to paint Chicago in a different light through his music. His last track set a positive tone ending on a more political note, singing, “All we need is peace / I’m still alive yall / But I wake up with bullets flying / But I’m still alive yall.”

-Kaylie P. & Frankie D.

Pinegrove was one of the bands I have been meaning to see for a while now, and I was really looking forward to their set Sunday at Pitchfork. When they first walked on stage, they were missing a member: their female multi-instrumentalist/back-up vocalist Nandi, or also known as Half Waif. She was on a tour supporting her project and not touring with Pinegrove at the time. I immediately knew this set was going to be different than what friends of mine have said about the Pinegrove live performances. However, the energy the band had on stage left me dancing and singing along to favorites such as “Cadmium”, “Old Friends”, and “Angelina”. What really made this set special for the band, it was the drummer’s birthday, which lead Evan (lead vocals/guitar) to sing a Pinegrove take on “Happy Birthday.” Though it was a little hard to see with the sun shining directly in my face, Pinegrove finished a strong setlist with a old fan favorite “New Friends.”

-Paul Q.

Jamila Woods
Chicago native Jamila Woods graced us with her Sunday evening set, incorporating her soul singing vocals with her socially informed and powerful poetry. With three backup singers and a full band, Jamilia shined center-stage with her stunning vocals and killer dance moves. Woods boasts a rhetoric of self-love and empowerment in her music, and when she swooned us with her track, “Holy”, the atmosphere of the show was one of liberation. On the track she sang with an air of effortlessness, “I’m not lonely / I’m alone / And I’m holy, by my own.” Closing the set with her compelling single, “Blk Girl Soldier”, Woods had the crowd both singing along and feeling politically charged.

-Frankie D.

Words cannot describe how perfect this woman is, and how fulfilling it felt to be part of the audience. While I tend to feel like Beyonce’s music represents my ideal self, Solange’s lyrics on A Seat at the Table embody my truest self: insecure and messy, but aware of and owning it; humble, but full of the confidence love enables us with. Solange’s performance on Sunday encompassed those emotions perfectly, and there was no aspect of her artistry that went unnoticed that night, from her choreography, vocal range, and charisma.

During her set, Solange addressed the audience by thanking them for allowing her the space to evolve as an artist throughout her career– from 2003’s Solo Star, to 2016’s A Seat at the Table- her first number-one album in the United States. Knowles also referenced the ways in which Pitchfork Music Festival has evolved as a festival over the years, so it was only fitting that the festival closed out Sunday night with an appreciation towards past projects, while leaving a space for growth in the future.

Closing up Pitchfork Fest’s weekend on a high note with “Don’t Touch My Hair”, there was not one festival-goer that left the grounds without a smile on their face.

-Sue N. & Frankie D.

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