Photos by Jose Calvo
[dropcap]S[/dropcap]evere heat and torrential rain couldn’t keep music fans from descending on Union Park to enjoy the Pitchfork Music Festival this past weekend. Now in its 10th year, the festival has always and deservingly been credited with highlighting new acts using a mashup of indie singer-songwriters and hip-hop artists.
The lineup of this year’s festival was focused on local talent, as plenty of Chicago-based acts that performed this year are regarded as Windy City royalty—both old and new.
Friday night’s festivities ended with one of the city’s premiere bands, Wilco. The day before they headlined, the band dropped a bombshell and released a new full-length album, “Star Wars,” on their website.
For a band that is pretty low-key and doesn’t create a lot of waves, this was a pretty ballsy thing to do. Something must have gotten into Wilco Frontman Jeff Tweedy the last few days because the band even had the tenacity to play the album in full on Friday night. That’s not a knock on the album; in fact it’s a pretty decent and different album by the band. Once they completed playing the new cuts, the final half of the show was littered with classic Wilco tracks including “Outtasite (Outta Mind)” and “Heavy Metal Drummer.” Overall, it was a solid set from the Chicago veterans.
But if there was ever a time to see a star being born on stage, it was during Chance the Rapper’s Sunday night closing set. The 22-year-old wordsmith has been making an epic run in the hip-hop world over the last few years by putting out some clever mixtapes.
And when his magnum opus “Acid Rap” dropped in 2013, it was only a matter of time before Chance took over not just the hip-hop scene, but also the current musical landscape. Chance said his Pitchfork set was a historic one for him, as he had an intricate stage show that included a revolving cavalcade of guest artists and an almost psychedelic light show. Chance’s set may go down as one of the best in the Festival’s history.