Pitchfork Fest 2014 came and went in a flash. Literally. Peruse our photo editorial from the weekend, courtesy of our photo editor, Ellie White, who snagged highlights from all of our favorite shows over the three day extravaganza situated in Chicago’s beautiful Union Park. Our personal faves from the spectacularly-curated lineup this year included sets from the ever-brooding black-metal gents of Deafheaven; glam goddesses in black, the Dum Dum Girls; headliners Beck (whose set topped the best of the fest list for me, hands down without question), Neutral Milk Hotel and Kendrick Lamar (though Danny Brown–who won best hair of all time with his forest green ombre–and Earl Sweatshirt battled it out for best rap performance in our opinion); a stunning, once in a generation set from shoegaze pioneers Slowdive (Rachel Goswell’s dress looked like sexy, glimmering armor); a wildly exuberant performance from Tune-yards –whose addition of African Dance inspired backup choreography had everyone in a frenzy; Boundary-pushing electronic music from The Haxan Cloak and Factory Floor (um, can we please hear it for that badass drummer??); Intelligent ambient down-tempo from heartthrob Jon Hopkins and a performance from the Range that could put anyone else’s obsession with and knowledge of rap jams to shame. Oh and I think everyone is officially in love with FKA Twigs and Neneh Cherry.
Honorable mentions include Majical Cloudz, whose keyboard broke after the second song. As a result, lead singer Devon Walsh performed an array of songs sung acapella (at one point standing up on a chair to belt out Magic, leaving the entire audience in tears), stand up comedy and audience-participation fueled beat boxing. At the end of the set, keyboardist Matthew Otto, so adobrably contrite and just adorable in general, had us all count down from 10, and then proceeded to smash the defunct synth to smithereens for all the world to see. A lifelong dream of his come true, he proclaimed.
All in all it was an amazing, sunny weekend full of cantankerous, gorgeous, feisty, live performances from some of the very best and brightest talent that exists in music today. We can’t wait to see what the fine folks over at Pitchfork have in store for next year. In the meantime, read on and enjoy.