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Big Thief

Pitchfork Festival Day 1 Recap

Jul 15, 2017

Pitchfork Music Festival’s first day definitely had a very stacked lineup. If you weren’t able to attend the fest, or live-stream, don’t worry. Radio K is here for you. I am here to tell you about my day. I caught some bands play, took some photos, and it was very excellent. 



Priests was the second act of the day, and the first that we caught. The D.C. based punk band had the difficult task of bringing the same energy that they bring to a small room to a bigger festival field in the middle of the day. The band had energy but the crowd was just a bit tired, which was different than any other show I had seen. If you're in town and want to see them at a more intimate venue, they are playing a Pitchfork aftershow tonight at Lincoln Hall + Schubas with Deeper and Espejas. Priests is on month long USA tour, so if they catch your fancy, and are coming to your town, be sure to get excited.

Vince Staples


Former Cutthroat Boyz member and Odd Future associate, Vince Staples, has incredible conviction as a performer, and brought life to a tired mid-day crowd. While he was the only person on the stage, it was definitely lit up. The production on Vince Staples backing tracks, produced by Zach Sekoff, is absolutely incredible. Additionally, his vocals did not feel like they were just on top of the tracks, but rather, they worked with those tracks wonderfully. I think it’d be really neat to see Vince Staples with a full band. However, his set with just him and Sekoff’s beats had me floored.

Thurston Moore Group


I didn’t exactly know what to expect from the Thurston Moore Group. I questioned whether or not I would be super impressed by Thurston Moore’s live performance due to, being a huge Sonic Youth fan, my inability to think that anything could ever top them. Thurston Moore is the type of musician that does not get any worse with age. I was incredibly impressed with him, and loved the fact that in his live group, he had Debbie Googe of My Bloody Valentine on bass. The group was incredibly tight, and those musicians age like a ~fine wine~.  

Danny Brown


Seeing Danny Brown after his release of Atrocity Exhibition was something I was looking forward to. The crowd for Danny Brown was incredibly packed and incredibly stoked, and Danny Brown and the crowd fed off of each other’s energy. I love seeing rappers rap over beats with industrial and post-punk influences, which has been a massive trend that Danny Brown executes excellently. He's a very confident performer, and never misses a beat. His beats, that are largely produced by a British producer named Paul White, are especially noteworthy as well. 

Dirty Projectors


Dirty Projectors were a group that, in short, I expected to be really good, and then they were really good. They definitely lived up to expectations. Their frontman, David Longstreth, had incredible musicianship, which was incredibly captivating. Also, his vocal chops definitely held up live. For a group of nearly 10 people, Dirty Projectors moved as a unit and put on a very pleasant show.

LCD Soundsystem


LCD Soundsystem was definitely the most anticipated set of the day, and they did not disappoint one bit. They are currently in the process of writing a new record, which would be their first release since 2010. I saw LCD Soundsystem last summer at Lollapalooza, where they performed an excellent set, but this time around it was really neat to hear new songs that I wasn’t super familiar with. Per usual, the group sounded excellent, and each member has musicianship that can’t be beat. James Murphy's simple, slightly awkward, but also very encompassing stage presence was the icing on the cake. Their set left me wanting more, so I am super stoked for their new album American Dream that, according to James Murphy, is already completely finished (!!!!!). I can’t wait. 


Sylvia Jennings