Radio K at Pitchfork 2022 - Day 1Jul 29, 2022
Once again, Radio K is making the trek down to Union Park in Chicago, for the 22nd annual Pitchfork Festival. Per usual, the lineup is chock-full of talented musicians, and contains something for everyone. Waking up day one, we truly had no idea how this weekend was going to go - a last minute hotel change started out as a bad omen. To make matters worse, we woke up to dreary skies and rain - with no indication that would change. We left plenty early to account for metro times, and to get our bearings.
By the time we made it to Pitchfork, however, things began to take a turn for the better. As Carlson kids will call it, we “networked” with fellow college DJ’s from the University of Illinois Chicago. Our new UIC friends helped ease our nerves as well, as we realized that we were not necessarily the smallest fish in a big pond. This was a continuing theme throughout the day; the press tent was welcoming and eager to share tips and tricks with us, and we were incredibly grateful.
Arooj Aftab was the first artist to perform, coming on at 1:00 sharp. Her flashy outfit, and unique sound quickly captured the attention of the dedicated Pitchfork fans. Though it was pouring rain, a crowd nonetheless gathered and took in her tunes. Next in the lineup was Ethel Cain, who was an unexpected favorite for Addy. By this time, more people had made it into Pitchfork and crowds were starting to grow. It was hard to miss Ethel, as her powerful voice drew people in from across the park. There’s not a whole lot of other ways to describe her performance other than pure talent. Her dreamy tunes matched the mood as we caught a few rays of sunshine towards the end of the set.
After Ethel’s set, we tried to work on getting content for our Tik Tok. In the mid sentence Charlie got cut off by a siren-esque sound blaring from the green stage. Everyone quickly ran over to see who was causing the commotion, when drums cut through the air, and Spirit of the Beehive came out. This was one of Charlie’s favorite sets. These guys were just incredible. This was the energy that Pitchfork had needed to get everyone out of the rainy day slump. Watching the artists on stage yell, shred, and jump around was invigorating. Their music was nonstop energetic, and both the crowd and the artists themselves enjoyed Spirit of the Beehive’s time on stage.
We continued to catch bits and pieces from other performances such as Wiki and Camp Cope, as we got content for our socials and ate some food. Next was Indigo De Souza, who also noted how wet the entire park was. Despite the dreary rain, the band delivered a bright, almost heavenly performance. De Souza’s stage presence was highlighted with her talented vocals, seamlessly transcending genres in a matter of minutes.
Out came Parquet Courts. This was Charlie’s most anticipated artist, and they did not disappoint. The synergy between Andrew Savage (Vocals, Guitar) and Sean Yeaton (Bass, Vocals) was unparalleled. There were moments where Andrew would just look into his guitar and strum it as if there was no tomorrow, only to explode back up to this mic and belch his punkish vocals into the mic. Sean would follow his lead, keeping pace, and matching Andrew's flow. Their set’s peak was when they played Freebird II. The audience matched the upbeat tune with some moshing, and joining in for the chorus.
Finally, we closed with our Friday night headliner - The National. Their show was the most visually appealing - intricate light displays both on stage, and on their screen behind them served to light up the now dark sky. Matt Berninger was a fantastic performer. He was very animated but in a purposeful way. He would stretch his arms out and then bring them back to cover his face, reflecting different moods of his songs. He also consistently came to the very front of the stage and would reach out to us as we were taking photos, and point towards us. It was obvious how much of a passion he has for this, and how much he had missed performing live (this was their first live show since 2019). Their performance of Pink Rabbits was a stand out. Hearing Matt’s raw voice and somewhat repressed melody really drove the emotion behind that song home.
Although it had been a long, wet day, we left day one in awe of everything we had just experienced, and eager to come back for more. You can follow our updates on our socials, as well as staying tuned on our website for Day 2 and 3 recaps.