Pitchfork Festival 2015: Saturday – Rain or CHI


Hip hop ruled the roost with A$AP Ferg and Southsider Vic Mensa tearing up the Blue stage.

Pitchfork 2015 Saturday Main

Vic Mensa. Images Courtesy of Pitchfork Media.

In the central area of the park there is a plethora of independent stalls selling clothes, accessories and (in typical Chicago fashion) a tonne of foods. There’s nothing wrong about eating a falafel drenched in tzatziki sauce while listening to a grunge revival band, particularly when your desperate for decent food and you most definitely skipped breakfast to be back here.

Anyway…‘Bully’ are fantastic. Alicia Bognanno’s vocals howl home ‘Trying’ impeccably. She perfectly balances her style that retains the gravelly vocal pitch of grunge along with comprehensible, anxious lyrics about keeping it all together- because being young is super tough, trust me.

When I went to use the tremendously clean and hygienic (for a festival) portaloos, I stepped back out into ominous conditions. The sun had disappeared behind the clouds and the forecast on my phone did not indicate an improvement. I sneaked into the media tent before a torrential downpour ensued. After 45 minutes it seemed like it was going to stop, but then a second wave of rain and thunder caused the organizers to evacuate the site indefinitely.

I was on the train home when the alert came through on my phone that the site was to re-open at 4:20pm. This gave me time to throw on a dry set of clothes and skate back over puddles for Harlem’s A$AP Ferg.

Understandably, there was a long wait before he took to the stage. I can imagine the issue would have been with the equipment that somehow survived the sideways shower. From first minute to last, this was the most turnt performance of the weekend. The crowd, most of which had just been soaked, couldn’t have cared less about each other’s personal space and were intent on having a good time.

The ‘Trap Lord’ performed his biggest tracks: ‘Work’, ‘Shabba’ and ‘Dump Dump’, contributing to a huge ruckus that culminated in a wheelie bin being hoisted up and passed towards the security guards beyond the barrier, upending the contents all over spectators by the front. For those poor souls, it physically couldn’t get any worse, but could only get better.

Shamir suffered even worse technical difficulties, but was a delight when he took to the Blue. He wins my award for hottest undiscovered lyric of the weekend with ‘Don’t try me, I’m not a free sample’ from his track ‘On The Regular’. He finished his ratchet-house set sitting on the crowd, delicately puffing away on a cigarette in his pink, vintage shirt.

Due to the rain and disruption ‘SOPHIE’ was unable to play her 7:45pm slot on the Blue that I was hugely looking forward to. Chicago rapper Towkio served as a replacement and did not disappoint. He got the crowd suitably pumped up for headliner Vic Mensa, finishing on his hit ‘Heaven Only Knows’.

The main man himself had the stage pretty packed. He tore through some of his biggest tracks quite early on (‘Feel That’, ‘Wimmie Nah’ and ‘Down On My Luck’) in his all white outfit consisting of ripped denim jeans and a long-sleeve top with ‘KILL THE POOR’ pasted in red down it. He brought on a guitarist for a heartfelt cover of Future’s ‘Codeine Crazy’ before finishing on ‘U Mad’ with a mob of at least 30, much like Kanye did at the Brit Awards this February.

Vic Mensa</a>. Image Courtesy of <a href="http://pitchforkmusicfestival.com/contact/#/media</a>. arget="_blank">Pitchfork Media</a>. | <a href="https://soundcloud.com/vicsavemoney" target="_blank">Vic Mensa</a>. Images Courtesy of <a href="http://pitchforkmusicfestival.com/contact/#/media" target="_blank">Pitchfork Media</a>. | <a href="http://www.bullythemusic.com/" target="_blank">Bully</a>. Image Courtesy of <a href="http://pitchforkmusicfestival.com/contact/#/media</a>. arget="_blank">Pitchfork Media</a>. | <a href="http://www.asapferg.com/" target="_blank">A$AP Ferg</a>. Image Courtesy of <a href="http://pitchforkmusicfestival.com/contact/#/media</a>. arget="_blank">Pitchfork Media</a>. | </a>Image Courtesy of <a href="http://pitchforkmusicfestival.com/contact/#/media</a>. arget="_blank">Pitchfork Media</a>. | </a>Image Courtesy of <a href="http://pitchforkmusicfestival.com/contact/#/media</a>. arget="_blank">Pitchfork Media</a>. | <a href="http://www.xlrecordings.com/shamir" target="_blank">Shamir</a>. Image Courtesy of <a href="http://pitchforkmusicfestival.com/contact/#/media</a>. arget="_blank">Pitchfork Media</a>. | <a href="http://www.xlrecordings.com/shamir" target="_blank">Shamir</a>. Image Courtesy of <a href="http://pitchforkmusicfestival.com/contact/#/media</a>. arget="_blank">Pitchfork Media</a>. | <a href="https://soundcloud.com/towkio" target="_blank">Towkio</a>. Image Courtesy of <a href="http://pitchforkmusicfestival.com/contact/#/media</a>. arget="_blank">Pitchfork Media</a>. | Vic Mensa</a>. Image Courtesy of <a href="http://pitchforkmusicfestival.com/contact/#/media</a>. arget="_blank">Pitchfork Media</a>.

About author

This article was written by Jack Carter Crawley

I'm a British writer studying at LJMU in Liverpool, England. I specialise in arts journalism, particularly music and performance.

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