TWO NIGHTS AGO'S SHOW: THE PITCHFORK FESTIVAL, DAY 2
Sorry for the delay in posting. I blame the heat. Stevie and I woke up from Day 2 of the Pitchfork Festival feeling as if we'd been on a bender. But the most powerful thing I had to drink was a Goose Island orange soda ("made with real sugar!"). Anyway, Day 2 was really good. After muscling past a group of "Buddhist monks" shilling for a contest--real Buddhists tend not to get that excited about your chances to win $10,000 if you log on to a website--we caught the tale end of Tapes N Tapes. We skipped Danielson because nobody had had "breakfast" yet but made it for most of Jens Lenkman and his white-clad all-girl band, some of whom looked like they were about 14. It had the weird effect of suggesting that Lenkman was touring with the Von Trapp family, as someone else observed. I really like Lenkman, even more after seeing him live. He's clever. Sometimes he's a bit too clever, but it's from the heart. All those Jonathan Richman comparisons make sense.
From there it was off to the most intense set of the the day, The National. There was some doubt going in whether or not the sound would translate to a live setting, especially an outdoor festival setting. Singer Matt Berringer put that to rest. I don't think I was the only one in the crowd who worried he would pass out.
From there it was off to the unlistenable Liars followed by Aesop Rock and Mr. Lif. I was a little off to the side for this, more out of intertiaÂ—we'd laid down a blanketÂ—than a lack of interest. Sounded good, though. Mission Of Burma, however, sounded like nothing else. Did these guys really take two decades off? It sounds like they'd been rehearsing since Vs.. So very good. I first heard of them when I learned R.E.M. were fans, even performing "Academy Fight Song" when I saw them in '89. Then they were an obscure, never-to-perform again Boston act. Rock and roll never forgets, I guess.
Yo La Tengo was, typically, great, although they could have played something not from their unreleased new album. I was excited to see Devendra Banhart but it just doesn't translate live, or at least not here. Spoon, however, sounded much better than I'd ever heard them before. Then, to my eternal shame, we bailed on another surprise reunion, Tropicalia legends Os Mutantes. But it was time to go. We started sweating at one and never stopped and all the Water Plus in the world wasn't going to make me feel better. (I will turn in my film critic's license on Friday.)
One more picture before I go:
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