Three days and three stages are required to make the time and space needed for the big names and massive spectacle expected at Chicago’s Pitchfork Music Festival.
The festival’s lineup spans across genre spectrums, from indie folk to 90s-influenced hip-swaying pop, yet works superbly all together, the best combination of spices to a dish. It features renowned artists like rapper and singer Ms. Lauryn Hill, whose performance will celebrate the 20th anniversary of her bestselling album “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill,” as one of the fest’s headliners, along with up-and-coming Chicago-raised rapper Noname.
Beyond the stages dotting Union Park,
Indie rock bands Fleet Foxes and Tame Impala are set to headline the other nights. Fleet Foxes contrasts Ms. Lauryn Hill to the extreme with their melancholic, passionate folk tunes. They’re accompanied by other mellow acts like Big Thief, a group with thoughtful lyrics sung by vocalist Adrianne Lenker’s quivering, honest voice, and heartbreak crooner Julien Baker.
Tame Impala, whose 2015 album Currents still appears on several Spotify essentials playlists, will balance out the other headliners with danceable psychedelic indie pop. Personally, I hope their set is no less wild than their “The Less I Know the Better” music video, meaning I expect a giant gorilla to twirl cheerleaders.
Crowd favorites, based on social media comments, are angsty Aussie indie star Courtney Barnett and sultry-toned R&B artist Syd of
Chicago will be abuzz during all three festival days, with artists like Japanese Breakfast — who I’m perhaps most excited to see — performing at after parties in other venues. But the festival alone is enough to draw people’s attention with a flawless, diverse lineup of both veteran and up-and-coming musical artists. Who better to trust in pulling off a mind-blowing festival than a music publication, anyway?