Photo by Nedda Afsari, of Saturday night headliner St. Vincent
Ah, Pitchfork – the hipster cousin of the music fest world, the Brooklyn/Silver Lake to larger festivals’ Manhattan or West Hollywood. Chicago’s Pitchfork Music Festival is known for being less mainstream and more ahead of the curve, with a lineup that’s always a who’s who of “who’s that?”. This year’s iteration (coming back after a year off, thanks to COVID-19) is scheduled for September 10-12 in Union Park, and brings with it more than 40 can’t-miss acts. In the spirit of Pitchfork, we’re walking you through some of the lower-billed sets to catch during the fest.
We know you’re all here for Phoebe Bridgers, Animal Collective, maybe Hop Along – but don’t sleep on the Friday afternoon performers.
Armand Hammer: Vibey hip hop, perfect for your sunny afternoon set to kick off the weekend.
DEHD: Catchy indie with psychedelic guitar lines. A local group, formed in Chicago just six years ago.
Ela Minus: Dark dance. Her track “dominique” features the line “I am afraid I forgot how to talk to anyone else that’s not myself,” so get ready for an existential dance party as we all come to grips with the effects of the ongoing pandemic. Fun!
There’s no denying we’ll all be at Angel Olsen’s and St. Vincent’s headlining sets, but Saturday’s early lineup packs a punch too. Don’t miss these sets:
Horsegirl: Chicago teenagers Penelope Lowenstein, Nora Cheng, and Gigi Reece bring a noisy rock sound that’s mature beyond their years.
Dino Niño: Another local band, this group is based in Chicago but draws on their Colombian roots to create Spanish-tinged dream pop.
Maxo Kream: With tracks featuring big names like Lil Uzi Vert and ScHoolboy Q, rapper Maxo Kream definitely isn’t unknown. He released his first , major label debut in 2019, and has been on the rise ever since.
Yes, we’re all excited for Erykah Badu and Flying Lotus (maybe together?), but don’t let that keep you from starting the day early with these acts:
Special Interest: Synthy punk from New Orleans. Tune in if you like the ’80s.
Oso Oso: Emo/indie, for those of us who never really got over Warped Tour ending.
KeiyaA: Another Chicago local, R&B singer and saxophonist KeiyaA released her highly lauded debut album in 2020 after previously working with fellow Chicagoans Noname and Vic Mensa.
Excited yet? We’re looking forward to a weekend of supporting local acts, discovering even more new bands, and fun in the Windy City.
Get tickets and details here.
Note: Pitchfork requires all attendees either be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 or have proof of a negative test for each day of the fest. If you haven’t gotten the chance to get vaccinated yet, now’s the time!