Get us in your inbox


The 5 best things we saw on Friday at Pitchfork Music Festival

Zach Long
Written by
Zach Long

1. The (against all odds) beautiful weather

We've been monitoring this weekend's forecast all week long and were convinced that Friday would be a long, rainy afternoon. Thankfully, the meteorologists got it wrong. Yeah, the heat was sweltering and there were a few dark clouds in the sky, but we would rather endure an afternoon in the beating sun than in swampy humidity. –Zach Long

RECOMMENDED: See photos from Pitchfork Music Festival

2. Natalie Prass's early afternoon set

As usual, the line to enter Union Park snaked around the block, but those who arrived early were treated to a pitch-perfect performance by singer-songwriter Natalie Prass. Her pristine voice was the perfect complement to the sunbeams and blue skies that greeted the beginning of the fest, but our favorite moment of the set was a faster version of "Birds of Prey" that introduced a little funk to her soulful sound. –ZL

3. Mac DeMarco ushering the crowd into shade

Photograph: Hallie Duesenberg

A formidable storm cloud began to creep over Union Park as Mac DeMarco's set began. The gap-toothed Canadian was wearing a Nirvana T-shirt tucked into a pair of black jeans, with a cigarette dangling from his mouth. Midway through his set, he announced he is releasing a new album in August. "It already leaked," he said. "But download the shit out of it. I don't care." His cover of "Reelin' In the Years" marked one of the only times that anyone has crowdsurfed to a Steely Dan song. –Clayton Guse

4. Vans' free Ryan Duggan-designed tote bag

Photograph: Mary Wells

As usual, there's a lot of free swag to grab at Pitchfork Music Festival, from custom Topshop T-shirts to Lifeway Kefir bars. While it's nice to get a free snack or a piece of clothing that will probably sit in the corner of your closet, it's rare to get something functional that looks cool, too. That's why we're so impressed with this hot dog-themed tote bag, designed by local artist Ryan Duggan, which is available gratis in a Vans-sponsored tent showing skate videos over by the Blue stage. Snag one! –ZL

5. Wilco played its entire new album

Photograph: Jaclyn Elizabeth Rivas

Last night, Wilco pulled a Beyoncé and released a new album—called Star Warswithout any warning. Tonight, the band played the entire record to kick off its headlining set. Many of those tracks are still finding their legs live, but some (notably "More..." and "You Satellite") already sounded like well-established components of the band’s expansive catalog. It was a ballsy move to play half an hour of material that wasn't entirely familiar to the majority of the crowd, but Jeff Tweedy and company followed it up with a set that dug in to some of the group's most beloved songs. It’s just not a hometown Wilco show without a pandering rendition of “Via Chicago.” -ZL

Latest news


    The best things in life are free.

    Get our free newsletter – it’s great.

    Loading animation
    Déjà vu! We already have this email. Try another?

    🙌 Awesome, you're subscribed!

    Thanks for subscribing! Look out for your first newsletter in your inbox soon!