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

The 5 best things we saw on Sunday at Pitchfork Music Festival
Photograph: Hallie Duesenberg

1. Viet Cong's powerful finale

Photograph: Jaclyn Elizabeth Rivas

 

The intensity of Viet Cong's early afternoon set was undeniable—it was difficult not to be drawn into the band's taut post-punk rhythms and continuously shifting guitar lines. After a feedback-ridden rendition of lead single "Continental Shelf," the band broke into "Death," the closing track from its self-titled album. Stretching well beyond the 10-minute mark, the song's stilted melodies coalesced into a noisy finale that was easily one of the weekend's most impressive moments. –Zach Long

RECOMMENDED: Our complete guide to Pitchfork Music Festival


2. The innate charm of Courtney Barnett

The main stage at Pitchfork hosted a lot of shredders throughout the weekend, but no one throttled a guitar with the nonchalant gusto of Courtney Barnett. The Aussie singer-songwriter is one of those rare, natural talents who seems like she was born to play in front of a music festival crowd. As she made her way through the relentlessly clever tunes from her debut record, it was difficult not to smile, sing along and wish that she was your best friend. –ZL


3. Zack de la Rocha's surprise appearance with Run the Jewels

Photograph: Jaclyn Elizabeth Rivas

 

Taking the stage to a recording of Queen's "We Are The Champions," Run the Jewels capped off a great day of sets on the Red stage in a triumphant fashion. The Brooklyn-based duo played a healthy mix of tracks from Run the Jewels 1 and 2, but the highlight of the set came when Rage Against the Machine's Zack de la Rocha sprinted on stage for "Close Your Eyes (And Count to Fuck)." As Killer Mike said midway through, "We're gonna fuck your shit up forever," a promise that the performance delivered on. –Clayton Guse 


4. A disco dance party with Todd Terje & The Olsens

Photograph: Jaclyn Elizabeth Rivas

 

Jamie xx may have brought the giant disco ball, but it was Todd Terje who came armed with the songs that would actually be at home on the Saturday Night Fever dance floor. The Norwegian synth wizard closed down the Blue stage with a set of jazz- and disco-inflected house tracks, accompanied by bongos, saxophone and flute. The crowd thinned as Chance the Rapper's set began, but those who stuck around witnessed the graceful finale: a horde of dancers in white robes prancing across the stage to strains of "Inspector Norse." –ZL


5. Chance the Rapper closing the festival with a Chicago-inspired set

At just 22 years old, it’s safe to consider Chance the Rapper a prodigal son of Chicago. He was accompanied by close collaborators Donnie Trumpet and the Social Experiment and also brought in the Chicago Bulls’ Bucket Boys and Kirk Franklin as special guests. During an interview on Windy City Live last week, Chance mentioned he had been working with Kanye West recently, which led many to speculate that West would join Chance on stage. Even without Yeezy, Chance’s set was a heartfelt homage to Chicago that was an uplifting cap to the festival's final day. –CG

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