Pitchfork Music Festival 2012, live review | Cloud Nothings

Welcome to your rock ‘n' roll baptism, Pitchfork. Halfway through the Cloud Nothings' set, it started to downpour, drenching even those who sought refuge under Union Park's leafy canopies. Unlike many of this year's performers, the Cloud Nothings are a band—a a rock band no less. Often classified as an "indie" band, Dylan Baldi's brainchild is far too visceral and far too ballsy for such a label. Is it the oft-clean guitars that keep us from recognizing these guys as punk rock overlords? Even when they stomped on their pedals, the Cloud Nothings absolutely raged this afternoon, and boy, did we need it.
As the rain fell, Baldi and his band shifted into at least ten minutes of swirling fury, phasers set to fuck-all, and literally seemed to conduct the rain. I couldn't tell if the band played heavier as the rain picked up or vice versa, but I've never seen an outdoor show live up to its full, chaotic potential as it did this afternoon. There was dancing. There was crowd surfing. There was still pot smoke, somehow. And as the panning din peaked over a sea of summer rain, I saw two hands reach out from dead center of the pit, extended to the thunderclouds, pleading: "Lord, lead us not into the bullshit. And deliver us from MacBooks. For thine is the guitar, and the bass, and the drum set, forever and ever. Amen."

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