Pitchfork Music Festival has settled into a pattern over the last couple years. Friday is for the older legacy bands. Saturday brings the guitars, typically ending on a relaxed note. Sunday, the third and last act, is bolder, louder, more mainstream. Which means the crowds are bigger, younger and wilder. Last night, headliners Kendrick Lamar and Grimes echoed the scene of last year's M.I.A. to R. Kelly finale. For an indie minded affair, it was a taste of the upcoming Lollapalooza, albeit at a tenth of the scale.
RECOMMENDED: Photos from Friday, Saturday at Pitchfork Music Festival
With a fan blowing her well conditioned hair and the vapid stink of a canned, lip-sync performance, Grimes leapt miles ahead of her previous timid performance at Pitchfork in 2012—for better and worse. Backup dancers and the star's own moves had the air of a Miley Cyrus gig. The tiny 26-year-old is aiming to be a cult pop star, though her girly dolphin cries will never fully gel with her new Sia- and Ciara-like maneuvers. But for a sect of steampunk and seapunk teens, she is undeniably a minor diety.
Kendrick Lamar didn't get the memo from Pusha T's performance yesterday and showed up late for his closing set. His tardiness ensured that his underling and labelmate Schoolboy Q would own the day. Schoolboy rocked a massive crowd with summer jams like "Man of the Year" and "Collard Greens," two of the biggest and gloriously bonkers chant-alongs of the weekend.
Elsewhere, shoegazing surprisingly overpowered. The reunited Slowdive displayed impressive volume and force, nearing My Bloody Valentine levels with a set that pulled heavily from Souvlaki with jet-engine guitars. The far younger DIIV wove three guitars into a propulsive, dreamy attack. Zachary Cole Smith, wearing clothes from the Blossom wardrobe, picked gorgeous, chiming leads on his cherry red Hagstrom. The band's new stuff sounded hookier and confident. DIIV is primed to be big.
Critical darlings Perfect Pussy and Deafheaven stared down the crowd and thrashed like model (we mean that in the Nylon sense) hardcore and metal acts. Both contributed to the strongest slate of the three.
Likewise, Sunday made for the best people watching. The young were dressed as Boy Scouts, flamenco dancers, goths and your typical Portlandia walk-ons. Spy on the audience above and take a look at photos from the previous two days below.