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Face-Melting, Super-Soaking, and Transfixing: Pitchfork Day 3

Plus: we found the worst shirt ever.

Jamila Woods’s last-minute move to the main stage made for an epic performance.   Photo: Cousin Daniel

This is the last of your daily recaps of Pitchfork. Check out Friday’s and Saturday’s for more.

Technical Difficulties

Saturday’s sound issues continued into the festival’s last day, bad enough to hold up Ride’s performance by nearly 15 minutes. “There were some sound gremlins,” guitarist Mark Gardener told the crowd by way of an apology. “We think we got rid of the gremlins.” (They mostly did.)

Book Fort Blessed

This year’s Book Fort, which regularly features readings and ephemera to purchase from local vendors, was the best yet. From poetry readings hosted by Kevin Coval to keepsake zines from Bianca Xunise and Megan Kirby, Book Fort proved to be the best midday break for festivalgoers interested in more than music. 

The Search Is Over

Can This Be the New Normal?

Joey Purp’s set had everything: Super Soakers, water balloons, confetti cannons. Oh, and Towkio and Vic Mensa.

A Bummer for One Performer…

Losing The Avalanches’ late-afternoon set (due to a family illness for one of the band members) was especially painful. The group reunited and released their first album in more than 16 years last year, and their Pitchfork performance would have been a first for most of their local fans. We’re still bummed. 

… Is a Boon for Another

Because of the cancellation, Jamila Woods’s set was moved from the up-and-coming Blue Stage to the main Green Stage. The singer-songwriter took advantage of this special opportunity, giving audiences a gorgeous, breezy, and transfixing set of her signature minimalist R&B soul. She even shared a new track, “Giovanni,” and featured dancers trained in Hiplet.

Face-Meltingly Good

Colin Stetson is quite possibly the most talented musician you’ve never heard of. His trademark cinematic brass music-complex soundscapes are made possible by his monastic devotion to the craft: Stetson plays one melody on a saxophone’s keys (he also plays bass saxophone and bass clarinet) while wailing a second melody through the horn and miking his fingers for percussion. It’s one-of-a-kind, primal stuff.

Solange

Her headlining slot capped off a seemingly perfect year for the musician, after the release of her stunning third full-length album, A Seat at the Table. Solange’s set was a true feast for the eyes, featuring a stage awash in deep oranges, reds, and purples; quirky dance moves; and an impeccable band. We were reminded of the Talking Head’s classic concert film, Stop Making Sense. It’s not every day you see an artistic vision as complete as this.

Winter Is … Encroaching on Festival Season

The crowd seemed thinner than usual by the close of the evening—perhaps not even Pitchfork can compete with the return of Game of Thrones.

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