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Tuesday, August 1

Pitchfork Fest - Day 1 - The Review

We arrived in Chicago around 11:45 in time to catch a few songs in Chin Up Chin Up's set. I didn't really like the singer's voice on the album; but in person me and Matty G agreed that it was much stronger (Matty G is a friend of mine and a much better music writer than I am, check out some of his reviews at Tiny Mix Tapes). "Collide the Tide" is a great song and I'm glad that I got to see it live.

Next up was Man Man. They had a fun set and I give them props for great showmanship but I couldn't really get into the songs. My mom would say that it just seems like alot of noise, and my mom is pretty much an expert on indie rock so I'll agree with her. I saw the lead singer guy walking around a few times and I can say that he's really rockin' the mullet.

Band of Horses was the first band I was really excited to see and they didn't disappoint. They started off with "The Great Salt Lake" and then Ben Bridwell asked the crowd if anyone had any weed. You can't really beat that opening. Fittingly, they went into "Weed Party" next. It was blisteringly hot during their set but I don't think anyone minded. "The Funeral", of course, ended their set and it was just as rocking as I expected it to be. I highly recommend seeing them live.

Next up was the band I was most excited about seeing and that was The Mountain Goats. John Darnielle started out with "Jenny", which is a tribute to motorcycles and pirates. The crowd was really into the set and started yelling out song requests after the second song. I was yelling out "Cubs in Five" and to my extreme enjoyment, it was played (with the introduction - "I never play this song anymore because it's too depressing). Darnielle chatted for a couple minutes inbetween each song about his childhood, how he hates when people with an acoustic guitar ask you to sing (which he did twice), and why the piano parts are so simple in "Dance Music" (another highlight). The best part of the set though, was the all-crowd sing-a-long to "No Children". They lyrics were changed at the end to "I hope you die, I hope WE ALL die". Definitely the highlight of the day.

Me and Matty G walked over to Destroyer to watch part of Bejar's set. We were really far out and I ended up talking to Chris and Eric most of the time. It was nice to hear "European Oils" but overall I found it a bit boring. I'd probably rather listen to the album at home then standing out in the hot sun.

Art Brut played next and they started off energetically with "Formed A Band" and "Bang Bang Rock and Roll". It felt good rocking out a little bit and everyone around me was having a great time. Where did Eddie Argos' mustache go? I also caught the end of their set and got to see "Good Weekend" which ended with the Eddie going through every band in the festival and then yelling "Top of the Pops". It made me wonder if the band was ever going to get over not being able to play on the show. Either way, I give Art Brut my seal of approval.

In between watching the previous band, I went and watched a few songs by Spank Rock. I didn't know what to expect but Dodge had nothing but good things to say about them. I really enjoyed the few songs I did see and I heard that they killed it at the end, soaking the crowd with booze and bringing tons of people on stage.

I took a short break to grab a jumbo beef hot dog and some Fuse but was able to catch the end of Ted Leo's set, and I'm glad I did. The guy can play some guitar and I'm really glad I was able to see "Me and Mia". I've heard alot of good things about Ted Leo live and it seems all the good hype was justified.

I was dead tired by the time The Walkmen played and I took most of the time lounging with my friends behind the stage. I got up for a few songs and luckily was able to see them play "The Rat". They weren't playing with their original drummer and while the replacement was obviously really good when I saw them last time the drumming was the highlight so that was a bit of a disappointment. I love the singer's voice though and I really don't have too many bad things to say about the set.

While most of my group went to see A-Track I went to watch The Futureheads. I didn't know what to expect from the band but they opened awesomely with "Decent Days and Nights" and they never let up. I absolutely loved the four part vocals and they had a great stage presence. I was really blown away and I wouldn't pass up a chance to see them again. As I was going to join my friends they started playing "Hounds of Love" and that song was stuck in my head the rest of the night. I give the Futureheads one of my highest recommendations of the day.

We were all really tired and hungry so we skipped out on Silver Jews (which from what I hear was a good idea) and instead went to eat and then back to our hotel. Overall we all had a fantastic day, you could almost call it indie-tastic (but then you might be brought to a back room and shot by Aziz Ansari).

Note: Next up is going to be some really cool Pitchfork Videos from Day 1. Hopefully I can learn how to learn this u-Tube thing. Reviews/Pictures elsewhere - GVB, marathonpacks, iGiF, fluxblog, YANP, goodhodgkins, MOKB

posted by Taylor, 8/01/2006 09:32:00 AM | link 0 comments

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