Monday, July 20, 2009

Pitchfork 2009

July 17 to July 19
Tortoise takes the stage during an off and on again drizzle and announces that it is dedicating its set to a friend who died this morning. This is the worse start I've ever heard to a concert or a festival promising three days of music.

Things improve. All in all the best Pitchfork I've been to, although the weather remains weird. Instead of the usual steambath, the days are sweatshirt cool and threaten rain the entire weekend.

Most repeated line from band.

Some variation on "This is the largest crowd we've played for." Cymbals Eat Guitars, The Antlers, Beirut, and at least one other band that I can't remember now.

Best t-shirt:
Die Emo Die

Most interesting photos of people on top of other people:

I watched this kid lick his Dad's head for a good half of Cymbals eat guitars.

Highlights include:
The National, who seem to be getting better live. Songs that sound introspective on the album become fully fleshed out rockers in concert. At the end of the show, we're all screaming the lyrics to the final song: "I won't fuck us over; I'm Mr. November! Very cathartic.

The Walkmen
I was curious to see how "You & Me" would translate live. Sometimes I fell into the album and it was like a suite of songs; other times I found myself impatient--not enough variety. I was delighted to see that the album, which made up about half the set, was even more compelling live. The cords on Hamilton Leithauser's neck looked about ready to pop during songs like "in the New Year" and "The Rat."

The Yeasayers had the moment of the concert when the drizzle stopped and the sun came out for "Sunrise."