Review: Pitchfork Music Festival

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

I spent last weekend in Chicago's Union Park taking in the Pitchfork Music Festival, an annual assembly of acts championed by online tastemaker Pitchfork Media. Despite a few duds like Delorean and Modest Mouse, I could go on about all the great music I heard. With all due respect to the likes of Lightning Bolt, St. Vincent, Freddie Gibbs and Kurt Vile, these were my 10 favorite sets:

10. Liars - I preferred Liars' demented art-punk in close confines at South by Southwest, but Angus Andrew commands attention from any distance.

9. El-P - The Def Jux founder showed off his full array of skills, rocking the mic like a pro atop grooves and sonic squelches straight from the nuclear waste heap.

8. WHY? - The most singular act on the bill was one of the most stimulating. Yoni Wolf's weird world is worth a visit next time WHY? blows through town.

7. Wolf Parade - Their albums keep getting worse; their concerts keep getting better.

6. Tie: Big Boi/Raekwon - These veteran rappers know how to do it: Showcase a few of your hottest new joints, but only in the midst of a greatest hits barrage.

5. Robyn - The Swedish pop singer burned down the place Friday with giddy, confident poise and tech-pop jams Britney wishes she could grind to.

4 . Major Lazer - Chinese dragons, ballerinas and a dry-humping, Hennessy-guzzling hypeman named Skerrit Bwoy elevated Diplo's masterful dance mix into an unforgettable spectacle.

3. LCD Soundsystem - James Murphy's catalog is deep enough now that he can put on a thrilling dance-punk tour de force without even playing the two best songs from his latest album.

2. Titus Andronicus - I entered the weekend thinking Titus Andronicus had become a little longwinded, slightly convoluted and a little too in touch with their post-adolescent emotions. After they bombarded us with unflinching earnestness, I left considering them punk rock's heirs to the E Street Band.

1. Pavement - I've been waiting a long time for indie rock's royalty to reunite, and they rewarded my patience with a set filled with classics. It was as off-kilter as you would expect, and I loved every minute of it.