Last Sunday my wife and I attended the Pitchfork Festival @ Chicago`s Union Park (pitchfork). The event lasted 3 days but we had just a ticket for the Sunday show, the last day of the event. The rai·son d'être was the open air performance of Deafheaven, a black metal band from San Francisco we have seen before in small venues. The ticket was part of a generous birthday present - a trip from New York City to Chicago - my wife got for me.
As I described in my post about Deafheaven`s concert @ Chicago`s Bottom Lounge, which happened last Friday, their performance almost went beyond the limits of rock music (driveby). Delicately structured melodies, like baroque compositions by Händel ("Music for the Royal Fireworks") and Vivaldi ("The Four Seasons") rode on massive walls of sound which created an unique melange of grace and sheer power.
Deafheaven´s greatest asset is the voice of frontman George Clarke. The frenetic energy of his screams perfectly harmonized with the sound of the band. Clarke orchestrated the crowd before the stage like a great conductor. Frequently he let himself fall into the crowd while continuing his screams. He literally sought "das Bad in der Menge" (as we would say in German), loosely translated with "takes a bath in the crowd." The combination of band, voice and show mingled together into a very intense concert experience.
Deafheaven was a part of a very eclectic program which happened on 3 stages (Sunday alone had 17 performances). The ticket for the Sunday event cost just $60 - a very reasonable price. The Dum Dum Girls delivered a summerly pop concert which reminded a bit of the "Bangles", Slowdive performed atmospheric and sometimes powerful pop songs, Grimes, a Canadian artist with the real name Claire Boucher, tried to copy Madonna and - as the final - the rapper Kendrick Lamar celebrated himself.
We indulged in the relaxed and friendly festival atmosphere. As usual the crowd strolled from stage to stage, some were jumping and crowd surfing, others relaxing in the grass and enjoying the surprisingly good beer (provided by the local Goose Island Beer Company). The air was filled with tangy smoke - a taste of Colorado.
Thanks a lot to organizers and security people who guaranteed that the Pitchfork Festival was a peaceful and fun event.