The Music was the Least of it at the Pitchfork Festival

The Pitchfork Music Festival was this weekend; here are my take-aways:

  • Music was the least interesting part of the event for me– people watching, record shopping (especially at the Numero Group booth) hanging out a blister-inducing encounter with Galaga arcade game were more fun than the bands.
  • Yoko Ono’s(75 years old next year) performance provoked a virtual stampede of hipsters, and the rest of us, away from the stage and onto Ashland Street and beyond.
  • Heavy metal is a joke to today’s kids. I’ve been out of the metal scene for a while, and thus was particularly interested in seeing Mastodon, a serious practioner of the lost art of rockin’ out. The reaction of the crowd was, alas, one of ironic interest, at least for the first half of the set– manos cornutos abounded, with smirks. I thought back to the metal concerts I attended at the Metro, Aragon and Riviera back in the 80s– a much more working class and perhaps more racially diverse, scene than the one I saw Saturday at Pitchfork.
  • The peripatetic performance of Battles– everyone but the drummer played more than one instrument simultaneously at one point or another– was representative of our multi-tasking, short-attention span lives. After resolving some technical difficulties, Tyondai Braxton noted that “Sometimes you break a guitar string, sometimes you put plug your wire into the wrong device.”

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