Pitchfork Festival: Day Two, Chicago

J. Neas reporting here from Chicago and Day 2 of the Pitchfork Music Festival in Union Park. The theme of the day was, again, sun and hydration. I at times feel, weather wise, like I haven't left the South, except that there are fairly common breezes and far less humidity. Safety was the rule of thumb. I witnessed a gate bag-checker praise a festival-goer for having sunblock. I've also seen quite a few parents of small children with the wherewithal to provide hearing protection, something I don't always see parents remember. Good job, folks.

Saturday started with a jolt of rock and roll courtesy of Free Energy, DFA Record's latest signing, setting up interesting bookends for the day. The crowds have been coming earlier this year and Free Energy had a large audience to wake up. They did so admirably with some amazing guitar work including some guitar tapping that just felt good to the ears. New Jersey's Real Estate had a more low-key approach in the increasingly hot afternoon, but their brand of lilting jangle was a crowd pleaser as well.

A tandem that worked well together, though in radically different ways, were Delorean and Titus Andronicus. Delorean's electronic flavored dance rock was an energetic lead in to the brutish, punkish, Springsteen of Titus who may well have been the day's best performance. Opening their show with The Monitor's "A More Perfect Union," the set was a relentless onslaught of powerhouse rock that sent lead singer Patrick Stickles into the audience crowd surfing. There has to be some measurement of how far back from the stage you see people either putting their fists in the air or dancing to gauge how well a band went over and, aside from one other band I'll discuss later, they probably had the deepest penetration into the audience of the day.

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