The last day of Pitchfork Music Festival started cloudy and balmy. Groups Mutual Benefit and Speedy Ortiz played the first sets of the day; the former was pensive and funereal with elegiac strings, the latter restless and absurdist rock n’ roll. Perfect Pussy put on the day’s most riveting performance. The group was sweaty and spent after their short but rollicking set; it wasn’t immediately apparent whether the bleary-eyed frontwoman Meredith Graves was sobbing or just profusely perspiring but it seemed irrelevant.
All that reckless, haphazardly strung-out energy continued on the main stage during Deafheaven, piercing male vocals over beautiful-sounding, nightmarish metal. Earl Sweatshirt changed up the vibe during his set, performing a new track after a malfunctioned rendition of crowd favorite “Orange Juice.” Earl was enthralling and savvy, proving that the peripheral hype surrounding him and his music is well-deserved.
Jon Hopkins played a brisk, inundated set of cerebral electronic music. The British DJ and producer performed live beats that were volatile, supercharged and sexy. The experimental pop duo Majical Cloudz experienced a bout of misfortune during their set: the keyboard used to perform the majority of their songs died. After several minutes of stalling via. crowd participation like beat-boxing and coffeehouse slam poetry, Majical Cloudz played a capella renditions of songs like “Bugs Don’t Buzz” and “Savage,” but not before smashing their dead keyboard on stage.
DJ Spinn took the stage with a crew of thirty or so Teklife affiliates, a crew of dancers, rappers and a dutiful hype mob. A large portion of his set was a tribute to the late DJ Rashad, songs like “Double Cup” and the supersonic footwork hysteria that is his remix of Kanye West’s “On Sight.” The multimedia solo artist Grimes followed; she looked simply magical under all those pink lights with her black dress and disheveled mop of hair billowing in the breeze. She closed her set with two tracks she collaborated with Blood Diamonds: the hollow, steel drummed “Phone Sex” followed by the boisterous banger “Go.”
Kendrick Lamar closed out the festival, donning an impressive live band and unreleased film footage for his ambitious set. He was a marvelous performer, a wildly energetic presence, and it seemed as if the entire park of festival-goers were belting out the lyrics to “Bitch Don’t Kill Me Vibe.” I definitely was.