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Pitchfork Music Festival 2013 Photo Recap

Photography by Beau Garrett

I thought too much happened this weekend in Chicago at Pitchfork Music Festival to remember all of it super well. But today I discovered that I actually took over 9 hours of field recording with my audio recorder that I thought I forgot to use. I am not sure how excited I am to listen to everything, but I might have an Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test blog post for later on. All the music was fantastic, if oddly blocked during certain times, but instead of continuing to rhapsodize about all the acts I saw I want to give you guys a definitive list of Highs and Lows from this muggy, musical weekend in Chicago. I hope you enjoy my misfortunes as much as my friends did.


1. Getting nailed square in the balls by a yogi who seriously harshed my mellow with his backward-kick-stretch. The irony was not lost on me or my balls.

2. Missing Mac DeMarco’s post-festival concert at the Empty Bottle and then getting stranded outside of a shitty club on the defeated drive home when my friend’s car died (permanently?). The only silver lining was that at one point I thought I heard an R. Kelly song emanating from said shitty club and remembered that I would see him in person the following day. He and his dove-shaped balloons were more beautiful than I could have ever imagined.


3. Missing the end of Bjork’s headlining set because a thunderous monsoon ripped through Chicago and sent my entire party dashing through the West Loop in search of shelter. All this expended energy left me way too tired to last through the Savages after-show at Lincoln Hall, and even though I tried to wait for the band to setup at the venue I bailed early…

4…causing me to miss Bjork again when she performed a surprise DJ set at Lincoln Hall. I also missed Sky Ferreira because I was late.

5. Smoking a Hungarian cigarette because now I no longer have credibility as a (health-conscious) human.


1. Watching M.I.A from just behind the front row after camping for over an hour. I touched her left hand when she stood on the railing in front of the audience and still feel cool because of that. I have been re-listening to Piracy Funds Terrorism ever since.

2. Hanging with my buddy Beau, who is both an excellent festival companion and a really talented photographer. He had to fight his way through stifling photo pits while I sipped overpriced beer and sat Indian-style in grass. He is the man.

3. Cramming free promotional food items down my throat because an old friend just couldn’t get enough “Ener-Gems” and “Frozen Kefir” (still not sure what they were or why I ate them). These weird food items then prompted a debate about the health merits of Orange Julius which ended when someone said it was as healthy as a Dreamsicle.

4. Listening to Joanna Newsom while sitting down to the right of the stage and staring at the crowd. Harp provides interesting mood music for people watching/tattoo finding. I didn’t notice any baby tattoos this year, but I was convinced I saw Ryan Gosling’s face on a girl’s forearm.

5. Enjoying that Hungarian cigarette, because I am part Hungarian.

Follow me on Twitter! @MattGrosinger

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  2. Tracy says:

    Great post, Matt. Jealous that you guys got to see Sky Ferreira, M.I.A., and R. Kelly all at the same place.

    Awesome photos, Beau. And I’m not biased at all!