17 July 2010

Pitchfork Music Festival, Day One, 7/16/10, Chicago IL

For the sake of full disclosure, it is probably necessary to state that I have a serious weakness for Old Style, this magnificently tasty beer only found in Chicago. It should also be recorded that I traveled by bus to get to the city. The ride from Baltimore took approximately eighteen hours, with stops in Pittsburgh, Cleveland, and Gary, Indiana. In regards to the last stop, what a fascinating state. Mostly it looked exactly like the opening sequence from Parks and Recreation. However, in Gary I realized that Freddie Gibbs isn't joking when he talks about his town. It's raw out there.
All in all, the bus trip was fine except for the trek from Cleveland to Gary. The driver let a drunk board the bus, and he rode in the seat next to me. He said he had been in prison for the last ten days because he beat the piss out of a security guard. He smelled like he had been drinking paint thinner for the last ten days. Anyway, he passed out on the bus which would be expected given the circumstances. Unfortunately, he slumped over to his right which placed him on top of me. Me and my olsen twin hips were no match for his sheet metal fabricating frame. I spent the next five hours with my face pressed against the glass and my knees tucked into my chest.
When I got off the bus, I did what any rational, responsible, solo traveler would do. I went and grabbed a beer. Then I wandered the town looking for the Stanley Cup. Four and a half hours later, I took the pink line to Ashland and headed towards Union Park. I detoured at a tavern which I knew sold Old Style, but eventually I entered the park. There's no mention of eating or sleeping in these two paragraphs because I did neither. My system was running on caffeine and booze.
For most of friday night, I had the appearance of a zombiefied ghost. My eyes were totally bloodshot, and my complexion was ultra white. I know this for two reasons: 1. This has happened before under similar circumstances, and 2. All the people around me were talking about it.
"Oh my god, what's his problem?"
"Why would you do that in a place like here?"
"I want to take a picture. I've never seen anyone look that fucked up before."
These were the things that I heard as I sat in the grass on Friday. I feel kind of bad, like I was sending out un-chill vibes to everybody because of my outwardly appearance. Seriously, it really seemed to freak some people out. But at the same time, fuck it. It was yesterday. It already happened.
Apologies for the prattling, but all of it was in my notes and it seemed necessary to mention it. Also, I missed several acts on Friday because of travel so I have to fill this space somehow.
Broken Social Scene was fantastic. I swear they never come to my neighborhood, so to finally see them was kind of special. I don't have a set list handy, but basically they played everything everyone wanted to hear.
Modest Mouse closed on Friday, and they did their thing. I had heard before that their live shows leave a lot left to be desired due to heavy consumption before taking the stage, but last night it sounded pretty coherent. People were throwing toilet paper in the crowd, which I found odd because I was under the impression that everyone in the crowd was super cautious about creating waste yet I saw the roll fly through the air. Someone has to clean that shit up. I also saw glowsticks being tossed around which I haven't seen since the granola festival days of '06/'07.
The festival seems to be getting bigger, and in doing so it's attracting more groups of people to come and get down which is pretty rad. With that being said, it's going to be packed today.

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