Last weekend, I went on a pilgrimage. I didn’t walk barefoot to Vatican City or go on a Hajj. Instead, I got in a car with two other awkward dudes while our far less awkward girlfriends and one of their friends followed in an attempt to reach Hipster Holy Ground, Pitchfork Music Festival.

Pitchfork Music Festival is really just a park filled with uncomfortable people dressed ironically, drinking beer, eating ethnic food, and listening to both flavour of the month darlings and iconic heroes of the ironic dead. It was definitely a place where we could fit in and relax.

I won’t fill you in on the car ride because Illinois is just filled with endless fields of corn, and Kentucky just smells like horse shit. Actually, I think I did just fill you in because those are the only two significant things to note. When we got there, we ordered what I am now convinced is the greatest pizza ever invented, the famous Chicago Deep Dish. Filled to the top with cheese, sauce, and some of the best sausage I have ever had… I could talk for hours, but this is about music, not pizza. We filled ourselves with one or two slices of the two inch deep pie and headed to the festival. Two hours on public transportation may seem extreme and repulsive to some, but coming from a town where there is none to speak of, the train was the best thing ever. I am now convinced that every town needs a train system, if nothing else for the cool graffitti that you see in the tunnels.

When we got there, Mission of Burma was just starting. Luckily, we hadn’t missed anything. I should probably mention that this was the “Don’t Look Back” Concert Series day. Mission of Burma, Sebadoh, and Public Enemy performed their seminal records that day. So here is Mission of Burma– aging, balding, and super funny. They kicked off the night with a spot on rendition of Vs., a heavy, early post-punk record that is seen by many as one of the finest in the genre. This set almost had me bursting with energy. I wish more people had been as into it as I was, or at least more apt for showing it, because the crowd really didn’t seem pleased.

Sebadoh played next, but no one cared. That sounds heartless, but really it’s the truth. Half the crowd left to go wait for Public Enemy. The other half just sort of stood around. I don’t have much to say about this set because it really just didn’t interest me that much which is a shame because I do enjoy Sebadoh. I urge everyone to check them out, but they aren’t very interesting live.

Public Enemy is a completely different story, though. The Bomb Squad, the lesser known section of the famously angry group, began with a fantastic thirty minute set of new dance music. What seemed like a futile effort to make the crowd more excited than they already were (and to wake the sound men up), actually worked. At the breaking point of the crowd’s impatience, Chuck D finally burst onto the stage with the fantastic “Bring the Noise;” which, if you haven’t heard, you’ve been living under a rock for the last twenty years. Flavor Flav came out next and the crowd exploded. The banter between Chuck and Flavor really shows how much these two care about each other. Of course, there are other members of Public Enemy, and they were there as well, DJ Lord, SW1, Brian Hardgroove, and Professor Griff, and all were also in full force. I wish I had time to discuss the whole set, but the two and a half hours covering the entirety of It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back and also a greatest hits collection would just be too much for me to burden you all with tonight. Suffice it to say, my hearing will never be the same, nor will my respect for these masters of one of my favorite genres ever wane.

The two further days of Pitchfork will be chronicled for you soon.

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