by Andrew Goldberg
With what seemed like a mish-mosh of different styles, genres, and audiences, there was no telling what Pitchfork’s first day of festivities would hold in store. Though most seemed to be focused on making it to the headliner, the day was scattered with unexpected gems all along the way. The WRBB coverage team took up Friday with open ears and good spirits.
The first notable set of the day belonged to rising guitarist Lucy Dacus and her reverberating slow-rock. It seemed like the crowd agreed that the greying skies were best experienced accompanied by the immediacy of Dacus’ lyrics aside faded guitars. Similarly, singer/songwriter Julie Byrne provided a vibey and intimate take on her introspective compositions, bringing out friends to join her on violin, synthesizer, and harp. Off in the distance, Joshua Abrams & Natural Information Society created an infectious drone, lulling the audience to gently sway with the sounds of his guimbri (a three-string African lute).
The middle of the day hit with an onslaught of rap and hip hop. Open Mike Eagle warmly welcomed the crowd at the blue stage to his new support group, offering career and life advice while speaking on social anxiety using inventive vignettes. Chicago local Saba absolutely stunned the Red Stage, commanding complete attention as he played highlights from this year’s Care For Me, as well as 2016’s Bucket List Project. On the other side of the musical sliding scale, Big Thief’s set awed and amazing with drawn out renditions of “Real Love” and “Shark Smile”—Buck Meek and singer Adrianne Lenker’s cohesive and striking guitar tones filling up the space between the trees. Courtney Barnett’s massive set only confirmed her rockstar status, as the entire festival seemed to belt out the lyrics to “Elevator Operator” in full.
After more than 12 hours on our feet, we capped Friday in awe of the brilliant lights and sounds of headliner Tame Impala—a slight drizzle coating both the audience and band as well. The dripping sonic display brought on heavy visuals as “Mind Mischief” and “Sundown Syndrome” smoothed over the crowd. Though a Tame performance is always a treat to see, it has been three years since a real change in the setlist with no new music to cover. Nevertheless, a perfect way to embrace the melancholy of the weather as we headed back for the night.
Catch the WRBB team take on Saturday’s lineup, with continued social media coverage on NU snapchat (@northeastern) and CAMD instagram (@northeasterncamd) for the best view into the weekend’s action.