Pitchfork Music Festival 2022: 1 day in review

Fork Music Festival returned to its original mid-July dates and was met with an incredible wet reception. The rain fell from the start, possibly cutting off the WIFI and delaying entry to the festival. The rain fluctuated between soft mists and close showers, with rare dry spells in between. It’s a far cry from the perfect September festival weather of last year. Honestly, if the case hadn’t been made for a permanent move in September of last year, it should be!

Despite the humid atmosphere and delayed entry, Pitchfork managed to deliver a fine collection of artists for the first day! Tkay Maidza was unable to make it to the festival and was replaced by Houston native Monaleo; but the rest of the festival remained intact and ready to please the crowds in Union Park!

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Arooj Aftab @ Green scene
First place at the festival can be a bit difficult, but despite the work she had to do thanks to the rain and the dark atmosphere, Arooj Aftab made it. A mix of meditative and jazzy sounds, Aftab and his band really gripped the audience with his beautiful vocals. It was a nice, sweet start to the day that the day needed.
– Julien Ramirez

Spirits were definitely high on the green stage on Friday at the start of the afternoon. What better way to start the evening of day one than with a charming and haunting set by SPIRIT OF THE BEEHIVE? SPIRIT OF THE BEEHIVE immediately settled into his home and weaved his way through the patches of light rain. Their catchy yet haunting guitar riffs were perfect for a dark first day of Pitchfork. It was absolutely worth getting there early enough and putting up with the drizzle for these guys.
–Andrew Lagunas

monaleo @ Blue Stage
After a quick little climb for the crowd from the DJ and Hypeman, Monaleo emerged from the backstage bubbly and excited to play Pitchfork. So excited that she actually forgot the first song she was going to perform. After a quick chat with her team, she walked into “We Not Humping,” a scorching track that had the crowd singing along.

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wiki @ Red Scene
Sometimes you need a dose of New York rap to liven up the mood. Wiki came to the Red Stage on a mission, wasting no time as he and his DJ dove into the set with reckless abandon. Wiki’s stage presence is dull with energy as he circles the stage singing bar after bar. Donning an Oscar the Grouch shirt that rivaled the faces he made on stage, Wiki absolutely killed his set. It didn’t hurt that he praised Chicago for its perfect blend of Midwestern charm and New York flair.
– Julien Ramirez

Tierra Whack @ Red Scene
Tierra Whack was the ray of sunshine Pitchfork needed as the heavy rain fell just before his set. When she appeared on stage, the crowd went wild for her. She rocked the most vibrant outfit of the day; sporting a comic book print shirt, neon pink skirt, bright blue rain boots and her crazy array of accessories, I knew right away she was going to be a fun ensemble. Whack had no problem getting comfortable with his crowd. She made it seem like it was almost her own intimate show, the way she engaged with her elated crowd. Wish certain fans a happy birthday and bring another fan on stage; Whack really knows how to keep the crowd present AND buzz all the time. His short and sweet songs of hit the world makes for a bountiful and memorable set.
–Andrew Lagunas

Face the Camp @ Blue Stage
I’m always up for a surprise and Camp Cope delivered it late afternoon. The Australian band had this aura of immediate welcome about them. Add to that the really fun energy and fantastic voice of Georgia McDonald (both in voice and songwriting) and you have one of the most entertaining sets of the day. McDonald’s dance moves and general joy of playing really shined during the relatively short set, but with impressive tracks like “How To Socialize & Make Friends” and Jealous really showcasing the band’s sound. There were a few mishaps in the crowd with festival first responders having to step in and help, but Camp Cope followed suit pretty well.
– Julien Ramirez

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The National @ Green Stage
It’s been quite a while since the last US show The National and it was certainly worth the wait. The National are now a well-oiled band and they effortlessly commanded the green stage during their set. It’s actually kind of mind blowing how masterful Matt Berninger is on stage. Flanked by two sets of steadfast brothers (Aaron & Bryce Dresser and Bryan & Scott Devendorf), Berninger spilled out with 11 songs. The setlist went wild with tons of fantastic songs, from “Fake Empire” to “Mr. November”, capturing a bit of each era of their long history. There were a few notable tracks missing from the setlist, but there were plenty of tracks in the two-hour setlist to satiate the crowd. .
– Julien Ramirez

All photos by Julian Ramirez and Andrew Lagunas.

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