With the sweltering Chicago sun present, the annual music festival from the online indie rock gods Pitchfork commenced at Union park where hordes of the country's hipsters and music buffs congregated. Friday was a busy day of missed interviews, long lines and a final relaxing moment enjoying the closing set by the evening's headliners, Modest Mouse.
I had the unfortunate pleasure of listening to The Tallest Man on Earth battle with the hot sun with his heartfelt set and raspy voice as I waited in the seemingly never ending will call line. “Nostalgic Euphoria” pretty much sums up my sensory response to the festival's opening evening as this being my first opportunity to catch a full set from Modest Mouse since a brief opening set in 2003. This Portland act played a large role in the early shaping of my musical taste; when I moved to Chicago I found myself delving into different styles than what was normal for me at the time but certain bands became constant residents in the cd player, Modest Mouse being one of those. With the opening notes of this evening's set “Tiny Cities Made of Ashes” reignited these pleasure moments flashing through my psyches as I waited in line for my opportunity to photograph the band in action. Playing an extended rendition as they ultimately transition into a tease of “King Rat” exciting the crowd and granting the first wave of pit photographers a ten minute free reign of shots as we unfortunately shot part of a three minute “Here it Comes”. Regardless of what I got to shoot, I was elated to hear Isaac Brock's raspy voice jest as he had himself set up on the corner of the stage alternating between guitars and mics. They played an excellent mix of classic Modest Mouse with newer tracks bridging the two generations of fans and leaving the crowd screaming for a second encore excited and pumped for what was to come this weekend.