This past weekend marked my third consecutive year at the Pitchfork Music Festival at Union Park in Chicago. Maybe it was the more than stellar lineup or the beautiful (if not overly steamy) weather or just a couple of well-timed days off work, but when we arrived at our friend’s place in Logan Square Friday afternoon, I had a feeling this weekend would top the rest.

It’s nearly impossible for me to provide anything written that will give you a sense of the atmosphere of the fest, so I thought I would talk about a few personal highlights of the weekend. And while the typically obsessively on-time festival did seem to run into a few snags this year, none of it detracted from the unbelievable lineup of what seemed to be all of my favorite musical acts of every genre in one small park in Chicago.

With her high-powered but never over the top performance, it became clear that Swedish songstress Robyn was so much more than the 90s pop star that many still know her as. Her music has taken a turn into the dance realm and her voice is still one of the best around.

Spanish electronic rockers Delorean shook the early afternoon crowd with their bright beats that made us so happy that for a moment we forgot how miserably hot we were. A performance by Delorean under anything but clear, blue skies would not have been the same.

With the fest’s early 10pm end time, it’s usually only the nightly headliners that benefit from any sort of light show. Luckily, LCD Soundsystem had earned that privelege. Their often long but always high-energy songs are just right for a great summer night under the stars in western Chicago.

I’m pretty sure that Victoria Legrand of Beach House puts something in my drink whenever I listen to her music or see her perform, because she’s always mesmerizing. With her sultry vocals and hair that plays as much a role in her performance as her voice, am I the only one who thinks she could be considered a modern-day indie rock Stevie Nicks?

Major Lazer. Wow. What is there to say about Major Lazer? I expected a party, but other than that, I really had no idea what to expect. And after seeing them, I still don’t exactly know what happened on that stage in that always excellent early evening time slot, but I do know that a couple thousand of us had a DAMN good time for an hour and 10 minutes.

Ok, Sleigh Bells, you got me. I wanted so much not to like your live performance and thought you’d been overhyped to death, but the energy spewing forth from both Alexis Krauss and Derek Miller in that B stage closing spot was enough to move the masses who waited all day to see them into a state of riotous excitement, no easy feat at 7:40 PM on the third day of a 90+ degree music festival.

And, of course, Pavement closed out the weekend with a performance that Ryan from Pitchfork (along with thousands of other fans) had been waiting years to see. Although the rest of us were a little less vocal about how we’d been waiting. It’s tough for me to imagine how unique and forward-thinking their music was at the time they started out, considering that it still sounds like it could have been written today, over 20 years after they first started out.

And now, here’s the best of all the rest.

All pictures by Chris Atto of See more pictures from day 1, 2 and 3.

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