Shining Light on the Underdogs of the Pitchfork Music Festival

Underdogs of Pitchfork Music Festival
By Maya Reese
Celebrating its 12th year as an independently run festival in Chicago, this year’s Pitchfork Music Festival had over 40 bands this past July and surely did not disappoint. The festival aims to showcase the best up and coming artists, while also having mainstream artists serving as headliners each day. Hosted in Union Park, this three-day long festival provided music, arts and  crafts, food, and more. There were nearly 50,000 attendees, ranging from small children who attended the kid-friendly attractions to elderly couples that were there to hear R&B Soul artists.
Of the numerous artists that performed, the three listed below were the best underdog
performances of each day.

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On Friday, July 14, Madame Gandhi, an electronic music artist and activist, ruled the red stage. Being the former drummer for M.I.A., she has a lot of experience being on stage. She now writes her own music that aims to empower the female voice. Her song “The Future is Female” discusses gender roles in soothing and hypnotic verses through raps and singing. As an activist, she acted as a free-bleeding runner at the 2015 London Marathon. She is currently based in Los Angeles. Her music can be found on YouTube, iTunes, Spotify, and Soundcloud.

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The blue stage will never be the same after having the group S U R V I V E perform on Saturday, July 15th. Their performance was crowded with festival attendees nodding their heads to the beat, most likely because the opening few songs had no lyrics. The group’s dark, thunderous music is inspired by horror movies. Two members of the group were on the soundtrack for the new Netflix science fiction horror show, Stranger Things. The overall vibe of the music was calm, yet tense. Certain songs were full of loud percussions, but still managed to have a melodic flow.

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Last, but certainly not least, Nicholas Jaar may have been one the most entertaining performances all weekend. Jaar is a Chilean-American music producer, mixing engineer, and DJ. He has posted numerous mixes, remixes, and EPs that showcase his strong electronic skills. He is currently on a global tour spreading his music and expanding his brand. The Pitchfork Music Festival staff has named his album one of “The 50 Best Albums of 2016,” “The 20 Best Electronic Albums,” and claims the album includes one of “The Greatest Quotes in Rising History.” His performance definitely affirmed all of the hype, proving he should be in the same category with major DJs such as Calvin Harris and David Guetta.

There’s no telling who will be the next successful artist charting the billboards. But what’s for sure is that they possibly could have been on one of these Pitchfork stages. Be sure to attend next year’s festival to see where it all begins.


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