Like most festivals with more than one stage, Pitchfork sometimes books two great acts to play overlapping sets, forcing fans to make a painful choice. Reader writers found quite a few of those conflicts on the fest’s schedule, and thought long and hard about who they’d go to see. These write-ups compare those decisions with the “winners” as determined by Pitchfork itself, via rounded averages of the ratings the site has given to each artist’s releases.
Saturday, 5:15 PM, Red Stage
Saturday, 5:45 PM, Blue Stage
Five o’clock at Pitchfork is usually when you start to run out of steam, at least if you got to Union Park early. All the beer you’re drinking (and all the water you’re not) teams up with the July sun, so that you know you’re gonna be down for the count soon. You have two choices: you can take deep breaths, sit in the shade, and sip Gatorade, or you can just say “fuck it” and go full-on till you burn yourself out in a blaze of pure reckless fun. On Saturday afternoon you’re going to want to do the latter, because two of the fest’s biggest party-animal sets kick off between five and six. On their albums, Brooklyn’s Parquet Courts sound disinterested and bored, but they cut loose onstage, attacking their instruments with pure punk-rock abandon. A$AP Ferg is one of the smartest rappers currently going, and while a lot of his work leans toward a megachill weed-haze vibe, he can get ratchet as hell too—take for example the bouncy single “Shabba.” This is a hard call, but I think the Courts’ fury will be a better soundtrack to the last sun-warmed plastic cup of beer that you can stomach.
Pitchfork’s call: Parquet Courts, 7.9 > A$ap Ferg, 7.0