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.
Sunday, 2:30 PM, Green Stage
The Julie Ruin
Sunday, 2:50 PM, Blue Stage
Whether with the wild, jagged punk of Bikini Kill, back when she was de facto ambassador of the riot-grrrl movement, or more recently with the relatively club-friendly Le Tigre, Kathleen Hanna has always had a knack for hammering out danceable jams—she could probably do it with nothing but the lid of a trash can, a rubber band, and her shimmying, piercing vocals. She sanded off the edges a bit on the first album from her band the Julie Ruin, 2013’s Run Fast, but it still has the same Hanna strut—”Cookie Road,” with its disco beats and zap-gun synths, is a good example. Waxahatchee‘s most recent record, this spring’s Ivy Tripp, is bolder (and better) than its bedroom-poppy predecessors, with a stage-seasoned rock fullness, but Katie Crutchfield’s aching vocals still can’t go head-to-head with the Julie Ruin’s bombast—not to mention whatever outfit Hanna’s bandmate Kenny Mellman (better known as half of cabaret duo Kiki & Herb) will be wearing. I say wait for Waxahatchee to return for a show at the Empty Bottle or Lincoln Hall.
Pitchfork’s call: Waxahatchee, 8.3 > The Julie Ruin, 7.0