I tried to start this last night, but apparently my internet gave out before I could post it.
Last night was the official Pitchfork preview show at Millennium park. The theater there is awesome; it was designed by Frank Gehry, who did the Disney concert hall, and the sound is great as a result. There's a metal frame that hangs over the grass, and there are speakers hanging from each of these frames that give everyone great sound. And, it was free.
The first band that played was A Hawk and A Hacksaw. They play acoustic Balkans music. They've never been much of my cup of tea, but they sounded interesting at very least. As I hadn't slept for 36 hours, I was tired and fell asleep during one of their songs. They had a good violin player, and it was cool to see one of the people from Neutral Milk Hotel.
Boban Markovic Orkestar played next. I can't really describe this show without lapsing into severe hyperbole. They had 8 brass players and 2 drummers, and no musical scores. They played the tightest, fastest and most energetic dance songs I've heard in ages, and did so with such precision for only watching eachother for shifts in tempo and rhythm. They had emo kids, jaded hipsters, soccer moms and old ladies up in the aisles dancing together. They also had a giant crowd that had come out for a free show stand up and give them a standing ovation at the end. It was without a doubt one of the best performances I've ever seen, and if any of you have the chance to see them, do so without a doubt.
After an intermission, they brought on Extra Golden. They play a mix of African Benga guitar pop and Indie rock that, on record, leans towards the Benga sound. Live, they incorporated the two sounds more fully, and it led to a great show. They would start songs with the ringing African guitar sound, and then build them up to noisy, experimental workouts that were the climaxes. It was really cool, and I'd likewise recommend seeing them. And, they had 2 great singers.
Fleet Foxes were the last band to play. A huge crowd moved up front for them, as they are apparently very popular. They were only given half an hour, like the other bands, but they made it count. Their vocals are much more lush live than on record, and I preferred the slightly changed arrangements they used live. I can't wait to see them again tomorrow.
I'll update again tonight with reviews of Mission of Burma, Sebadoh, Public Enemy and an aftershow with HEALTH and Mahjongg.