The best moments from Pitchfork Music Festival 2022 so far

Pitchfork Music Festival 2022 is officially underway at Chicago’s Union Park. You can watch at homeand each day our writers will be highlighting some of their favorite sets.

Arooj Aftab was a perfect start to the festival

As Arooj Aftab wondered during Friday’s first set, would we all have to run away to avoid the thunderstorm? There was no such vibe-breaker (at least during this set), with a pleasant sprinkling that added to the peaceful atmosphere as Aftab’s voice wafted through the park alongside an acoustic guitar and fiddle. At the same time, she was incredibly charming. Clad in a sick metallic power jacket, Aftab playfully bragged about her last Grammy win: “Stolen the gold! I’m just kidding, I deserve it.” Rock star that she is, she closed with the song that cemented that gold, “Mohabbat”. – Evan Minsker


Camp Cope’s Georgia Maq at Pitchfork Music Festival 2022. Photo by Alexa Viscius

Camp Cope’s “Born-in-the-90s” spirit

Did you see the Limp Bizkit set at last year’s Lollapalooza? Georgia Maq did, and she’s still talking about it. The leader of Camp Cope leaned into a mid-to-late ’90s moment on Friday as she sang fragments of Alanis Morissette songs and Wheatus’ “Teenage Dirtbag” chorus to her infatuated Neurotics song “Blue” at sound check installed own band. They’re the perfect tasting notes for Camp Cope’s own jagged songs about coming to terms with life when nothing’s as clean as you’d hoped. —Anna Gaca


Don’t rain on Tierra Whack’s parade

Rain had dominated the day when Tierra Whack took the stage in the late afternoon, but the Philly rapper refused to let her plans for a good show be thwarted. She crouched in front of the red stage in short blue galoshes, showered the crowd with birthday cheers and sprinted through snippets of her colorful songs. Though Whack spearheaded the task of reviving the sodden crowd, her set’s secret MVPs were the crew members who used push brooms to clear patches of rain off the stage – a choreographed dance set to Whack’s familiar mayhem. – Allison Hussey


Dawn Richard at Pitchfork Music Festival 2022. Photo by Daniel Cavazos

Dawn Richard’s future nostalgia

Maybe it was the dancers from Dawn Richard with their LED surgical masks and Jetsons-like bodysuits that made her feel like she’d been beamed in from a sci-fi flick. Richard, in high-waisted boots and a stage-ready red mane, looked like her intergalactic queen and led her in an edgy choreography. Tossing between house, hard rock and funk, Richard and her band lashed out Second row Tracks like “Bussifame” and “Kid Creole”. She also looked to the past, covering ’90s classics like No Doubt’s “Don’t Speak” and Sade’s “Pearls.” But her finest moment was right in the middle of the Cranberries Ripper “Zombie.” Richard knelt in front of her guitarist and leaned back as he broke through a solo inches from her face. Her shapeshifting set echoed the statement she made during Kid Creole: “I don’t need a genre. I am the genre!” – Madison Bloom


Amber Mark at Pitchfork Music Festival 2022. Photo by Julian Bajsel

Amber Mark has arrived

New York singer-songwriter Amber Mark’s Friday set, the last of the evening under the leafy trees of the Blue Stage, felt like a rousing celebration of all she’d accomplished over the past few years — most notably the eclectic R&B that’s on heard on her debut album Three dimensions deep, an exquisite collection that reflects the time it took to produce. My ears perked up at her cover of Sisqó’s “Thong Song” and her Chicago house references, but it was her emotional depth and stunning set close “What It Is” that resonated deeply. I felt it in my bones: here was a star cherishing his moment. – Marc Hogan


The National at Pitchfork Music Festival 2022. Photo by Daniel Cavazos

The National anthem

There comes a time in a band’s career when a song undergoes its final evolution into a standard. The song is easy there, between the air molecules, invisible and eternal. At least that’s what “Fake Empire” felt like last night – not the most rousing barn burner the National played – it was either the classic close “Terrible Love” or the sleeper hit “England” – but it was the one that felt bigger as the band, left to the crowd as if it was theirs. Also, Matt Berninger: I don’t know how much you’ve done of your signature crowd-weaving in the last two years, but if you do start doing it again, good luck to you and your immune system. – Jeremy D. Larson

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