Saturday at Pitchfork will be tough to beat, and it seemed to me like the day of the vocals. For us, it started with Fleet Foxes, whose super-cute lead singer Robin Pecknold belted out folksy, choral-y tunes from a chair, all hunched over his guitar. His voice is pretty amazing. His "Winter Hymnal" really got the crowd's attention--a collective gasp preceded the applause. And by the time the band cleared out so that he could do "Oliver James" solo, even the chatty pot-smokers in front of us were utterly quiet.
Vampire Weekend was the perfect boppy happy-hour band, and they gave probably the crispest performance. Their lead, Ezra Koenig, also has some nice range, and they gave a fun great show, despite the mud-wrestling fest beside us that was getting as many cheers as they were.
The Hold Steady's Craig Finn lent some throat to it all, though as JM pointed out (and then I texted to E!), during that show all the dudes were nodding their heads to the beat, while all the women were texting or looking bored. C called them the "man band."
And as expected, Animal Collective was incredible. I always thought Panda Bear was doing all that yelping, but I learned last night that it was mostly the lead singer, Avey Tare. I know I've been going on about the awesome voices, but I don't mean to take away from the band effort. They are, after all, a collective. So here's a clip of an interlude from another show. It's a bit they also did last night.
Oh, and we decided that Vampire Weekend looks like our students, Animal Collective looks like our grad students, and Craig Finn looks like us.