Pitchfork Preview: Friday

By Izzi Bavis


The last time I went to Pitchfork I was 18 and unaware of what the next three years had in store. I didn’t realize that the boyfriend I brought would soon be my ex or that I would be back at Union Park to cover the festival for the student radio station — how naive. In 2018 I saw Kweku Collins, Smino, Noname, Chaka Khan, and Ms. Lauren Hill. I remember waiting for an hour and a half to see Ms. Lauren Hill perform, I was convinced she was going to flake. The crowd swelled and finally she took to the stage. In a sea of bodies I saw her perform iconic songs that I still hold near and dear to my heart. The whole day was surreal, and as I took the Pink Line back home I tried to hold on to the memories before they slipped away. 

So much has changed since that Sunday in 2018. 

I’m going back; I’m scrambling to find someone to drive me to Illinois and I’m eager to interview as many people as possible. I’ve grown up a bit, I’m ready to stomp around Union Park again, this time in a different way.

I am pregaming the Friday lineup by listening exclusively to DEHD, a three piece indie rock band from Chicago. Flower of Devotion is their 2020 release and is a beautiful mix of acoustic instruments and synths. The record is delicately put together, each track transitioning seamlessly to the next. I’ve had them on repeat all day and I plan to for the rest of the week. 

Other notable Friday acts include Animal Collective, Big Thief, Yaegi, black midi, and the queen herself, Phoebe Bridgers.

Animal Collective was a classic in my house back home in Evanston and is now in Madison. Nothing beats the miscellaneous sounds that come from Merriweather Post Pavilion, Animal Collective’s record from 2008. The track “My Girls” has played on my radio show around 10 times (don’t tell my boss). 

I’ve been listening to Adrianne Lenker’s solo work for the past two weeks, which has helped me get excited for Big Thief’s set. Big Thief was the soundtrack of summer 2020 when the only thing you could do for fun was either drive to Iowa or walk to the zoo. 

Yaegi is EVERYTHING for my college experience. Listening to her Boiler Room set and dancing in my shitty apartment with my friends is how we made it through the brutal winter.

black midi played at the Terrace a few years back and I missed it so I’m trying to make up for it by moshing a bit harder this weekend. 

Phoebe Bridgers has been the most consistent artist in my life since I came to Madison in 2018. Her voice carried me through break ups, moving apartments, quarantines, meeting new people, adopting a cat. Phoebe’s voice urged me to keep going, even when all I wanted to do was lie down. I wish desperately that my best friends could come with me and see her on Friday, although we might bring too much energy to the set so it’s probably for the best. Phoebe Bridgers is one of the greats and I can’t wait to just share the same zip code for a chunk of time. 

Pitchfork was special to me once before and I can’t wait for it to be special to me again.