For the 5th time now, Halloween in Paris doesn’t rhyme with « trick or treat » but with « good music » : the Pitchfork Festival has once again settled down in Paris from Chicago to bring in Europe the best of indie music. Review of what we saw and heard during these 5 incredibles days.
For the first time this year and like a before party to the huge event, Pitchfork has created his « Avant garde » concerts : on the 25th and 26th of October, 42 bands has played in 7 different places around the area of Bastille. Nice idea to leave the audience make their own festival? Choosing to take it easy, we finally decided to see just a few of them to enjoy more. We started with the incredible new band Hoops, mixing noise and garage music with pop melodies. Styled and sophisticated pop, the American boys do the job and gives us a bunch of nice and energetic songs. We were waiting for Communions since a long time, and they didn’t disappoint us : reminding us the best of the English pop, from the Beatles to the Smith, Communions gives us, as Hoops the day before, a fantastic selection of pop songs, with an English style eying from time to time to Coldwave. Thom Sonny Green escaped from Alt-J to start a personal project : he was playing at Pitchfork in the huge Café de la Danse. Too huge, sadly, for his quiet and intelligent electro-hip-hop, which gives you the desire to dance (slowly) and meditate at the same time. We finished the « Avant Garde » part with Requin Chagrin, one the most in vogue french band. Surf music and rock’n’roll, the night was hot and dancing in Badaboum.
Thursday 27th October
Suuns’ reputation is not to be done anymore : everybody knows the power on stage of the Canadians boys. This reputation is not stolen : the band is incredibly powerful, federative, pop and hardcore at the same time, and gives us a feat of strength of what a rock band should do on a stage. Then it’s time to Floating Points and his electro with some inserts of jazz-music. The band makes the whole hall dance and be amazed by the mix between music and a big lightened disc in the back. Perfect to go in a more dancing way after Suuns’ deflagration. The legend of electro and abstract hip-hop DJ Shadow was also playing this same night. Encircled by 3 big screens, the DJ was giving us his dancing tunes, mixing very week old and new songs. Even with some little sound troubles at the beginning, DJ Shadow showed us why he’s still one of the best DJ. We chose to miss Mount Kimbie to enjoy a good burger and take some rest for Nick Murphy. What a mistake… Ex-Chet Faker was awaited a lot for his sexy, lascivious song. He just gave us a pop version of himself, like a hipster Justin Bieber (Baby era), jumping everywhere and loosing his phlegm. Very sad, we’ll stay with DJ Shadow’s memories instead.
Friday 28th October
Coming back to the Grande Halle de la Villette for the second day, we start with the french boy Flavien Berger and his dancing/funny/chilling mix of electro 80’s and french songs. Becoming better and better on stage, Flavien Berger took us once again on a psychedelic trip. Perfect way to start a night. As Suuns yesterday, Explosions in the Sky was awaited for a big noise deflagration. And they gave it to us. Drawing musical landscapes with their instruments, the Americans was making their sound growing and growing, until they touch a hardcore coloration, letting us wordless. Too bad, Bat for Lashes was too calm to come after. As we were ready to dance and move, Natasha Khan came with their beautiful songs and voice. But it was not the best time to enjoy it, and went to take some rest and food. You want to dance now ? Perfect, Todd Terje & The Olsens are in the place. Disco, electro, house, funk, caribean music… Every kind of music you want to dance was playing by the Norvegian band tonight. Nobody has ever seen a hot music like that coming from a cold country. And the night is not over : Moderat is now playing and it was worth to wait. The Berliner guys extend the dancing trip started with Todd Terje in a more sober way, but with a techno and melodic way with takes us higher above the clouds. Perfect way to close the night.
Saturday 29th October
We arrive just in time for Minor Victories, the new band made by members of Mogwai, Editors and Slowdive. And like a mix of all of this bands, it’s powerful, precious, ambitious and beautiful. One of the best moment of the festival. We miss Warpaint to fill our bellies and come back just in time for Abra. Alone on stage, the young girl definitely know how to run a show. Even if her r’n’b can’t be the kind of everybody, all the hall seems to amazed by her power and her dance. And after the princess, the queen : M.I.A. Helped by some dancers and some big bars symbolizing a border, the show can appear like a little bit fake, but the singer moves on from hit to hit with a hiphop attitude with a sprinkle of punk and nihilist spirit. That’s what we wanted her to spread. To stay in an electro-world environment, Acid Arab is here to give us an intense and magical performance of their arabic-acid-house. The french trio, famous for their incredible DJ-sets, are also comfort with live music. The perfect way to make us dance, travel and dream at the same time. At the end of this show, it’s time for us to leave and let the hall dance with Motor City Drum Ensemble, Daphni and Tale Of Us. See you next year Pitchfork !