Photos and words by Anna Selle.
Sunday, the third and final day of Pitchfork 2017, feels calmer than the preceding 48 hours. A mid-summer melancholy simmers in the heat of the day as I wait between the barrier and front of the red stage in anticipation of Isaiah Rashad’s 3:20 set. Behind me, a few crowd members exchange glowing reviews of saxophonist Colin Stetson, who played this same stage an hour prior.
Rashad delivers introspective verses while conquering every corner of the red stage, but I have to run after the first few songs across the park to catch Joey Purp. It’s well worth the battle through the crowds to catch the Chicago native’s set. From the photo pit, I spot other Chicago rappers Taylor Bennet and Vic Mensa, who join Joey Purp for a song mid-set as the crowd roars with delight.
There’s a sharp shift in dynamic as Joey Purp’s set comes to a close and makes way for the alt-folk quintet Pinegrove. Evan Stephens Hall, vocalist and lead guitarist, take a seat in front of the bass-drum just before the set and waves with a single finger at the crowd, a dreamy smile spread across his face. He stands, affixes a leafed-twig to his mic stand, and begins to lead the crowd who emphatically sing the lyrics of his songs back to him.
After Pinegrove closes their set, I stake out a spot in the photo-pit line for Jamila Woods, who fills a voice left in the Green Stage schedule left by the cancellation of The Avalanches after a family emergency called the group away from Union Park for the day. Woods is illuminated with a warm glow as the sun begins to set opposite the stage. Likewise, the park is filled with energy as she plays through her set.
To close out three days of traversing the terrain of Union Park, I spend some time catching up with other photographers, exchanging highlights and favorite sets, before finding a comfortable place to enjoy the festival’s final set. Solange performs under a bath of red light, joined by several accompanying vocalists and band members. Together, they end the night with a joy that covers the crowd and takes us into the chilly Chicago evening with a glow in our cheeks.