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Black Lips at Pitchfork Music Festival (Chicago, IL)

Published in Blog Archive, Culture Bully. Tags: , .

Despite an extended soundcheck, Atlanta’s Black Lips came to the Pitchfork Music Festival to do one thing: party. “We got here this afternoon, and we’re going to party here tonight.” Within moments of the first song guitarist Ian Saint Pé proved that statement true as a chord into the band’s first song he took it upon himself to smash the hell out of his guitar. “Who wants a pickup” he later said as one of many moments where he threw articles of his equipment into the crowd. “Anyone want a guitar chord?” With a packed crowd that was anxious to party, drunkenly tossing a 50 foot piece of memorabilia into the pack of animals is rarely a good idea.

Hitting the band’s regulars including “Bad Kids” and “Katrina,” the Black Lips focused primarily on material from the band’s latest album 200 Million Thousand. But aside from their stroll through their garage-influenced catalog, the band primarily focused on getting wasted. Bassist Jared Swilley continually took pulls from what appeared to be a bottle of Knob Creek and drummer Joe Bradley came close to blowing out both his drums and his voice. Eventually the set began to wind down and Saint Pé attempted to take the crowd into his hands, “There are two ways you can leave tonight: on your terms, or theirs. If one or two of you try to come up here, you’re going to get thrown out. But if you all do, there’s nothing they can do about it.” And as the band boomed so did the crowd, swelling towards the barriers… though only a half dozen made it safely onto the stage before leaving in an anticlimactic manner. As the reverb blossomed and the band set down its instruments, guitarist Cole Alexander grabbed ahold of a fire extinguisher and sprayed it at will into the air. While the band exited Saint Pé remained on stage, having already given up a good portion of his gear to the crowd, and lit a smoke while simply watching. He tossed his bottle of wine out to some fans and said, “Drink it on me.” Seems like that’s kind of what the audience did all night.