The lineup was hit or miss this year, and although the "hits" did include some of my favourite artists (Jarvis Cocker, Animal Collective, Spiritualized), these bands have been touring almost constantly for the last year, so it's not like one would have to trek to the Pitchfork Festival to have any chance of seeing them. Friday night's lineup was intriguing because the average Pitchfork reader probably hasn't gone out of their way to see, or hasn't had the opportunity to see Mission of Burma or Public Enemy, let alone both of them on the same night. On the other hand, the average reader has probably seen Animal Collective a handful of times already, and can now simply brag to his or her friends that they saw them at the Pitchfork Festival too.
Time zone differences meant that I didn't follow along on the live stream very often. The camera work was OK, the video quality was perfectly fine (I wouldn't expect much more from a video stream), and the sound quality was actually shockingly good, so overall, the live streaming idea was winning one for Pitchfork, even if I was nearly blinded for life by catching a few minutes of Les Savy Fav yesterday. How could anyone glean enjoyment from watching a half naked pudgy guy prance around the stage, backed by the most stultifying hippie hardcore indie rock imaginable? After that, I caught a couple hours of sleep and woke up for Spiritualized, who did their best to wig out (eight songs in one hour) despite the short time allotted for their set. Every time they break into "Shine a Light", I feel like I have no need to hear them play it live ever again, and yet, by the end, the dramatic guitar solos and gospel tinges draw me in. Every time.