The indieverse did not forget the King Of Pop. He was there in spirit at Chicago's Union Park throughout the three-day weekend: blasted on the stage between sets, as a carnival cutout, and on Ponytail frontlady Molly Siegel's T-shirt.
It had been more than 10 years since Chicago veterans the Jesus Lizard played their hometown. While David Yow didn't give the crowd his age-old southern exposure, he did lead the band through a fan-picked setlist--stopping only to spit, curse, and follow up with a stagedive.
P4K's rating of Jesus Lizard's Bang: 7.3
Y! Music's rating of Jesus Lizard's P4K set: 7.2
Vivian Girls may have started out playing every Brooklyn loft show under the sun, and seemed terribly bored doing it. But loads of touring cred (and a new album in the works) must have given the indie princesses some live chops. They were one-part bored and two-parts giggly Sunday evening, giving a much-needed calm before the behemoth storm of headliners Grizzly Bear and Flaming Lips.
P4K's rating of Vivian Girls' self-titled debut: 8.5
Y! Music's rating of Vivian Girls' P4K set: 7.9
Muumuus aren't the new hipster trend (yet), but this year brought some daring hairdos that couldn't be overlooked--or understood.
We wonder: What does Ponytail's Molly Siegel do to unwind after a set filled with erratic screams, yelps, and phonemes that would make even Deerhoof's heads spin? We could only guess one answer: Eat an entire tub of bubblegum ice cream.
P4K's rating of Ponytail's Ice Cream Spiritual: 8.4
Y! Music's rating of Ponytail's P4K set: 8.3
The daringly familiar indie-rock of Brooklyn's Cymbals Eat Guitars has been captivating a new college generation since Pitchfork deemed them "Best New Music" this year. The as-yet-unsigned band played like a modern Modest Mouse or Built To Spill as frontman Joseph D'Agostino screamed into the sky backed by dynamics so rich and fluctuating, one could only anticipate a bidding war in the coming months.
P4K's rating of Cymbals Eat Guitars' Why There Are Mountains: 8.3
Y! Music's rating of Cymbals Eat Guitars' P4K set: 8.5
Forget their accomplishments in leading the current state of independent music into a hardcore arena: This show would have been just as amazing on "mute." F**ked Up frontman Damian Abraham, in a spontaneous fury, sunk his teeth into more than 20 inflated beachballs, demolishing anything that was being tossed at the stage (I lost count after a while). He then proceeded to take off his shirt, put a sunflower down his pants, and sing with a deflated beach ball over his face before diving into the pit.
P4K's rating of F**ked Up's The Chemistry Of Common Life: 8.8
Y! Music's rating of F**ked Up's P4K set: 8.8
If you hadn't already been swooning over M83's The Breakfast Club-invoking high school love soundtrack, this performance would have broken your heart all over again. The group played a set full of dazzling numbers infused by buildups and breakdowns that anticipated roars from audiences as far as two stages away.
P4K's rating of M83's Saturdays=Youth: 8.5
Y! Music's rating of M83's P4K set: 9.4
Almost every artist who had played the festival congregated to see Grizzly Bear perform Sunday night. Watching the sunlight fade as the stage lights illuminated Ed Droste's face as he cradled the autoharp was a sight to be seen.
P4K's rating of Grizzly Bear's Veckatimest: 9.0
Y! Music's rating of Grizzly Bear's P4K set: 9.7
While some joked about being able to fit all the baby concertgoers into the Flaming Lips' infamous plastic ball, Wayne Coyne topped that by singing piggyback on a costumed gorilla, closing out the festival with orange and yellow streamers and giant balloons bouncing through the masses.
P4K's rating of the Flaming Lips' Christmas On Mars: 7.1
Y! Music's rating of the Flaming Lips' P4K set: 10.0
- Jesus Lizard