This weekend the indie kingmakers once again held court to thousands at Chicago’s Union Park. As usual, there were plenty of effervescent highs (Robyn, LCD Soundsystem, Lightning Bolt), welcome comebacks (Jon Spencer Blues Explosion) and a handful of head-scratching moments (Washed Out, Panda Bear). The peaks outnumbered the valleys this year, thankfully; but nearly everything provoked a reaction. After the jump: photos and ‘Fork-like grades from the front lines.
Robyn opened her set with the one-two punch of “Fembot” and “Cry When You Get Older,” and the crowd was instantly putty in the Swede’s capable hands. In long, white button-downs that resembled fashionably collared lab coats, her band looked like a brain-trust of pop scientists — and supported her like the same. From her on-beat air-punching and grinny enthusiasm to the keep-dancing-on-my-own aplomb with which she handled a mic malfunction on “With Every Heartbeat,” Robyn somehow managed to further raise her deservedly skyrocketed indie stock. Also: she would later sport a green beret. Her delirious command performance was the pearl of Friday’s otherwise mixed undercard.