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Pitchfork 2022: Noname, The Roots And More Bring Sunshine Under Rainy Skies…

Written by on July 19, 2022

Pitchfork Music Festival returned to Union Park for three days of blissful musical celebration in Chicago… with just a little bit of rainstorms and overpriced plastic ponchos. 

The weekend was full of spectacular performances by artists like Noname, The Roots, Tierra Whack, cupcakKe and many, many more. Sparkling water was flowing — and so was this year’s exclusive artist beer collaboration with Goose Island, Japanese Breakfast’s “Be Sweet” persimmon lager. (If you missed out, don’t worry… last year’s peach lager was better.) Whether you couldn’t attend the festival or just want to relive the experience, team Vocalo has a few highlights to share with you. Below are some of our favorite sets from Pitchfork 2022…


Tierra Whack

Tierra Whack was such a dream to experience! With a hot red braid all the way down her back and a belt made out of toy cars, she brought her colorful style along with the rhymes of her artistry. Trepidatious of the soaked stage, she still managed to move and groove as close to the edge of the stage as humanly possible and all the while inviting the crowd into her performance so beautifully. At one point (during “Cable Guy”) she invited a fan onstage to rap along side her! So gracious of her fans who endured the rain to experience her, she had a magical way of consistently staying connected to us out in the rainy tundra of Union Park. The gift of a Tierra Whack performance is a one-way ticket into her multiverse, and I can’t wait to return!

– Ari Mejia

Amber Mark

Amber Mark truly is a genuine, present and generous performer. Incredibly personable and honest, I never questioned her authenticity as she bantered and shared stories of her life between her sensual R&B song sensibility. She played new songs, old songs and even played a house hit for us Chicagoans, saying, “I know ya’ll love house, right? This is for you!” Her cover of “Thong Song” also struck the chords of my ’90s kid heart. It’s been such a pleasure to watch her music grow and dive deeper into the depths of her curiosity and talent. She also noted it was her first time headlining a stage at a festival, and we felt honored to share that moment with her.

– Ari Mejia


Jeff Parker & The New Breed

Saturday opened up with sunnier skies and a calming energy, brought to listeners by Chicago jazz veteran Jeff Parker and band the New Breed. As festival-goers filed into Union Park that early afternoon, the ensemble played a chilled out set blending genres and instrumentals, featuring Parker’s daughter, Ruby Parker, on vocals for a few tracks. Parker’s set was the palate-cleanser we all needed to get day two underway and enjoy the festival free from the rainclouds.

– Morgan Ciocca


cupcakKe brought a new energy to Pitchfork to get day two underway. Although the Chicago rapper played one of the day’s first sets at 1:45 p.m., she still pulled a huge, passionate crowd (at least twice the size of the day before) who sang along to every word of her notoriously sex-forward songs. She absolutely dominates (pun fully intended) the stage, demanding everyone’s attention without trying; she even got the elderly man next to me moving… I’d highly recommend starting your day off with some cupcakKe.

– Makenzie Creden


Pink Siifu

Though he wasn’t too happy to be scheduled as the first set of the day — which he mentioned a couple of times throughout his performance — Pink Siifu kicked off Sunday with high energy, a full ensemble and some of his jazzier tracks. Clad in an argyle vest, matching shorts, crocodile loafers and a bucket hat, Siifu bounced around the stage from the get-go, jumping his way off-stage and high-fiving audience members within the first few tracks. It felt like a party on stage, with everyone smiling, singing, playing music, smoking, dancing and celebrating each other. Regardless of his frustrations with the lineup order, his set kicked off a full day of engrossing performances — himself included.

– Morgan Ciocca


Hometown star KAINA brought a sense of elegance to day three of music festivities. Adorned in the most elaborate bubble-braid hairstyle, and a gorgeous blue patchwork skirt, KAINA shined like royalty on the festival’s main stage. Her soulful performance was absolutely gorgeous. Lucky for Pitchfork crowds, she played many songs off her newest album It Was a Home — plus fan-favorites from her debut full-length Next to the Sun, including the album’s title track with her friend, fellow Chicago artist and frequent collaborator Sen Morimoto, who played keys and contributed backing vocals throughout the set. She closed with “Green,” the last track off Next to the Sun. It was perfect.

– Makenzie Creden


Chicago rapper Noname’s set was one I and the rest of Team Vocalo was most eager to catch. (As a former Vocalo intern, she’ll always be a part of the Vocalo family.) We were so happy to see her name on the lineup and her performance did not disappoint. Noname stepped on stage, opening with “Self” from her debut full-length Room 25, to a packed crowd cheering her on — four years after her last performance at the Pitchfork. Even amid an audience of hundreds, Noname’s set felt intimate as she asked the crowd to refrain from cheering during her verses and brought her mom onstage for a shoutout. She joked about the hook for her 2019 single “Song 32,” teaching it to the audience while laughing and saying, “It’s really bad…,” although, I don’t think anyone in the audience agreed as we sang along with our part. Her set was the highlight of the day, and possibly the weekend as a whole.

– Morgan Ciocca

Earl Sweatshirt

After arriving onstage 15 minutes late, Earl Sweatshirt kicked off his Sunday evening set with his most-streamed song “Riot!,” off his acclaimed 2018 album Some Rap Songs. Sweatshirt’s signature laid-back attitude carried throughout his performance; for someone who’s been playing sold-out shows since his teenage years, sometimes I wonder if any crowd fazes him anymore. He was struck, though, not by the crowd itself but by the giant mud puddle which had appeared in front of the Green Stage overnight — he thought a mosh pit had just opened up after his first song. Even with the lateness, Earl’s set did not disappoint and left fans and listeners happy.

– Morgan Ciocca

Toro y Moi

If there’s one thing to be learned from seeing Toro y Moi… it’s to let loose and dance. Chaz Bear and his band brought tons of strangers together through the power of groove. The band opened with “Déjà Vu” off new album MAHAL and even played their popular cover of Flume’s “Distance.” There were numerous spontaneous synchronized dance parties throughout the crowd — probably one of the most fulfilling scenes of the entire festival. His set truly brought some sunshine to an otherwise rain-soaked crowd.

– Makenzie Creden

The Roots

Two words: THE. ROOTS. Talk about a perfect finale to a music-filled weekend. The Roots’s performance was absolutely show-stopping. Their stage presence brought a sense of collective joy over Union Park. Their set was filled with classics from their discography like “The Seed (2.0)” and a version of “You Got Me” that transitioned into “Running Up That Hill” by Kate Bush. The way they play their instruments exudes passion and skill. The energy throughout the set was nonstop, electric and fun. Hannibal Buress even joined them onstage for a quick feature. The Roots were truly a highlight of the festival.

– Makenzie Creden

Introduction written by George Chiligiris and Morgan Ciocca

Written by Ari Mejia, Makenzie Creden and Morgan Ciocca

Photography by Morgan Ciocca

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