Pitchfork Music Festival cage match: Vic Mensa vs. Sleater-Kinney | Pitchfork | Chicago Reader

Music » Pitchfork

Pitchfork Music Festival cage match: Vic Mensa vs. Sleater-Kinney

What to do when the festival drops two of your favorite acts into the same time slot?



Like most festivals with more than one stage, Pitchfork sometimes books two great acts to play overlapping sets, forcing fans to make a painful choice. Reader writers found quite a few of those conflicts on the fest's schedule, and thought long and hard about who they'd go to see. These write-ups compare those decisions with the "winners" as determined by Pitchfork itself, via rounded averages of the ratings the site has given to each artist's releases.


Vic Mensa

Saturday, 8:45 PM, Blue Stage



Saturday, 8:30 PM, Green Stage

The last two sets on Saturday feel like victory laps. Post-riot-grrrl icons Sleater-­Kinney take to the Green Stage behind this year's No Cities to Love (Sub Pop), a fierce, fun album that's totally worth the ten-year wait since The Woods. After going on hiatus in 2006, the three members juggled other projects and responsibilities before beginning to rehearse and write in 2012; Sleater-Kinney took their time with this comeback, and their songs sound familiar but renewed and vital. Meanwhile, Chicago MC Vic Mensa adds another feather to his cap by headlining the Blue Stage. The 22-year-old has been rapping since before he could drive legally, and his forthcoming studio debut, Traffic, will come out on Jay Z's Roc Nation label. Kanye West appears on Mensa's recent single "U Mad," and Mensa contributed to two tracks Kanye has released from his forthcoming Swish—Mensa might end up on West's album as much as Paul McCartney. As far as who to see? Sleater-­Kinney may not return to Chicago anytime soon, given their busy lives outside the band. Fortunately Mensa plays here a little more often, so it won't be too difficult to skip him tonight.

Pitchfork's call: Sleater-Kinney, 8.7 > Vic Mensa, "Down on My Luck" named 25th-best track of 2014

ILoveMakonnen vs. Jessica Pratt Tobias Jesso Jr. vs. Panda Bear Iceage vs. Chvrches Vince Staples vs. Ex Hex Parquet Courts vs. ASAPFerg Waxahatchee vs. The Julie Ruin Perfume Genius vs. Courtney Barnett

Pitchfork Music Festival 2015

Read the rest of our Pitchfork Music Festival coverage

Get our free weekly Early Warnings newsletter 💌

It’s Chicago’s essential months-ahead music calendar straight to your inbox.

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Reader Revolutionary $35/month →  
  Rabble Rouser $25/month →  
  Reader Radical $15/month →  
  Reader Rebel  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  →