How Low made everyone furious at Pitchfork Music Festival

Drone-not-Drones-model_erik_hess.jpg
Photo by Erik Hess
Not a photograph of the author of this post. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
Last month, Low played a universally acclaimed set at Rock the Garden. Everyone in attendance -- and we especially mean everyone on Twitter -- eagerly applauded this 27-minute rendition of one song as an artistic triumph. And then, out of nowhere, the Duluth trio pulled a complete 180 this past weekend at the Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago with a performance that was baffling and self-indulgent. In fact, it basically ruined the whole festival for everybody.

Fortunately, we here at Gimme Noise are bigger than to hold a grudge, so we'll throw a bone out to Alan Sparhawk, Mimi Parker, and Steve Garrington before they burn all their bridges. And yes, we're 100 percent serious.*

See Also:
Low cover Rihanna's "Stay" at Pitchfork Music Festival

Slideshow: Pitchfork Music Festival 2013: The music
Slideshow: Pitchfork Music Festival: Smiles and Scenes


Among the atrocities inflicted, these five stood out as particularly egregious.

Playing more than one song. There was that one song that you played that one time that we all kinda really liked. It was called "Drone Not Drones" or something like that. Anyway, that's basically all that we wanted to hear. But what'd we get? A whole bunch of love songs. Lame. We can't think of anything more pretentious than a band who think they have several different songs worth playing. Get over yourselves, dudes.

Not making a political statement. Speaking of those love songs: not cool. If there's anything that Low is known for, it's for being a political band. Sure, none of us actually know what the hell the significance is of Obama knowing how to waltz, but it doesn't really matter. The point is that it was somehow important, and we totally agree with that. Love songs, on the other hand, are basically just self-absorbed. If we wanted to pay a ton of money to hear someone be in love with themselves, we would've gone to Phish.

Thinking they're comedians. So maybe we missed something here, Low, but last time we checked you were a "slowcore" "band." Based on what we know about slowcore -- which isn't a lot, we're proud to say -- we're pretty sure there are a few rules about how to carry yourself. Namely, you should be really serious when you perform, if not even a little sad. At the bare minimum, be completely non-communicative. So what does Alan say? "You look dirty. But that's what I like about you"? Gross.

Trying to be rock stars. It was bad enough that Sparhawk wore tight white pants on Saturday. Like, yeah, okay man. But then he had all that scruff on his face, which not only made him look kind of homeless, it made him all the more ruggedly handsome. (Um, Minnesotans are more modest than that.) The worst part, though? He kept dancing around while he was playing, making faces and getting all into things like he was having fun and rocking out. Here's a thought: If that's how it's gonna be, maybe try having fewer guitar solos next time. There were at least three.

Doing a Rihanna cover. We don't even know where to start on this one. We'll try, though. First off, pop music suuuucks. If we wanted to hear a Rihanna song, we'd go to a concert called Last Chance Summer Star Jam Party Dance or something. Not the Pitchfork Festival. Second off, if we wanted to hear a Rihanna song, it'd be "Umbrella" or "S.O.S" or "S&M" or maybe "Love the Way You Lie." No, it would definitely be "Man Down." But we don't really know her stuff, so whatever. In fact, no one knew it was even her song until some gatekeeper said so on the Twitter. We want our money back. "Greetings from Lake Superior," indeed.

* When we say "100 percent serious," we actually mean no, we're not serious at all. Low's great, duh.
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17 comments
Merete Larson
Merete Larson

Tired of you toting Low's performance at RTG as sheer genius. It was one note laziness, nothing universal in its reception. Plenty of us thought they were tuning for 27 minutes, not droning on.

jerod.green
jerod.green

I'm pretty sure this is a sarcastic article meant to jive on the hipsters at pitchfork. That could just be me though, judging by the swath of CP readers upset in this comment section.

sean234
sean234

Wow, this sucks. What a horrible article and a waste of reading time. 

loserdroid
loserdroid

CP Has been writing CRAP for the last several years.  Thanks for contributing to the crap.  Good luck on your next tabloid-style D-list celebrity smackdown.  Maybe you'll strike it big and get an upskirt or something.

brill029
brill029

Low coverage is becoming quite the fetish at CP these days. Nonetheless, it's refreshing to see a counterpoint to Reed's douchey "Blame the Stupid RTG Audience" editorials. Thanks Jeff.

Eric_Lovold
Eric_Lovold

Hey, I know a Kyle Mattson when I see one!

weltanschauung
weltanschauung

Oh, Low, how wonderful you are. I am sure the set was wonderful. The aftermath is hilarious and solidifies my opinion of the Pitchfork crowd.
Great read.

hafarley
hafarley

hahahahahahha..... 4/4 commentors have no idea what a sense of humor is.  And maggie, I think, is just that dumb??  man. 

Alex Browne
Alex Browne

It's great to see the city pages is hiring homeless people with no writing experience and giving them a chance...wait, this was written by an actual member of their writing staff? FTW.

John Reinert Nash
John Reinert Nash

Well played. You can decide whether I mean Low or the article's author.

Daren L. MN
Daren L. MN

Trolling piece huh?? If not, it sucked Kronkite balls.

Maggie Strugala
Maggie Strugala

This article is pretty ridiculous. Low has the right to make any artistic decisions they see fit.

sleepdepd
sleepdepd

@sean234 doesn't have much to do with Low--really seems to be mocking those upset with the Rock the Garden stunt.

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