Following the highs of Beck's diverse headlining set and Giorgio Moroder's disco flashback at Pitchfork Music Festival on Friday night (July 18), festival goers settled in for a full day of alternative music's best and brightest, with long-dormant indie royalty Neutral Milk Hotel making a triumphant return as the Saturday headliner. Before Jeff Mangum ended the night, however, Pusha T brought the "nosestalgia" after showing up way late, FKA Twigs dazzled with her hushed R&B, Cloud Nothings offered the fest's biggest mosh pit (so far), and St. Vincent melted faces with her guitar shredding. Even if you weren't hip to every band on the lineup, there was plenty of great music worth stumbling into.
Check out a collection of 15 highlights from Saturday at Pitchfork Music Festival
2:57 PM -- Wild Beasts frontman Hayden Thorpe praises the "perfect weather and the beautiful people" in the crowd as two things he doesn't see a whole lot of in the U.K., the indie rock quartet's homeland. The band’s shimmery, jangly guitar pop provides the perfect soundtrack to the blissful afternoon.
3:27 PM -- Sporting a messy mop of locks, a mane of facial hair and a sweater (in 80 degree heat!) Cloud Nothings' grizzly-looking frontman Dylan Baldi turns the festival on its head and unleashes a fury of three-chord guitar riffs and angsty screamo vocals on the afternoon crowd. Fans respond to the trio's onslaught by starting the fest's first legitimate mosh-pit. The crowd surfing and fist pumping continues all the way through the band's set, which ends with the 10-minute noise freak out of "Wasted Days."
— Gapers Block (@gapersblock) July 19, 2014
4:05 PM -- Pusha T poses for a picture backstage for Pitchfork's Instagram, 10 minutes before his Green stage set is scheduled to kick off. There's just one problem: his DJ/hype man is nowhere to be found.
4:13 PM -- The most Pitchfork-ian t-shirt of the day is spotted, when an older gentleman walks by with a shirt that reads "The Wrens: Making Fans Wait Since 1989." That's right, an inside joke about an indie rock group's long periods of downtime between albums! Never change, Pitchfork Fest goers.
4:30 PM -- Danny Brown poses for photos backstage, ambitiously clad in all leather despite the toasty summer sun. Nearby, Zachary Cole Smith and girlfriend Sky Ferreira arrive on-site to hang for the day. Smith's DIIV is set to play an after-show later that night, as well as the 1:45 slot on the Red stage on Sunday. Back on the Green stage, still no sign of Pusha T's DJ.
4:45 PM -- Three guys pull up in a golf cart to the artists' field house backstage, each armed with backpacks, and immediately start making a run for the Red stage. Looks like Pusha's DJ has finally arrived. He quickly sets up shop, and in no time Pusha has the crowd twerked into a frenzy by jumping straight into his hit Kanye features "Runaway," "Mercy" and "So Appalled," all in rapid succession.
— PressPlay (@pluginpressplay) July 20, 2014
5:20 PM -- The wild eclecticism of Saturday’s ADD-addled lineup continues, as the bass-heavy hip-hop of Pusha T is followed by the lo-fi-electro-world-beat indie-funk of tUnE-yArDs, who also draws a huge crowd on the adjacent red stage.
6:12 PM -- "For the longest time this was the only song people knew when they came to my shows," Kelela, halfway through her packed set on the Blue stage, said before ripping into "Bank Head." Produced by New York DJ Kingdom and originally released in spring 2013, "Bank Head" was "written out of my range," Kelela admitted, "I eventually learned how to sing it, though." And just like that, she effortlessly nailed each and every falsetto note of the dreamy, garage-trap song.
6:58 PM -- While Danny Brown is tearing into "Monopoly," an obese man in the back of the crowd barrels into two seated women at top speed, and after crashing to the ground, he takes off his shirt and proceeds to hump the grass beneath him. Park authorities eventually escorted the obviously inebriated man away in handcuffs, minutes after Danny Brown's chant of "You haters leave me alone!"
— Robert Loerzel (@robertloerzel) July 20, 2014
7:25 PM -- The Saturday night headliner might have technically been Neutral Milk Hotel, but you'd never guess it wasn't St. Vincent judging by the massive, dense crowd that gathered to see Annie Clark maintain her status as the most badass breakout indie-rock star of 2014. With her lavender hair tied back in "Heidi"-style French braids, and rocking a black, short-sleeved cocktail dress festooned with a giant gold flower, Clark blended her love of designers like Diane von Furstenburg and Vivienne Westwood seamlessly with her adoration of her personal style icon Albert Einstein, and paired it with robotic choreography straight from her 2013 tour with "Love This Giant" collaborator David Byrne. All that studied road work paid off: Who else could become a temporary Nirvana frontwoman, play the "SNL" season finale and enthrall a sea of some 5,000 people in the middle of Chicago in just under three months?
7:41 PM -- "This song is for all the fucking freaks and others out there." "Prince Johnny," an evocative highlight from St. Vincent's recent self-titled LP, gets its due as an anthem for the self-destructive outcasts in the crowd, of which there appear to be many. The decibel levels coming back to Clark are already rivaling those of Beck's less than 24 hours from his Friday-closing set.
7:46 PM -- The sun set on dueling braids on Saturday at Pitchfork Fest: while St. Vincent had her gray hair braided into a crown, FKA Twigs stepped onstage rocking long black braids, which she whipped around while contorting her body throughout her sexy set of future funk and R&B.
8:29 PM -- The video monitor at the green stage is turned off and lowered for headliners Neutral Milk Hotel, and a booming voice asks that the audience please respect the band's wishes to not take photographs during the show. Many in the crowd have waited a decade for this performance, but they'll have to wait a little longer to Instagram it.
9:18 PM -- Before diving into "Ghost," Neutral Milk Hotel's Jeff Mangum points out an audience member in the front row whom he recognized from the group's recent show in Madison, Wisc. A band mate to his side quips, "He actually remembers everyone at every show!"
9:34 PM -- Neutral Milk Hotel ends its set with a haunting "Oh Comely," and in the back of the crowd, a couple is slow-dancing to the song like they're at a middle school dance.