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Local artists reflect on final day of Pitchfork Music Festival

The final day of the 17th annual Pitchfork Music Festival got clear skies and a lively returning crowd after thunderstorms caused sets to be delayed and rescheduled Saturday.

Chicago-based DJ Ariel Zetina kicked off the hot third day of Pitchfork with a set full of polyrhythmic house and techno beats. In preparation for her show, Zetina said she imagined cultivating a nightclub — at 1pm.

Zetina described her sets as having “multiple elements coming crashing into each other.” Before her performance this weekend, Zetina said she was curious as to what her audience would be like. Typically “there’s a lot of queer listeners to my music,” she said, but people of all sexual orientations approach her at shows and enjoy her sound.

Much of Zetina’s audience remained enthusiastic throughout her set, dancing in the afternoon heat. “We live in such a visual culture. People just love to stand and watch, which I totally understand, but I want people to move to this,” Zetina said.

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Chicago resident Andrew Seber said they’ve been to many of Zetina’s sets, but this show in particular was much bigger, with a lot more choreography by an “out of this world” dance ensemble. “I was floored from start to finish,” Seber said.

Chicago-based art pop band, Deeper whose set got shortened at the festival on Saturday, said leaving the stage yesterday felt confusing. “After confusion was relief, confidence, feeling like we did a good job,” said Nic Gohl, the band’s guitarist.

Deeper’s bass player and vocalist Kevin Fairbairn and Gohl have been coming to Pitchfork since high school. Both members have been a part of Chicago’s music scene for over a decade. Fairbairn graduated from Columbia in 2012 with an audio degree.

During their set, the band played a few singles that will be on their album “Careful” coming out September 8. The goal for their show was to have people “dance and sing and push each other around in a good way,” Gohl said. “In a loving way,” added bassist Drew McBride.

The band hopes their unreleased album brings out curiosity in their listeners. “It’s a lot more of an optimistic record than our last one,” said McBride, referring to their record that was released in 2020 titled “Auto-Pilot.” McBride said the goal now is to release something that people can listen to and focus on the things that are fulfilling in their lives.

“Just be thankful for what you have and the people around you in general,” their drummer Shiraz Bhatti said. “I feel like we’re hitting our stride for sure.”

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About the Contributors
Maya Swan-Sullivan
Maya Swan-Sullivan, Former Reporter
mssullivan@columbiachronicle.com   Maya Swan-Sullivan is a senior journalism major, with a minor in creative writing. She covers Columbia classes and Chicago festivals and events. Swan-Sullivan joined the Chronicle in June 2023.   Hometown: Asheville, North Carolina
Addison Annis
Addison Annis, Director of Photography
aannis@columbiachronicle.com   Addison Annis is a junior photojournalism major, minoring in video production. She has covered politics, cultural events and Chicago protests. Annis joined the Chronicle in August 2022.   Hometown: Plymouth, Minn.