Whitney at Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago, IL

Last week, Whitney took to the Green Stage at Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago.

After a year of not performing as a whole band, Whitney’s inaugural performance back together set the tone for what the future has in store for the seven-person band.

The energy that came from not only the group but the audience as well, was captivating. People were genuinely there for the music, and the music was genuinely there for them.

The set began with “The Falls” off their 2016 debut album, Light Upon The Lake. Following that, was a mixture of old and new tracks. Whitney delivered five songs off their highly-anticipated sophomore album, Forever Turned Around, out Aug. 30.

The crowd received Whitney with open arms, and it seemed like the entire festival was all in one place for their set. This being my seventh time seeing the band, I was lucky enough to see them from the side of the stage, standing just a couple feet from lead guitarist, Max Kakacek. Seeing them from this new perspective made me appreciate the band even more. There I was, standing next to artists like Soccer Momm, and Khruangbin who were all here, like me, to see this great band perform.

Halfway through the set, Whitney started playing “Golden Days,” and even had other Pitchfork acts like Japanese band CHAI and Chicago based Lala Lala come out to sing along. It felt like a homecoming, we were all friends at the Whitney show and you could definitely feel it. The weather was hot but what warmed our hearts was Whitney giving it their all.

They played “No Woman,”a song that most everyone sang along to, then followed up with new song, “Valleys (My Love)” to conclude the set. Whitney’s performance was a clear indication of where their music is headed—and it’s in the right direction. Among the seven members, Julien leads in vocals (and drumming), his falsetto voice emphasizing a sense of fragility. Working in tandem are Will Miller’s trumpet skills, along with a bassist and three guitarists working cohesively with one another. Malcolm Brown on keys ties this big band together into something special. This band signifies authenticity and sincerity, in their music, in their performance and in their hearts. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for Whitney.