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Feist on the Woods Stage Saturday
Feist’s stripped down acoustic performance in the forest chapel that is the Woods Stage—her first solo performance in seven years, she said—was a trademark “only at Pickathon” experience. Which is to say: magical and absolutely riveting. Her pianist and drummer joined her midway through, and she climbed onto the piano to sing “Limit to Your Love,” causing some audience members to weep. Serious. Also, sing-a-longs.
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Feist on the Mt View Stage Sunday
The next night saw the fiery flip-side of Feist. With white boots, dress, and tattered cape (looking like an edgier Stevie Nicks), she jerked and stomped like an unbroken horse, injecting an electric fuel that burned her songs as bright as the LED screens behind her. While she started the set by saying she was at the end of her tour and wouldn’t hit the road again until she’d released a new album, she later contradicted herself to say she’d come back for round two at next year’s Pickathon.

Both shows showed a much more dynamic performer than her most recent, album-faithful performance at the Schnitz.

Image: John Keel
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Andrew Bird on the Woods Stage Friday
Andrew Bird also took the Woods Stage’s sanctuary as reason to simplify to his acoustic best. He was joined by the lovely singer-songwriter Tift Merrit (not pictured).
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Andrew Bird on the Woods Stage Friday
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Divine Fits on the Mt View Stage Saturday
Divine fits, the indie power band made up of Spoon’s Britt Daniel and Wolf Parade’s Dan Boeckner, looked out of place on a farm. But very coolly out of place.
Image: sp71
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Night time aerial shot with the lights on at the Starlight Stage
Image: Leah Nash
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The Relatives on the Mt View Stage Saturday
A gospel funk ensemble from Dallas made up in part of reverends, the Relatives are experiencing more than a comeback. After 30 years of silence, you might call their newfound popularity a resurrection, and their soulful, high-energy commandment to dance also rose the lazy blanket-lying crowd to a new heaven of mid-day dancing.
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Sharon Van Etten on the Mt View Stage Sunday
“We've been on the road a year and a half,” said Etten at the beginning of her set. “This is a great festival, but it’s our last show of the year. It's like summer camp is ending and we’re going back to school. I'm going to cry halfway through. Join me.” With her power guitar bangs, it was hard to tell if she really shed any tears, but she played like it was the end of the world, jamming her guitar deep into the melancholic seat of the soul.
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Kurt Vile and the Violators on the Mt View Stage Sunday
Calling back an earlier era, a prerequisite for entry into the Violators seems to be enough hair to cover your face while slouching your way through incredibly rocking riffs on Vile’s generally lackadaisical music. It was practically impossible to differentiate Vile and his guitarist from the side, leading my friend to wonder if it’s a Saddam body double thing. But it didn’t matter: the music was so electric that even circles of kids were on their knees shredding their air guitars.
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Shabazz Palaces on the Woods Stage on Sunday
The sole hip-hop act on the lineup, this duo combined traditional instruments like the kalimba (African thumb piano) and hand drums with electronic beats and almost ritualistic synchronized dances to fuel an exhausted crowd onto its feet and bouncing on the hale bale seats. (Unlike the night before, when their set was marred by sound issues and their less-than-graceful response.)
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Shakey Graves in the Workshop Barn on Friday
This one-man band worked a guitar and a suitcase-cum-kick drum, and his name spread through the Pickathon crowd like tramp on a train.
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The crowd goes wild.
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