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Rain returns, but can't slow down Pitchfork rockers Atlas Moth and Cloud Nothings

Greg Kot

3:41 PM EDT, July 14, 2012

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For the second straight day we’ve got rain at the Pitchfork Music Festival in Union Park, and lots of it. What was shaping up as a hugely entertaining set Saturday by Cleveland quartet Cloud Nothings turned to silence as the downpour soaked the stage and the gear, eventually shutting down the huge public-address speakers.

Bravely (insanely?) the band played on, and the crowd who remained near the stage loved it. Singer Dylan Baldi hunched over his foot pedals and tweaked dials, conjuring feedback waves before the sound system shut down. I’m not an expert in electronics, but that looked extremely dangerous.

The band got some of the weekend’s loudest applause as it finally exited, defeated but undaunted by Mother Nature.

Earlier, Atlas Moth kicked things off with a scorching set of doom metal as the gray clouds moved in – how appropriate. Because even three guitars aren’t enough for this Chicago quintet, they were joined by a small brass section, including Yakuza saxophonist Bruce LeMont.

The immense swirl inspired dozens of devil’s horns salutes from a healthy crowd of onlookers – not something you see all that often at Pitchfork. The set concluded with LeMont and the band creating a triumphant vocal drone over drums and trumpet.

Despite the rain, there was no sign of the festival putting on the brakes. Attendance early in the day was already the equal of the peak evening hours at Friday’s less-than-capacity opening day. Saturday is sold out, and a only a few tickets are reported to remain for Sunday.

greg@gregkot.com