What Happened at Pitchfork Day One?

Festival gates were delayed opening 10 minutes due to an intense storm that touched down in Union Park in the mid afternoon.

Festival producers are smart to put popular local bands in the first slots of the day. Friday, that meant Outer Minds, a very good garage-psych-pop group. For Saturday, it’s The Atlas Moth and Sunday, A Lull.

The first band to stream on the Pitchfork.tv YouTube webcast was Lower Dens. (It starts today at 1 p.m.)

Bob Gendron of the Tribune says Willis Earl Beal “possesses a veteran gravedigger’s worn timbre and claims songs that echo like desperate streetcorner serenades hurdling down back alleys late at night,” and I tend to believe him.

I was carrying my bike down the front steps of the house when it started pouring again at about 4 p.m., so I took in A$AP Rocky and Big K.R.I.T. from the couch.

Here’s a Twitter photo that offers a view from backstage of Japandroids‘ set, which some are saying was one of the best of the day.

I finally got into the park in time for a little sunset dose of Dirty Projectors.

“I think you’re more than a terrified witness / Behind the arbitrary line,” sang David Longstreth on “Cannibal Resource,” from the band’s excellent 2009 album, Bitte Orca.

In between multipart harmony “hey”s and “heyo”s and drone-y guitar, Dirty Projectors put a nice end to a rainy day with gems like “Stillness Is The Move,” another standout from Orca.

Feist, wearing loose white robes and a wooden necklace, headlined Friday night. Her set mixed pounding rhythms, African-inspired hooks, and Laurel Canyon grooves. The ladies of Mountain Man dubbed monk-like brown cloaks to provide background vocals, while the screens behind the ensemble displayed trippy visuals.

All photos by Laura Brown