After failed attempts to overcome her insomnia-ridden sleep deprivation from this past weekend’s ninth annual Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago, Rupa Jogani comes bearing her festival highlights. From Hundred Waters to SZA, Friday started off the weekend on a smooth note.

HUNDRED WATERS – The Surprise Opener

Hundred Waters

Photo by Allison Ziemba

I was confused as to why Pitchfork had Hundred Waters go on as the very first band of the festival but I shrugged it off and listened to most of their set from the media tent. The sun beat down a little too hard on the early, sparse crowd but HOT DAMN did they nail their set. Coming off their critically acclaimed sophomore LP, The Moon Rang Like a Bell, their live performance blew me away. I may have internally jumped rambunctiously during their hit single, “Boreal,” though everyone around me skirted away from my stoic, heat induced gaze.

HAXAN CLOAK – Taking Us To Hell And Back But Made The Ride Feel So Good

The Haxan Cloak - Photo by Alison Green

Photo by Allison Green

My music listening forte is in electronic music, or as my closest comrade Joshie Dyer calls it “avant-garde, high-brow electronic shit,” so I was beyond stoked for The Haxan Cloak. Bobby Krlic’s viscerally dark, malevolent project as The Haxan Cloak goes well with my ultra experimental music tastes. Excavation was one of my favorite albums of 2013, much to my mom’s dismay (she happened to be in the room when I was listening to it and asked what the fuck was wrong with me) and his live performance nailed it. While it was still too bright out for me to completely groove with the set, the distortions and heavy bass on the blue stage made for an intimate music experience. Making it even more comforting was the grove the blue stage lives in, providing the only shaded stage on festival grounds. I also wanted to be best friends with their sound engineer who was shamelessly dancing despite wearing a pink button up shirt. Should have written a missed connection for him on that Goose Island board <sighs wistfully>.

SZA – The Girl You’ll Wanna Take Home To Your Parents

SZA at Pitchfork Music Festival - Photo from In Flex We Trust

Photo originally from In Flex We Trust

Now, as much as it’ll pain you to read, I didn’t really dig SZA’s latest album Z. Yo, please don’t throw things at my virtual self! I learned my lesson quickly after she walked on stage and made every single person on the field instantly crush on her. She’s. So. Goddamn. Cute. From her hair, to her outfits,  and her conversing with us mere mortals listening to her velvety smooth croons. As a fellow Midwestener, she excitedly told us she felt like she was home in Chicago (she hails from St. Louis, MO) and then suddenly exclaimed, “it smells like weed!” stealing our hearts forever. She engaged with the crowd during her entire set, asking us what we wanted to hear her sing and just jamming the fuck out on stage with her band. If you have the chance to see her live DO IT.