07/14/2012 01:53 pm ET | Updated Jul 14, 2012

Pitchfork Music Festival 2012: Day One In Review (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

It would be difficult to consider day one at the 2012 Pitchfork Music Festival anything other than a bit of a coup for the Chicago music scene -- with a red ribbon going to Canada, our neighbors to the north.

After the day got off to a delayed rainy, stormy start, local talents Willis Earl Beal and Outer Minds impressed with performances so enchanting they were topped by few of the more established acts that followed.

Still, other acts hitting the stage at Union Park -- including hip-hop artist Big K.R.I.T. and indie icon Feist -- lived up to their own high expectations on a somewhat subdued kickoff to one of Chicago's premier summer music festivals.

Scroll down for our highlights and lowlights, winners and losers -- yes, there are losers -- from day one of Pitchfork. Did we "not get" your favorite act from the fest? Let us know in the comments.

3:33 p.m. Due to the weather and, you know, people wanting to be here, lines are long to enter the festival. -B.W.

3:35 p.m. Just saw the official Pitchfork Fest Twitter. Looks like the lines are due to weather. Better to make people wait than to electrocute them. -B.W.

3:45 p.m. The weather, ominous and steamy, give the fest a "Walking Dead" feel. The time to buy beer is now. -B.W.

3:51 p.m. Chicago's own Outer Minds open the fest. Excellent surf music from the Midwest by people that do not surf. A good way to open the three days. Also, any band that utilizes a 12-string Danelectro, dual female vocalists and an organ is bound to sound good outdoors. -B.W.

4:14 p.m. Lower Dens are doing a Beach House thing and doing it well. I just wish I didn't leave Outer Minds. -B.W.

4:19 p.m. Now even an hour into the fest and the first sighting of a shirtless teenager being escorted out by security. -B.W.

4:25 p.m. I've arrived on the grounds of the festival. Crowds are sparse, were they spooked by the rain and scattered storms? Thanks to the rain delay, caught the last few songs of Lower Dens, they've really amped up their sound since that one song caught the eye of Exxon, eh? -J.E.

4:37 p.m. The Olivia Tremor Control exists to fill mid-afternoon outdoor festival slots. Comfortable and somewhat psychedelic. -B.W.

4:40 p.m. Willis Earl Beal is just getting started with a little a cappella warmup. The set that ensues is captivating, bone-chilling even in its intensity. He channels the drama of a Grace Jones, the swagger (minus the rasp) of a Tom Waits and the verge-of-apocalypse mood of a Zola Jesus. And then he segues into an unexpected ballad. Is "doom soul" a thing? This is phenomenal. -J.E.

5:00 p.m. Beal is super cool. He's dressed like a dad/Bo Jackson circa 1990. Black Ray Bans, fingerless gloves, tight shirt, actual blue jeans. Songs about heartbreak, pain and having a bladder full of piss. Way too many pulls from a pint of whiskey. A home made flag/cape. Reel-to-reel and for one song, a guitar. Beal just made some new fans. -B.W.

5:02 p.m. Beal, a Chicago native!, recalls biking down Ashland from the South Side and Lake Shore Drive, a fact the crowd loves. -J.E.

6:00 p.m. The winds first picked up, then came the sprinkles and then came the downpour. It's interesting to compare the impact of the sound coming from a crew of at least 12 on stage (I lost count while watching A$AP Rocky's set) with that of other one-piece or two-pieces that played in surrounding sets. -J.E.

6:15 p.m. The rain returns. It's not fun. It's hard to have fun in this rain. -B.W.

6:16 p.m. A$AP Rocky is having fun in this rain. So are his fans. -B.W.

6:20 p.m. Snuck over to Tim Hecker's set to see what, if any, impact the downpour is having on those taking in the Canadian master of the minimal. After a few songs, I definitely need a beer and curry fries from The Abbey's tent to handle this. Or maybe I just don't "get it?" A snooze. -J.E.

6:50 p.m. Japandroids are starting a little late but sound good. Much too popular for the small stage, a good problem for the band and the fest. -B.W.

7:05 p.m. The sun is smiling down on Big K.R.I.T. -B.W.

7:07 p.m. Big K.R.I.T. seriously brought it in an incredibly impressive set. Lots of bumping and grinding is happening as the sun finally peaks out on what's been an otherwise gloomy first day of the fest. Japandroids have a lot of energy but the sound quality is incredibly muddled -- Brian King's vocals are somewhat indiscernible in places -- intentional or another victim of the Blue Stage's notorious sound issues? (Note: Every other set today has not had such issues, so..) -J.E.

7:10 p.m. And the tradition of teenagers without shirts getting kicked out by security continues. -B.W.

7:32 p.m. Dirty Projectors commence bringing the wacky in a way that's oddly transfixing. An incredibly excited fan asks how many songs into the set they are, I reply, "Somewhere between two and four." Languid stuff. Lots of secondhand weed smoke. -J.E.

8:05 p.m. Some very rad free swag for festivalgoers this year, including complimentary greeting cards from Just Wink. Also of note are the art installations from Johalla Projects (see photo below), including a balloon installation amongst the trees in the V.I.P. area. Not even going to tempt myself with the record fair or new book offerings just yet. It still feels much, much less crowded than Friday at the festival last year. -J.E.

8:30 p.m. Leslie Feist is just getting started and sounds as lovely as ever. However, I can't help but check out Purity Ring's first-ever appearance in Chicago. Their set felt cautious and somewhat guarded, but they're a young outfit and I expect we'll see them unbutton a bit more in the future. "Fineshrine" sounds beautiful. All around, solid set accentuated by some pretty awesome lights. -J.E.

9:20 p.m. Closing out day one with a few songs from Feist's set. She's really tearing it up up there and her backup singers are wonderful. "Sea Lion Woman," her cover of the folk song popularized by Nina Simone, really takes off when paired with her ever-trippy projections in the background. A somewhat strange choice to close the festival's kickoff day due to its downtempo, introspective turns, but solid and well-received from what I saw. -J.E.

Check back at HuffPost Chicago for daily coverage -- including photos, recaps and interviews -- from the festival, plus on-the-ground updates from HuffPost staffers on Twitter, including @robojojo, @lizzieschiffman and @YMTE. You can also follow the action by streaming the festival live here.

Have photos or tips from the festival you'd like to share? Get in touch at

Pitchfork Music Festival 2012 - Day One