Chicago Rock Band Horsegirl Share Their 2022 Tour Diary

“Working hard, or hardly working?”

What does a young band bring on their first tour? For Chicago-based trio Horsegirl, their list of necessities includes favorite band tees, beloved stuffed animals, classic CDs, and a hungry appetite for food combinations strange but delicious.

The young rising rock group, comprised of Nora Cheng, Penelope Lowenstein, and Gigi Reece, aren’t amateurs to the stage but they are new to the specific and special marathon that is tour life. Back in March, the group wrapped up their brief, first-ever run of shows outside of Illinois, playing cities like Philadelphia, Washington D.C., and New York City, for their first time, alongside a four-day stint at Austin’s SXSW festival. All the while, they prepped the release of their debut album, Versions Of Modern Performance, their 12-track record of scuzzy and scruffy exultant rock that may shock in how fully-formed their sound is with regards to their age (the band formed in 2019 while all three members were in high school, and Lowenstein graduated high school the day their album released on June 10).

Below, the band gives NYLON a sneak peek into those days with their playful tour diary, which includes a special cameo from a stuffed cat named Stripey. On the road, they did everything you’d imagine a group of wide-eyed teenagers might get up to on a field trip of sorts: shenanigans in the SXSW hotel room, devouring of odd meals, and playful antics during a music video shoot in Bushwick. As they say themselves in one of the captions: “working hard or hardly working?” Why not both?

Here is a demonstration of Gigi getting pinched at the “World of Pots and Pans” shoot. We were happy to fulfill our childhood dreams of having control of an overhead projector. Horsegirl
Candid band at “World of Pots and Pans” shoot. We spent the whole day at a studio in Bushwick creating the video. Horsegirl
Nora and Penelope are the coolest kids in the world. The cyclorama helps.Horsegirl
Working hard or hardly working?Horsegirl
Nora shows off Gigi's Meatloaf shirt. Out of us three, Nora is the biggest Meatloaf fan. Horsegirl
Nora and Gigi organize lyrics during the “World of Pots and Pans” shoot. We had a bunch of random plastic scraps and trinkets laid out on this table to experiment with.Horsegirl
Yum! We tried to incorporate Jell-O into the lyric video, but it wasn’t see-through enough. Horsegirl
Stripey hits a mean dab at the SXSW hotel. Horsegirl
Nora eats weird meals. This one is a variation on a classic (mozzarella sticks and hot chocolate), switching out the hot chocolate for a cinnamon roll. Horsegirl
Nora tunes while Gigi admires Stripey. Gigi forgot their stuffed animal on this tour, so they enjoyed many moments with Stripey.Horsegirl

Penelope prepares for the DC weather. At this time we were ignorant to the fact that the sound guy at this show did not expect us to make noise (he was sensitive to guitars, surprising for DC (and for a sound guy)).Horsegirl
Nora sleepin’ with the fishes at SXSW. Horsegirl
“Chicago youth scene” - Nora’s momHorsegirl
Showing off a classic CD, Entertainment!, in Gigi’s car. We listened almost exclusively to this record while recording the album. Horsegirl
Nora and Boss (Penelope’s cat). Boss really wanted to come to SXSW with us. But he is just a cat. Horsegirl
Gigi afraid in an unknown corridor. Horsegirl