With summer coming to end there was a closing to the blossoming Chicago music scene for the season. In Union Park in Chicago, the baseball diamonds and open field turned into a prism of sound. Those taking in one last musical gathering of the season, it was quite a blowout to the summer in Chicago. The weather was the perfect combination of humid, sticky, rainy; Chicago weather. North Coast Music Festival drew in those wanting to bust out of summer with a raging time whether the weather. Headliners such as David Guetta, Bassnectar, Sound Tribe Sector Nine, Wiz Khalifa, Thievery Corporation, Fatboy Slim and many more threw down over the holiday weekend. With the festival right to the west of the city loop, it was the perfect location to enjoy the outdoor music and gathering of bands from the mid-west and beyond. Breaching the gaps of current music today this festival brought in a diverse lineup. Music from midday dance beats to late night instrumental experimentations the crowds were bumping.
Friday September 2nd
Starting the music mid- afternoon Friday was a blessing on this sticky, icky day in Chicago. Though still humid and blazing, the music began to move those present. Orchard lounge kicked off the Red Bull stage representing the tempo of the city. Coming from Chicago the trio seduced with smooth beats, the little doses of sound bring you forward in time. The Hood Internet took to the stage next, keeping the afternoon flowing. This band also represented the backdrop of the festival being from Chicago they took to the stage proud to groove the people of their city. These guys brought down remixes that certainly moved those sweating away the afternoon.
With the first day jump starting the weekend on a positive spin, as Fifth World came out for their stellar set the crowd had already warmed up. You needed a warm up for this band. The fusion of smooth jazzy, electronic flare was something that kept you loose and moving. A collision of vocal mixes transfused into pockets of electro funk. The band very close with the growing Chicago music scene is spreading its thoughts and views through their music, vibrating their beats with a purpose.
The music was moving into so many positive directions as the stages filled and flowed with bands appearing one right after another; Auto Body made an evening set on the Groupon stage while SBTRKT took to the North Coast stage. The bands brought together for this musical gathering was welcome by a crowd of dancing fans. Most attendees were looking to dance and move to rhythms, beats and sharp tones giving many one more chance to rage before the final half of the year.
Heat still sweltering fans as the sun set below the horizon, Lotus and their music kept the crowd moving and the music firing up. With roots in the mid- west, now based elsewhere the heart and soul was certainly brought like they were performing at home. The music produced by the instrumental talents of this band's members is a hit to many attendees at the festival. With crowds reflecting past the trees that overhung the stage, you could see and feel the buildup created. A crescendo of instrumental collaborations brings a gripping movement to the set. With a self-titled album released 2011, Lotus had expanded on its following while continuing to move and grip them to their music. As the set continued the lights reflected over the combo of the city skyline and the parks tree line, Lotus brought a stunning beat to the environment and elements that encompassed their audience. The first day of music withering there was still more music to be swirling to as Wolfgang Gartner closed out the same slot time on the North Coast stage.
Supporting the local music scene was a huge part of this festival, gathering the veins that create the city of Chicago's diverse and flourishing musical scene. One of the best promotions to the music of this town was to have a whole stage dedicated to just that all weekend long. Closing out this stage Friday night was Bandit followed by Midnight Conspiracy. These bands gave a beat to those who came out to move to their music. While the local stage was illuminating with budding talent, on the North Coast stage closed out the evening with a well-known DJ in the scene.
David Guetta has been moving clubs and festivals for decades. Moving through and establishing vibrant beats that are timeless. This was a set that really waved the populous of those in attendance. Glancing over the crowd with the baseball lights melting with the stage lighting there was not one person in the crowd that could stand still. It was consistent flow of hands and nodding heads along with the electro- hip- hop that was bumping outwards. Closing out the first night is kept the attendees hooked for the continuation of music the following afternoon.
Saturday September 3rd
Diversity was not only brought with the music at this festival but with the weather, as the hot, humidity was mixed with a chance of a shower. It made for interesting festival feel as the music kicked off in early afternoon, hitting the Red Bull stage was Gemini Club shortly followed by Rubblebucket on the Groupon stage and The Right Now raged the early afternoon North Coast stage. It was a jump start to a day filled with music bursting the elements of musical talents populating the lineup.
A hard beat line was drawn out as Felix Cartel took to the stage. The flashing instance of electronic beats are given to those who were waiting for the music to move them. Building up to a continuation of sharp electronic chords this music being produced by the Vancouver based artist was an example of the diversity within the electronic genre that this festival brought together.
New Mastersounds was a band for the to dance to list of this festival. This band mixed in their punk, rock beat elements to a crowd on an electronic itch. These guys took to the stage a raged their set as the crowd grew and therefor the energy was growing with it.
Showing off the diversity of the genre of music committed to dance beats, RJD2 flared to the stage to bring their beats. This set added something more with Break Science member, Adam Deitch joining with drums. Bringing together tight beats during the set mixing with electro, hip-hop, rock; drifting in sync with the smooth percussion sounds being banged out. DJ skills producing sensational beats to a crowd ready to move to the music. The sounds erupted as the afternoon seemed to beat on faster than the beats produced on stage.
Conflicting spots at a festival is usually inevitable. Come mid-afternoon there were many torn between Big Gigantic on the Red Bull Stage or Lettuce getting its groove on the North Coast stage. Lettuce brought soul and funk to the mix while Big G brought on a dance party. As Dominic Lalli and Jeremy Salken impressed with their unique instrumental mixture of saxophone and drums adding to the beats and remixes thrown into the loop. The passion and flare these musicians have is vibrant and felt with every beat. The dramatic turn-overs, build up and straight pound are sent flowing through your mind and body. A different type of appreciation can be felt from these men on stage, including the attendees in their rhythm. The band members seem to bring everyone present right on stage with them. Truly inspirational and gripping from the moment the music begins till the beats ceased to build.
Future Rock coming up next also has a way of gripping people and wrapping them into a set infused with beats making you move. Mixing up beats with synthesizer, keys and drums, the live performance of this band is gripping as the flashing melodies are put together by the musicians on the stage. The energy is contagious as the faces of the members change with determination for getting everyone in the crowd to get down. Ringing in the evening with consistent body pulses along with the beats, the attendees were just getting ready for more music as this band pumped them up with fused together instrumentals.
Bringing down a bit darker of a beat was the DJ, Rusko. Bringing the crowd into a dub step faze of electronic music. The mixes put together had hard emphasis on dramatic bass tones. Those on looking the production though were captivated by the drastic passion thought up by Christopher Mercer. All the way from England, Rusko brought underground beats to the top of many attendees dance numbers.
Another mix up to the lineup was Common, this rapper brought smooth poetic charm to an electro infused festival. The mesh was fantastic as his fluid lyrics rolled out backed by beats that synchronized and brought passion into the music.
Sunday September 4th
Rain drops kicking off another day of the fest, the music played on to anxious fans ready to groove a go to the music performed on the final day. The gloomy start to the day was soon picked up when Soul Rebels Brass Band strutted their brass out on the stage. When the thought of diversity with musical genres being apparent at this festival, this band certainly mixed it up with some real soul music. Bringing an array of deep percussion brass with low toned vocals and a dash of southern soul and this band was delivered. They were a gripping performance that seemed to give the impression of them dancing right there in the crowd; the stage was filled with talented musicians. An amazing performance to hear, feel and witness. With success so soon in the day it was hard to not get antsy for the next band up.
Nothing seemed to brighten the day more than the set Van Ghost had for attendees. The smooth subtle vocals and coordinated rhythms that were behind them. There is a special sound this bands puts out. Van Ghost beautiful vocals that inhale into your heart and lift you up. Guitar playing bewitches attendees to sway. It was a pleasant set to enjoy and relax to or move and sway with as the set came to a close. The afternoon was sent on s spiral of movement after this band drifted off-stage
The Coop represented the local Chicago -up and coming music. Gripping collaborations of instrumental talents came from the members. Flow progressed by musicians attentiveness to one another and the melodies brought out. Jazz, funk, progressive music that swallows your feet into movement. This band is always one that is a good time to move too. Their energy and passion is put into every beat. As the early evening turned into
Benni Benassi Italian DJ and music producer hit the stage with a crowd getting down to the beats produced on the stage. World acclaimed beats was an experience to witness. Awards and nominations lead to quite a buildup for this artists. Well known remixes and unique adaption s to songs were thrown down during the set. Getting the crowd ready to an array of global beats that were displayed in the lineup.
Closing out the show was the bumping bass mixes Bassnectar. There is a powerful force behind the mixes that this artist puts together. The bass emphasis is heart pounding and gets the crowd psyched. The solo artist on the stage putting everything together is only half the show when you look at the attendees that is the fan base to this music.
The weekend ended as Union Park was shut down and put back into a city park. Crowds dispersing into the city lead away with a content ending to the 2011 festival season. The music, the organizers and the attendees all deserve a mention for the positive experience that made North Coast happen for a second successful year, now it’s looking forward to what will come to next year’s gathering in the city heart.