Unfortunately we got another late start on Saturday causing our crew to miss rock-band Tea Leaf Green and dubstep-priducer NiT GriT. Lucky for enough us, we got there in time to catch one of the most anticipated acts of the weekend, Dominic Lalli. Better known by his moniker GRiZ, this electro-dub producer from Michigan now resides in Colorado. After watching GRiZ non-stop perform at Electric Forest, we knew what laid ahead for us on day two. Lalli took over the hokey rink with confidence and demonstrated his unique sound of funk, glitch-hop and dubstep blended together.
Playing a handful of tracks of the forthcoming album, Mad Liberation, including smash hits like “Where is the Love?”, “Blastaa”, and “The Future is Now”. We even got to hear Lalli get down on the Saxophone (Dom’s Prodigy?) during his set which sent the crowd into a frenzy.
By this point in the day, the rain had already slowed down and the grounds began to dry right in time for Excision to take the stage. I’d never actually caught a live performance but have only heard horror stories of the 100,000+ watts of sound taking over music venues across the US. When we arrived at the Main Stage, there was a crowd of 1,500-2,000 people throwing down for the Canadian dubstep producer. Overall, I was shocked that Excision’s live set wasn’t as heavy as I expected. Wehter this was tailored to the festival crowd or because he didn’t have his full stage setup, it was kind of relieving.
Nas came out with one the best opening lines I’ve every heard: “Straight out the dungeons of rap!” before going through a string of 90s hits back-to-back. Having hip-hop legends like Nas and Black Star on bill was one of the major influences on our decision to attend Summer Set, since neither one of these performances would be at NCMF a week later. In addition, Nas just released his 10th studio album, which he dropped both “Daughters” and “Loco-Motive” from before ending his set with “One Mic” as he announced to the crowd “I only need one microphone and they can hear me around the world”.
Having seen them a few times, this was a set not to miss. Taking place in the hockey rink, we knew the electro-house duo would bring the heat. We walked in a few minutes late and the indoor stage was going off like Daft Punk has taken the stage. The energy had been high all weekend in the arena, but Paul and Maarten had taken the crowd to a new level by playing popular hits like “Rattle” and “Cry Just A Little”.
I’ve never been to an Umphrey’s show and been disappointed. Known for not only making great music, these guys have always had a killer lightshow. Having not sent hem for some time, I was looking forward to watching Chicago’s own close out the second night. Halfway through the set, they played a gritty version of the Rolling Stone’s “Can’t Your Hear Me Knocking?” that stirred the crowd along with originals like “Catshot” and “Bridgeless”.