North Coast Music Festival in one word: AMAZING! No lie, this was the best weekend of my life, so far. Music, people, location, weather, family, and friends! Couldn’t have been any better. No introductions necessary. Let’s get after it! With some great early performances and a beautiful night ahead, I must say that Yelawolf truly kicked off this festival. He was feelin’ the crowd and throwin’ down some serious southern Hip-Hop. Stage presence, yes. He got the crowd going and highlighted the music variety that North Coast offers. If you missed his performance, try to catch him at a city near you on his Slumerican Tour.
Midnight Conspiracy, thank you for throwing down hard! I couldn’t leave. A little Mord Fustang followed and he kept the beats flowing and the entire crowd jumpin’. After the rowdiness, we knew we needed to chill before raging to Knife Party. We set out to get the always-enchanting EOTO in our lives. They flooded us with great vibes and originality. After EOTO, it was time for a little Knife Party. Follow us as we recap the rest of the 2012 North Coast Music Festival after the jump!
Knife Party… Holy shit. Super rowdy, bouncy, grimey, and phenomenal. Not that we expected anything less whatsoever, but wow! With so much bass in my face, I didn’t even make it over to Papadosio. Sorry, Papadosio. Killer set, Knife Party!
STS9, it was an honor to close down the first night with you. My only regret is missing the after party. If you missed either of the shows because you had no idea how awesome they would be or you missed the whole fest, happy birthday. Their closing show for Day 1 and the set from the House of Blues after party are available to listen.
Underground hip-hop lovers, what did you all think about the People Under the Stairs set? They are still on point with their smooth rap flows and crowd control. Obviously not their first rodeo, they really bring a hip-hop set to life while wrangling in the crowd to experience intelligently written rap music. Yo Gramatik! It’s that boogie down, down? Hell yeah! What an awesome set. Gramatik has been all over this year killin’ it. You can always expect a high-energy groovy, electronic awesomeness with some hip-hop 808’s bumpin’. Nice way to kick off the early afternoon for sure.
Why not stay at the same stage when you’re groovin’? Felix Da Housecat gave us some killer beats to move to. He cranked up the crowd with some heavy electro builds and invigorating drops staying true to the EDM style. Would’ve stayed and danced my ass off, but we had to move over to Beats Antique at the North Stage. It would just be stupid to miss this show with such an amazing and unique sound that Beats Antique owns. Dancin’, groovin’, and straight jammin’ all day. Zoe Jakes (dancer) truly adds a unique element to the group and allows the audience to have an up close and personal view of the phrase, “losing yourself in the music.” David Satori on the violin is incredible and always on point with Sidecar Tommy on percussion. Loved it! This group has a long tour lineup around the world. Try to catch them for a live performance. You will not regret it!
Next we popped on over next door to the Coast Stage and got grimey with some dirty dubstep from Excision! We whomped the F#$k 0uT and got real hungry for some ‘Whomper King’ during this set. Getting nasty with heavy drops and cranked up mids (DO YOU MEAN MINDS OR MIDS?). Sometimes it felt like we were dancing to a robotic apocalypse… It. Was. Awesome. Some of our homies from the ‘Mitchell D and Friends’ crew kept goin’ on about YACHT, so we had to check it out for a hot minute. Glad we did because it was radical. Super groovy, lots of synths, and excellent vocals all made this set a true ‘jam sesh.’
Immediately after YACHT’s set, we headed over to snag a good spot at the North Stage for Future Rock! If only they could have started a little later so we could embrace their usually killer light show. Still, Future Rock is absolutely incredible. So incredible that they teamed up with STS9 for the special after show at the House of Blues on Saturday night. If you have yet to hear their amazing sounds, I invite you to take a listen.
Back over at the Red Bull Stage, we continued to rage. A little Tommy Trash wildin’ out. No question about the high-octane energy pouring off of this stage. Didn’t expect any less from this set since we caught Tommy earlier this year at The Mid. Up next on the Red Bull Stage, Alesso snowballed the powerful energy Tommy Trash left from his set. We’ve seen Alesso multiple times this past year (awesome every time), so we only stayed for a bit before heading out to get a good look at some LoBounce. LoBounce was throwin’ down on the Dos Equis Stage and a throw down it was with heavy dubstep and in yo’ face rage. We worked our way up to the second row and did just that.
After we “LoBounced” outta that rager, we caught some hip-hop from Atmosphere. Excellent rap flows and lyrical genius infused with catchy and unique hip-hop beats filled out ears. You may recognize Atmosphere as part of the RhymeSayers group with other underground hip-hop legends. You can check out more from his latest release of ‘The Family Sign’. We weren’t able to stay too long for this set, as we needed to make our way to the Red Bull stage to claim our spot for Umphrey’s.
Umphrey’s McGee! Jam, rock, groove, and four dashes of amazing. Songs that keep going and just keep getting better. They took the crowd on an awesome journey with their ability to feed off each other’s cues. Umphrey’s has a huge following and I was happy to have an amazing spot to watch the whole show and dance! What a fantastic Day 2 closer. I asked Mitchell D how the Girl Talk set was. He responded, “I was at Umph ‘til the end. I just know the last moments of Girl Talk’s set involved Bohemian Rhapsody and confetti.” Sounds sweet!
The final day to wrap-up our weekend of awesomeness! A big thank you to Rebirth Brass Band for an incredible performance. Just pure brass goodness from New Orleans. They’ve been providing funky beats and horns full of energy since ‘83. What a rockin’ afternoon and a perfect example of how well-rounded North Coast’s artist selection is. We caught a little Van Ghost next. They have a wonderful stage presence and great energy. They’re riding the wave of their new album just released August 21st called “The Domino Effect.” One of the highlights of my weekend on the Red Bull Stage was some great music comin’ out of Colorado!
SAVOY just dropped their new EP, “Supertrail,” and dropped some of these fresh tracks that everyone wanted ‘So Bad (SAVOY & Heather Bright)’. Dance, dance, dance! Killer set and expected nothing less. Go get yourself a taste of their free EP. BoomBox over on the North Stage got all sorts of groovadelic. Our crew found a spot not too far out, but the flag kept moving inward. Before we knew it, we were 20 feet from the stage, making this a much more intimate BoomBox experience. In dating terms, I’d say BoomBox and I got to 2nd base during our funky-fresh jam-party. They are igniting their Fall Tour with Conspirator, Cinnamon Chasers, and Abakus.
Before the Digitalism set entranced us, we made sure to check out some Modestep. Was Modestep’s set rowdy or what?! That’s what I’m talkin’ about. That was some electronic, rock, metal, dubstep, rager dance music. Check out their Show Me a Sign – US Live Tour video to get an understanding of the mayhem. Another highlight of the weekend goes to Digitalism! Wow! Listen while you read.
Did you see the Chicago flag waving proudly front and center? If you didn’t, then you weren’t there. The energy was absolutely incredible and gave forth a captivating performance. Try and catch this duo on tour and you will not be disappointed. ARE YOU STILL TALKING ABOUT DIGITALISM HERE? At one point during the show, I said I wanted to go see Chuckie. I turned to my friend, Sir Lucas, and he responded very clearly with, “Why would I leave?” Therefore, I stayed and cherished every moment. But I was still hungry for more after the end of that set. Wooh!
After being slapped in the face with awesome music and catching my grounds, we had a visit with the Outkast legend, Big Boi. He has an epic history of making awesome rap music. We have been seeing Big Boi doing some traveling on his solo project for a little while now. He keeps it real. He keeps it gangsta. It’s Big Boi. Unfortunately, I had to miss out on Aoki’s set to reserve an incredible spot for Pretty Lights. No regrets. The wait was finally over, and PL could not have closed out the 3-day festival any better. What an amazing experience capped off with a bunch of my friends to share it with. We got the whole shebang with Pretty Lights Music’s innovative electronics, synths, dubby loops, hip-hop beats, and pure passion for greatness. The light show accompanied by the crowd’s energy from the music made it such an amazing experience.
Oh wait! You don’t think it’s over, right? In fact, it just got more real: Justin Martin, Maya Jane Coles, and Caude VonStroke at Transit. I’ve never danced so hard after a festival in my life. Dirty bird got nasty. It was ridiculously awesome, and it just kept getting better as the night slid by. What a ride! This weekend will not be forgotten… All in all, hands down, to sum it all up… HOWEVER you want to say it, this was the best weekend of my life so far! Did I say that already? A combination of friends, hype from previous North Coast experiences, incredible live performances, excellent festival grounds with Chicago’s skyline in the backdrop, and beautiful people… Thank you NCMF 2012 for delivering the third installment of spectacular! We look forward to the years to come.
A big thanks to Zach P, React Presents, and everyone who made North Coast possible!