North Coast Music Festival 2012 Preview
Labor Day Weekend marks a last hurrah for music lovers in the Windy City and the crew running North Coast Music Festival has made sure there is a “little something for everybody” in this years line up. This is the third year of NCMF hosted at Union Park in Chicago, IL and the first act takes to the stage at 2:00 p.m. sharp. If you haven’t already bought your tickets, good luck! All but 3-Day VIP tickets have been sold out; if you’re lucky you can catch some of the after party’s going on throughout the city.
Headliners include Pretty Lights, Girl Talk, STS9, and hometown heroes, Umphrey’s McGee. And when I mentioned there is a little bit of something for everyone, I wasn’t just talking about EDM and jam-band lovers. Hip hop enthusiasts can check out the hip hop group Atmosphere on Saturday at 7:45 p.m. (North Stage) and Big Boi of OutKast on Sunday night at 7:30 p.m. (North Stage).
My “Can’t Miss” Shows:
EOTO Friday at 6:30 p.m. (Coast Stage) I was first introduced to Jason Hann and Michael Travis two summers ago at Electric Forest during the Thursday morning String Cheese sound-check. I had a vague idea of who SCI was but never thought that I’d have a private sound-check with the group before festival gates even opened. Then to my surprise, two of SCI’s finest creating electronic percussion loops with bass, guitar and vocal intertwined… I was stumped! I guess that is why no musician should ever define a solid genre for his music, especially when given to opportunity to experiment with dubstep after preforming bluegrass and jazz for over ten years.
STS9 Friday at 8:30 p.m. (Coast Stage) I – like most – have a strange addiction to STS9. I can’t put a finger on it but in the last two years they’ve really stolen my heart. Maybe it was the June 2011 release of When the Dust Settles and all that was put into their “Great Cycle Spectacles” at the Congress Theater this past January. Or maybe its the pure dedication of each Sound Tribe fan and the bands addicting psychedelic, electro funk beats. Whatever it may be, if you can’t catch them on Friday night, you better have your after party ticket to Future Rock and Sound Tribe at House of Blues on Saturday night because they are sold out!
Last year the lineup included a lot of veteran electronic and house producers including Benny Benassi, David Guetta and Fat Boy Slim. I had expected that there be a solid group of DJ’s this year, though to my surprise a lot of them are up-and-comers! While I’m sure EDM fans would love to see some of last years artists in this years lineup, I’m pretty stoked to see what the rookies have to bring to the table this year. One can expect some refreshing new music at NCMF and the lineup includes some of my favorite producers of the year!
My “Must See” DJ Sets
NiT GriT Saturday at 1:15 p.m. (Red Bull Stage) I met this guy wandering aimlessly in the media tent this year at Electric Forest and he really caught me off guard when he introduced himself with such charm, as a dubstep producer. With such a laid-back demeanor (he was chillin in basketball shorts) and a smile on his face, I had to figure out what Danny Beall was all about. If you have the opportunity to see him live, I high recommend it; his music is fluid yet constantly evolving with beats that will send chills up your spine and the emotions he provokes when up on stage is enough to make a girls head spin.
DJ Thibault Saturday at 4:30 p.m. (Dos Equis Stage) I’ve seen Thibault preform with both Auto Body and as a solo DJ set, and all four times I’ve been very impressed. Thibault Bowman hails from Austin, Texas though more recently he is traveling the world preforming his live DJ sets. It is hard to define his sound but in reality his work is a fusion of so many different things: indie rock, distorted electro, house music, funk, and the list goes on. Thibault is a different breed of electro music; one act not to miss this weekend.
Maya Jane Coles Sunday at 7:30 p.m. (Dos Equis Stage) This 24 year-old British/Japanese producer is one act I’ve heard so much about yet I’ve never seen her live. I heard she really worked the crowd at Movement: DEMF this year and being a Michigan native, I trust that my fellow Michiganders wouldn’t steer me wrong. It’s refreshing to see a women create and produce so many different sounds. While her DJ sets are house music based, her alias, Nocturnal Sunshine is committed to dubstep.
If you’re attending North Coast and still have trouble finding acts that tickle your fancy, you need to find a new festival! Make sure to pack some sun screen and an umbrella (though I’m sure it will be confiscated at the front gate) because this weekend calls for temperatures lingering around 90 degrees and a bit of rain!