North Coast Music Festival Review

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North Coast Music Festival

Everyone knows that once Labor Day is over, so are our long sunny days and warm nights. Let’s face it, summer is over. It is a harsh reality that no one really wants to face. So now what? What can you do when the leaves start to brown? Before you know it, your car will be sliding from the muddy snow that your brand new snow blower failed to pick up. Until next year, all we can do is reminisce about those magical days when the sun always shinned.

North Coast Music festival was the perfect farewell to the summer of 2012. The five- stage Chicago festival is always bittersweet. It is a highly anticipated festival known for its electronic focus and eclectic audiences. After the weekend is over, the next holiday to look forward to is a ways away. So for all of you who missed the event or just don’t remember it all too well, here’s a recap.

Friday started off with a bang. The world was set on fire as ATLIS took the stage. Their stunningly crafted combination of original lyrics and trancy beats made their show a perfect way to start off the weekend. Zion I was the next performance that truly personified the diversity of North Coast. Known for their reggae infused hip hop mixes, this Oakland duo came on with a stage presence that made everyone take note.

As the sun set, the variety of the musical styles died. Everyone knows that electronic kids don’t wake until the moon rises. Midnight Conspiracy took everyone by storm as they preformed hit after hit. “Discord” and “”The Eye” left everyone trembling. Knife Party cut up that audience and left your heart pounding to the tunes of their “Internet Friends”. However, as it came time to decide on the headliner of the night, it was surely an easy task. The well known STS9 drew in hundreds of amazed fans. You would think that at the end of the night, the energy would decrease. This was surely not the case as the two hour set was a beautiful showcase of musical ingenuity.

So after a handful of advil and a good night’s rest, the musical performances welcomed September with open arms. Saturday was the best day out of the bunch. It wasn’t the large headliners that made this day so special, but the smaller names that were just happy to be there. Gramatik came on a little late. Apparently the 2:15 stage time was a little early for their liking. Better late than never. Their show was brilliantly performed and the small crowd made this an intimate and amazing experience. Beats Antique was similar. Though the duo doesn’t have the years to back up their vintage name, their show was crafted like old pros.

At every festival, it becomes immensely difficult to choose between stages. It always winds up that two of your favorite acts perform on opposite ends of the grounds at the same time. Decisions, decisions. This was truly the case between Excision and up and comer, YACHT. Sorry YACHT but you missed the boat. Excision will leave strangled by the intensity of their drum and bass. You will be shivering with fear as their beats make your ear drums bleed. Don’t worry – this is a good thing in the dubstep world. The critically acclaimed Atmosphere came next with their charming demeanor and reminder that all we need is Guns and Cigarettes. Girl Talk was a perfect close to the night. The one man act is known for his electrifying shows that are nothing less than a fun time. This computer geek generates excellent mashups of top forty hits that leaves everyone dancing the night away. Didn’t bring your glow sticks? Don’t worry, his light shows will leave magic in everyone’s eyes.
Again, Sunday has arrived. The fields are dirty and the port-o-potties don’t have any more toilet paper. The grass is dead, but the people are not. Another day filled with an enormous amount of musical appreciation is ahead of us. Though the day started off slowly, the beats did not. Smaller named performances gave festival-goers the opportunity to regroup before another wild evening. Tencho and house infused musical group Stratus was followed by Colorado based Savoy. The trio may not be all too well known but their truly are savvy when it comes to the infusion of house, rock and pop sounds.

Got your two step down? You better because Modestep brought a performance that was anything but modest. They are the definition of grime with their dark approach to music. Similar to other dubstep artists, Modestep will leave you with a filth you won’t want to wash off. Steve Aoki was one of the best performances of the weekend. His has the uncanny ability to make the audience feel as if he is just as excited to be there as you are. With his stage diving, excellent visuals and infamous stage dives, his show will leave you womp womping your way home. Stepping back stage, he is more than willing to talk to any fan like a friend. As we are both students of University of California – Santa Barbara, we discussed the California music scene. Apparently, we even lived on the same street at some point. Pretty Lights closed the night with a performance that gave us a “feeling that we never ever felt before”. With pretty lights and an amazing crowd, North Coast Music Festival was over until next year. Only 289 days until the next Summer solstice.