Attention music-going America; there is a new 3 day music festival for you to enjoy. Rejoice! This festival has most correctly been deemed as “Summer’s Last Stand”, as it is held on Labor-Day weekend. And while, technically, summer goes on for a bit longer we all know that once school starts and the lifeguards at the beach are gone life just doesn’t feel the same. That’s why you gotta milk every drop at the end, and to help you out with that endeavor is the brand new North Coast Music Festival.
NCMF is designed to work perfectly into your 3 day holiday weekend. It starts at 5pm on Friday, but then at noon on Saturday and Sunday, with of course most people having Monday off, to recover. This means you don’t have to miss any work, or be awkwardly hungover on Monday and can still enjoy a solid 3 days of music. The event is going to be held in Chicago’s Union Park, which is just slightly west of downtown, making travel relatively simple. But most intriguing is the manner in which the lineup of artists has been targeted at encouraging a helluva good time.
Friday’s smaller lineup (in terms of number of acts, not popularity) will be held down by Paul Van Dyk, Pretty Lights and The Chemical Brothers. That’s a pretty reputable electronic line up for your Friday evening. Paul Van Dyk and The Chemical Brothers have been making their brand of raucously dance-friendly music since the mid 90’s, while Pretty Lights is more of a recent phenomenon of the current electronic generation. It’s a pretty nice mix of acts to jump-start your dancing-self, and your weekend.
Saturday, being a more expanded day of music, has a more diverse lineup in terms of musical genres – but is still tilted towards creating a party. De La Soul, Moby, Hey Champ and Chicago’s own Umphrey’s McGee will be the last performers of the evening on each of their respective stages. So whether you want to catch a distinguished international DJ, some classic hip-hop, flashy contemporary glam-rock or one of the preeminent jam-bands of all time – you are well covered on this night. It is highly doubtful that anyone would not enjoy at least 1 of those acts, and many of us will have the make the dreaded “decision” and not be able to see em all (what a wonderful problem that can be).
During the day on Saturday we also find a pleasantly eclectic mix of music. Grace Potter and the Nocturnals will satisfy your desire to hear some talented Americana rock n’ roll, lead by an ascending diva. They can lean into country, classic rock, R&B, soul, or a mix of it all. Jay Electronica will be bringing his brand of hard edged hip hop during the afternoon, a perfect balance to the more frolicking lyrical styles of De La Soul. The New Deal, Toronto’s answer to live progressive breakbeat house, will be making sure that there is some afternoon dancing going on. A task that will be made easy with the help of the band that plays after them, Chicago natives Future Rock. Future Rock is a band that plays boisterous electronic rock, which takes beat inspiration from many musical corners, but always morphs them into relatively classy and fully enjoyable cavorting-frindly beats. Should you require a more straight-forward European DJ to get you jiving Boyz Noize will be happy to supply the remixes and techno ‘untz-untz’ to your evening (note: this dude rocks at what he does, no joke). However, should you be in demand of a more organic sound after taking in Grace Potter there will be the Family Groove Company with their funky horn-based jam grooves holding down one of the coveted sunset slots.
Sunday is another day filled with energetic & heady musical diversity. Nas & Damian Marley, Gemini Club and The Disco Biscuits will be the final headlining acts of the festival at their respective stages. Nas and Damian Marley will be bringing a nice close out to the weekend’s strategically planned sprinkling of talented hip hop, as they rap their juxtaposing rhyme styles over fierce as well as finessed beats. The Disco Biscuits are no strangers to headlining festivals, and are sure to add a definite exclamation point to the substantial pool of electronic-dance-friendly music that makes up North Coast. While Gemini Club will provide some indie electronic relief for those who want to end the festival with a solid local act.
During the day on Sunday we find such acts as New Orlean’s own Dirty Dozen Brass Band, for those who require an amazing dixie’fied horn section for their musical entertainment. Phantogram, a very promising DJ band which plays a brand of gritty electro rock will be earlier in the day and is deservedly starting to generate a lot of buzz for themselves. Chicago’s own Lupe Fiasco also plays on Sunday, prior to Nas and Damian, so that you can end the evening (and festival) hearing hours of accomplished quick-tempoed rappers. And what better way to get ready to hear those rappers then to take in some of the most interesting experimental lyric-less DJs, Flying Lotus, who’s esoterically banging beats have slowly started to gain him substantial national attention. Or maybe you will be feeling silly and want to take in DJ/hypeman Green Velvet and his over the top style of party-dance music. However, it being Sunday there is a good chance you would rather abandon the high energy tunes and take in some smooth indie soul; Mayer Hawthorne and the County will be there just for that reason.
Unfortunately – well no, very fortunately – this brief preview doesn’t come close to naming all of the talent that will be at the North Coast Music Festival. To take a look at the full lineup and schedule please click here. If you want some more general information about the festival and all that will be happening this labor day weekend in Union park, click here. Also, there are lots of after parties happening so that no one has to make 11pm the termination of their evenings.
OurVinyl is proud to be working with, and covering, the inaugural North Coast Music Festival. Remember to look for exclusive NCMF artist interviews and festival reviews in the coming weeks (to read our pre-festival interview with Loyal Divide, who plays Sunday, read here). We hope everyone who wants to will make it to Chicago and for the music festival that will surely prove to be “Summers Last Stand.” See you soon.