It's going to be a busy North Coast weekend, you better get prepared properly.
As North Coast Music Festival gears up for the 5 year anniversary of their exquisite event, Chicagoans (and fellow festival fanatics) everywhere are looking forward to what could very likely become the best edition of the blossoming midwest get-together yet. While electronic dance music might not be as well represented as it has been during some of the previous years, the balance to this year's lineup is absolutely remarkable. Names like STS9, Snoop Dogg, The New Deal, BoomBox, Empancipator Ensemble, The Floozies, Future Rock, Lettuce, Break Sceience, & Talib Kweli are just a handful of the non-EDM acts that are sure to turn out impressive performances.
Below, we've listed the 10 EDM acts that should be on the forefront of your mind come North Coast weekend, all of which are musicians you cannot afford to miss. You only get to celebrate a festival's 5th anniversary once, and North Coast has a habit for creating memories that last for a lifetime.
Adventure Club shows have always been very hit-or-miss for myself, but for whatever reason, I’m feeling pretty good about this one. Over the last couple years, the duo’s live sets have branched out into other dance music subgenres and not revolved around (melodic) dubstep nearly as much. And perhaps that’s a good thing, because their Superheroes Anonymous mixes have raised the bar for bass music DJ’s everywhere. Look people, when this duo grabs a hold of the decks at 7:45 on Saturday night, you really should make it a point to be there. When the sun goes down on this wonderful North Coast evening, Adventure Club is definitely the place to be.
Alesso’s time slot presents most North Coasters with their first big scheduling conflict of the weekend, because when darkness rolls over the festival grounds on Friday night, patrons will be forced to choose between Alesso and Bassnectar. For some of you out there, this is an easy decision, however, there’s no denying that both of these musicians are some of the best as what they do. And I won’t lie to you - I’ll definitely be raging at Bassnectar come Friday evening. Having said that, if house music vibes are what you’re seeking (and c’mon, this is Chicago after all), then the thought alone of Alesso playing under Chitown’s night sky should have you feeling downright giddy. Regardless of where you end up on day one, you can’t go wrong with either of these big time headliners.
After releasing his Noise vs Beauty album earlier in the year, Bassnectar has made a point to focus on his live performances during the majority of the summer. Having seen him at Summer Camp Music Festival back in May (only his 2nd live show after his first half of 2014 hiatus), I’ve got some serious concerns in regards to his North Coast set. I’m hoping (like many of you) that because it’s Summer’s Last Stand, Lorin won’t hesitate to bust out his usual arsenal of heavy bass tunes and leave the hip-hop antics at home, but I guess we’ll have to wait and see. Bottom line, if this set is anything close to his 2011 North Coast rageathon, get ready for an unforgettable Friday evening.
With names like Alesso & Nicky Romero finding their way onto this list, Dada Life is actually the house act that gets my blood pumping the quickest. The banana-wielding duo has a knack for putting on impressive shows with unrivaled energy and poise. There’s just something about their brand of dance music that always keeps me coming back for more. I’m willing to wager that plenty of you have either “Kick(ed) Out The Epic Motherf**ker” or “Unleash(ed) The F**king Dada” at a one point or another during your festival-going careers. Personally, their remix of Kaskade’s “Dynasty” is the tune that always does the trick for me. For those of you not completely sold on the idea of closing out your North Coast weekend with Snoop Dogg, Dada Life is the place to be.
Anytime GRiZ rolls back into Chicago, it’s a reason to celebrate. The Liberated Music general has put a stranglehold on the summertime circuit and you can’t attend a reputable festival nowadays without noticing his name on the bill. But things weren’t always this way for Grant Kwiecinski. Trust me, I can recall a time not all that long ago (2012) when this musician was still relatively unknown. Fast forward a couple successful summers later, his hours upon hours of hard work and downright ridiculous amount of dedication to his craft have helped make the payoff all the more rewarding. His Sunday evening performance is sure to unleash plenty of soulful bass music - make sure to be there.
A fair portion of the North Coast crowd is going to be trying to dance late into Saturday evening. So if the idea of watching Kid Cudi isn’t quite peaking your interest, then please make it a priority to wander over to the 630 stage and watch Nicky Romero wrap up day two with an incomparable blend of progressive & electro house bangers. I have no doubt that this producer’s loyal (and massive) fan base will have a phenomenal showing at this year’s festival. Additionally, it’s important to point out that this will actually be Nicky Romero’s first time playing the flourishing Windy City festival. Prepare yourself for some outstanding house music, because there’s going to be plenty of it.
Well, as far as strange North Coast acts go, Savant is far and away the #1. I’m not quite sure what the method is behind this bass music magician’s madness, but whatever it is, it’s working. To attempt to define his genre of dance music would be a nearly impossible task. Dubstep, house, trap, moombahton, DnB, hardstyle, glitch hop, you name it, there’s a high likelihood that this guy has utilized it in an original track at one point or another. On another note, purely from a talent standpoint, this producer is truly in a class of his own. His eccentric, peculiar, borderline bizarre sound has helped him garner support from some of the more popular names in the music industry. Do yourself a favor and catch Savant on the 847 stage from 4:00-5:00pm on Saturday.
Wick-It The Instigator:
In the Midwest and Southern regions of the United States, Wick-It The Instigator has already developed quite the reputation for himself. However, he’s still keeping his nose to the grindstone everyday in an effort expose the entire nation to his wicked bass music compositions. Drawing on influences from tons of skillful musicians before him, this guy’s ravishing releases have never been short on sampling recognizable material. Even if it’s not an “official” remix, Wick-It always finds a way to incorporate popular samples (typically from TV or movies) into his marvelous productions. His name might not stand out as much as some of the other EDM performers on the North Coast lineup, but you’d be making a huge mistake if you skip his set.
What So Not:
My opinion on anything from the studios of What So Not, comprised of producers Flume and Emoh Instead, is completely different than it was just a couple short months ago. I guess I have Flume to directly thank for that. If it hadn’t been for his life-altering Lollapalooza set, I wouldn’t be nearly as excited to listen to the Australian duos' set on Friday evening. Although Flume doesn't tour with What So Not, I'm still excpecting an awesome set from Emoh Instead. Scheduled to begin at 5:30pm, a good portion of this festival’s attendees will find themselves sprinting to Chicago’s Union Park the moment they get off work. For the life of me, I can’t even begin to imagine what direction this show will go in, I just know that it’s imperative that you’re in the crowd for the duration of it. Trap, hip-hop, and god knows what else is sure to receive ample playing time. “What So Not” is the ultimate warm up act for what promises to be a scorching weekend.
Whatever Zeds Dead is doing lately, keep doing it. Please. The Canadian duo stormed onto the bass music scene a couple years back and they haven’t stopped to take a breath ever since. While they’ve experimented with other genres here and there, they are clearly never shy about returning to their dubstep roots. Which couldn’t make me any happier. When I attended Electric Forest earlier this summer, Zeds Dead was sadly not much of a priority for me (which says a lot considering my affinity for dirty bass music). Nonetheless, the first 20-30 minutes of their set was absolutely unbelievable. I wish I could’ve stayed for the whole performance. This time around, I’ll be one of the many audience members firmly planted in front of the 773 stage for the entirety of their hour & fifteen minute set.