North Coast Festival Day One: Things Heat Up
Considering that were are barely into September, the heat in Union Park yesterday was oppressive! The real heat was onstage though- Friday's lineup worked the crowd into a frenzy and kicked off the last dance party of the summer. Orchard Lounge grooved it up on the Red Bull stage, followed by a sick set from Keys N Krates. They may have been my favorite discovery from Summer Camp based on friends' reviews alone, and the did NOT disappoint.
Of course, this made for the first of many tough decisions this weekend with regard to missing local favorites The Hood Internet, who throw down a mash up dance party line no one's business. Auto Body threw down for my first visit to the Groupon stage. Last year, this was my favorite stage placement and soundwise- this year was no except. Plus the combination of DJ Thibault and Felix Moreno of Future Rock killing it unlike either of their main acts had us all dancing it up in the grass (which by the way, is much nicer than it was for Pitchfork. At least all of that rain was good for something!) Lotus, as per usual grooved us with beats a little bit of funk- the light show ante has been stepped up with the addition of LED EVERYTHING. Pretty much every electronic artist brought it with the lights. I had heard tons about Wolfgang Gartner, but this is one of the artists I didn't get a chance to really listen to before the fest started. Amazing beats and crowd energy almost had me wishing my afterparty plans included this dude! At this point the crowd had filled in substantially and we all had some tough choices to make- Wiz Khalifa, David Guetta, or Midnight Conspiracy? Having seen Mr. Black and Yellow previously this summer, I decided to split my time between David Guetta's ragefest and the heavy bass of Midnight Conspiracy at the suggestion of some of the festy organizers. Guetta was expected to throw down his club favorites, but he actually wove some serious Chicago house in the mix and the crowd went nuts- I will admit to womping pretty hard with the swarming throng of people dressed in anything from tutus, to bikinis, to a funktopus? There are some seriously interesting characters cruising around- tweet us at @TLTMusic with any great costumery you might happen to see today.
The afterparties all killed it, but the STS9/Big Gigantic event looked, smelled, and felt a lot like an overcrowded middle school dance. Except with beer and cigarette smoke. But the music made it worth braving the sweat dripping down the walls, long beer lines, and spunions throwing up on you (it happened). Personally, I think Soundtribe should just always take saxophone frontman Dominic from Big Gigantic on the road with them; when they paired, it was amazing! Getting a picture was next to impossible given the sweaty crowd though. I have seen both bands numerous times, but between the lighting and the musicality, I had my first facemelt of the weekend. I fully expect more to come:)
Protips after day one: bring that sealed water bottle they tell you that you can bring. You're going to drink that, and refill it 86 times. And then probably buy 4 more bottles. Also, bring sunscreen- nothing worse than overheating AND looking like a lobster! And visit the Chicago Reader Gallery to leave your mark. They had this great sign that I wish I could hang up in my apartment:
Also, do not underestimate walking on the vendor side (west fence) of the festival. There are lots of cool things to check out, and there are less people camped out than walking across the baseball diamond. Hope to see you all out there! We'll be the ones rocking tons of sunscreen and glitter and perhaps a TLT t-shirt. Dance On!
Photo gallery from Day 1 below are photos by Theresa Carter