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Favorite ThisNorth Coast Music Festival 2012 Review + Slideshow

Published: October 5, 2012
Written By: Adam Epstein & Max Pottebaum
Photos By: Duncan Ross

Chicago’s finest brought their rage faces for three straight days and sleepless nights at North Coast Music Festival’s third effort this past Labor Day weekend. Masses from the city, the suburbs, and surrounding states converged on Union Park for a gathering completely unique to Chicagoland. The west side’s industrial age buildings are a fitting location for a fest of these proportions since it is here that a generation born in the tech age has found an outlet consisting of musically inspired messages. Who better to compose the shared mindset than STS9, Umphrey’s McGee, Pretty Lights, Papadosio, Minnesota, Boombox, Excision & so many more dope acts?

Alongside these huge names, it was the local movements that truly distinguish North Coast from other fests in the region, and Chicago-based jam band IndigoSun wholly embodies this exclusivity.

The quartet earned a spot on the Red Bull stage for Sunday afternoon, drawing an excellent crowd on a stage that hosted the likes of many other deserving acts. IMagine REALity’s crew got the inside scoop from the charismatic foursome over the course of the weekend and found that their positive personas matched that of the frequencies they send their audiences. Using an array of stimulating effects combined with the driving rise and fall represented in jam music has IndigoSun appealing to a much wider audience than that of artists trapped within a specific genre. Look for the locally renowned musicians to make a splash on the strong regional scene which centers on Chicago.

Everyone should be aware that the law of thermodynamics states “energy is neither created nor destroyed only transferred”—to the after party that is. What separates North Coast from the rest of the pack was the quality and variance of the late-nights. With the fest ending at ten, the production companies arranged for killer acts to continue the vibes throughout the city’s many venues. Using well-recognized artists like Midnight Conspiracy, Grizmatik, EOTO and Future Rock at the larger clubs and smaller acts such as Axwell, Thibault & Elliot Lipp aggregating at the others, live music enveloped each area of the city for an entire weekend. Even with the city’s curfew every faction can benefit: the man, the fans, the neighboring economies and thus, the festival entirely.

North Coast is so much more than a string a amazing acts in a row, but rather a contained setting for the reaction. With so much energy restrained to one place, the area’s counter-culture has used music as a catalyst for the spread of innovative ideas & forward thinking. There is a coherent understanding among festi-goers to amplify positive vibrations via musically healing properties. The infectious energy connects every interpreter in a flow that causes single ambiance. A high density of patrons not only served as a prime place for this combustion, but also greatly influenced the unusual collection of styles Chicago encompasses. This confluence of taste without a doubt played an important role in producing a fantastic lineup which urged all patrons to expand their minds and take a trip to the North Coast. Come see for yourself why it’s all the rage.
Beats Antique brought a stellar performance, playing a brand new track entitled “Skeleton Key”. The Oakland, California trio of Zoe Jakes, David Satori and Tommy Cappel laid down exquisite rhythms that awed the crowd. Look for trio to bust out more at their Halloween show in Chicago.
The groovy livetronica duo BoomBox threw down for their set on the final day. This guitarist and DJ combo brings a lot of energy as well as guitar noodling, killer scratching,  and catchy vocals for quite an original experience.
One of the greatest live drum and bass combos on the circuit to date, EOTO, threw down on the main stage Friday night then proceeded to party at Congress Theatre Saturday night busting out the infamous lotus flower light arrangement which dazzled the crowd. Their ability to stimulate each sensory receptor has their fans craving more, & more they will receive; this duo has an insane touring schedule.
Up and comer artists Gramatik and Griz have combined to make a set for the ages entitled "Grizmatik". Using their festival act to build anticipation for their after show at House of Blues, there was humongous hype. Bringing the live energy of sax and hip-hop swing this group performed one the finest shows of the entire weekend.

Check out more photos in our 2012 North Coast Music Festival Slideshow:

Tags: DubstepGlitchHip HopLivetronicaElectroHouseBreaksDowntempo