By: Anand Harsh
I'm just a small-town, midwestern boy. I identify with all those John Cougar Mellencamp and Bob Seger and Journey songs. Hell, I even get a kick out of Tom Petty shitting on Indiana (and EDM, for that matter).
North Coast Music Festival is like home to me. And like a lot of dance music fans from the midwest, I tend to support my brethren from the Second City. The downtrodden Windy City natives who toil and struggle under that brutal winter chill. I also support those scrappers from outside the city gates; the wide-eyed bumpkins who view a trip into Chicago like it's the pinnacle of all things holy. Because let's be honest... if you're from Carbondale or Eau Claire or Kokomo, Chi-town IS the big city.
To get to the point, I compiled the Top 10 acts to see at NCMF, and I put a little midwestern spin on it. Yes, some of the connections are a stretch, but these are still the artists I can't wait to see each and every opportunity I get. These are the ones you have to check out Labor Day Weekend at Union Park in Chicago, IL. This is Summer's Last Stand, and these are the Ten Left Standing.
10. Thibault / Auto Body
We love Chicago festivals, because that means one of our favorite acts returns to tear the roof off. Thibault is just a solid producer and DJ, there's nothing more to it. OK, he's also an awesome dude. That helps. The bonus is, we also get to hear his side project with Future Rock bassist Felix Moreno. Auto Body is half synth and half sex. It's party music to the Nth degree, and we can never get enough.
9. My Boy Elroy
My Boy Elroy is the heart and soul behind Digital Tape Machine. The Chicago-based supergroup featuring members of Umphrey's McGee, The Hue, Strange Arrangement and more also sports the atmospheric effects of this Grammy-nominated member of Liquid Soul. What to expect from the solo set? A little bit of everything. Literally, everything. You gotta go see my boy.
Marathon sets from the turntable wizard have become a staple of midwest fests. The humble spin-ster has become a favorite in the improvisational music community, through his star-studded, multi-instrumental casts of characters he's assembled for legendary jams. Whatever Wyllys plays, you know it's gonna be a funky good time.
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