Stephani is a newcomer to The Hypist but no stranger to North Coast Music Festival. Last year after this very festival, we bonded during a long car ride back from Chicago to Michigan, and we were ecstatic to have her take over responsibilities for covering NCMF in 2017. Check out her story and amazing photos from summer’s last stand in Chicago.
Where do I begin? North Coast Music Festival was nothing short of amazing, and I am already looking forward to next year! Aren’t you?
As the lines wrapped around the block on Friday, the doors finally opened at 3PM. The Skyline stage and The Coast Stage kicked off the festival with Akenya and Edamame. As people trickled in throughout the day, the excitement became more and more hype.
As attendees bobbed their heads around in the Silent Disco area, DJs played back to back through out the day. There was also live art going on from artist from all around, including Chicago’s beloved JC Rivera. JC is well-known for his bear-themed artwork all throughout the city with its vibrant colors and eye-catching features. I’ve always loved his work, even before I knew who the artist was.
As the sun started to head towards the horizon, I made my way to see Lettuce. I love jamming and getting funky to their music. Who doesn’t? The weather was perfect and it seemed like everyone was extremely happy with the first day of North Coast. After a day in the sun, and before the night goes on, a visit to the food vendors is a must. There is a huge variety of food at the festival, so whether you eat anything, or you’re vegetarian or even vegan, there were some delicious options to choose from.
Once I had a full belly, I made my way to see Lil’ Dicky. His set had the crowd going from the start. He is known for his quirkiness and humored hip-hop songs. He even threw in the star spangled banner, because who doesn’t know every word to that? How American of him. Next I went to check out Bonobo at The Coast Stage. Bonobo is a LA based DJ known for his chill down-tempo beats. He is currently touring with Szjerdene, a creative singer known for her electronic tones. Her vocals with his beats make for some extraordinary music. As the night progressed, I prepared myself for the headlining sets. First I visited DeadMau5 b2b Eric Prydz. The crowd was extremely excited as they pushed towards the front an hour before they even started. Surprisingly DeadMau5 did not wear his mask this time around, as he probably would have been hitting Eric Prydz in the head with it during the set. The crowd was ecstatic as the lights continuously strobed to the music. There was an incredible amount of energy throughout the set. I weaseled my way out of the crowd just in time to see Gucci Mane. Although he started a half hour late, his DJ entertained the crowd until Gucci finally popped on stage and got the crowd roaring. I hardly recognized him at first, I must say Gucci looks quite different than he did years back. But his voice can’t be mistaken. I’d say both headliners had an amazing set and the first night of North Coast was a success indeed.
It was time to do it all over again on Saturday. I was definitely looking forward to The Russ Liquid Test so that was the first thing we did. I’ve met Russ a handful of times before, and I must say he is a pretty humble guy. Carlile, a Chicago-based “nu pop” artist joined in on Russ’ set with her groovy moves and eccentric voice. Trumpets, drums, and overalls – oh my.
Soon afterwards, we went to see Manic Focus at the North Stage, in which Russ Liquid also joined in on. The Russ Liquid Test and Manic Focus both have an their own combination of electronic funk with the right amount of bass. They have toured together before because together their tones are on point. But Russ was not the only person to join J-Mac on stage. Surprise guest artist Pretty Lights walked out and the crowd went crazy. Side by side, Manic Focus and Pretty Lights got down together, both with huge smiles on their faces. Over the years, Pretty Lights have been a big influence for J-Mac, so I’d imagine playing alongside him was a big accomplishment. I can still hear the crowd cheering after that set.
With most festivals, or at least with the ones I have experienced, rain is bound to happen at some point. And oh did it downpour on my way to see Post Malone. But I arrived to the stage in time to see Malone, posted there in the rain. Actually he wasn’t posted at all, his energy took full advantage of the weather. Soaking wet dreads and all, the rain did not stop the crowds intensity either. If anything, it made it more intense. I arrived in the pit just in time for Post Malone to jump down next to me and high five his soaking wet fans. I love those moments. After the rain settled and the mud was as slippery as can be, it was yet again time for the headliners. I heard Big Boi in the distanced as I slipped, literally, my way to see Damien Marley. Despite the weather, the entire weekend was an amazing experience, and I’ll be back next year. Check out the full photo album below, and I’ll see you in Chicago next Labor Day Weekend.