The beach, babes in bikinis, booze and beats– Wavefront Beachside Music Festival in Chicago was definitely the ultimate summer party! Consisting of two days of sunshine and four stages hosting Chicago’s own hometown heroes to international Djs, the party vibe was incredible. For the most part, the North Stage catered to the seasoned techno-house heads, and provided steady drum beats and fanciful melodies to keep chilled out audiences two stepping and head bopping while the South Stage provided progressive to electro house, steep drops and the occasional dubstep tune for all those neon clad ragers.
Armed with my media pass, backpack full of randomness, a pen, notebook and a camera; I marched through the sand in between the public who were drenched in sweat from dancing and the scorching sun. I was standing at the front of the crowd in the media pit, when MSTRKRFT dropped their first tune. My initial thought was, “Oh f@ck.” I could feel the bass vibrate through my bones and rattle my insides (all the signs that point to a huge set). In no particular order, Jesse and Al-P mixed up electro-house bangers like Flash by Green Velvet, a Torro Torro’s remix of Neoteric & Wax Motif’s Go Deep, Wolfgang Gartner’s remix of Miike Snow’s Paddling Out, their own VuVuVu, threw in some dubstep with Nero’s Crush On You & Cassius’ I Love You So, and ended with the Laidback Luke remix of Heartbreaker.
I was able to catch up with Al-P after his set to ask him a few questions:
TD: So you’ve been to Chicago a couple times…
AP: A couple times? We’ve been here like twelve times! It’s awesome.
TD: How do you like it?
AP: It’s a sister city to our hometown Toronto, we’re both on a lake. Chicago is considered midwest, I guess we’re more considered east coast, west, but in terms of geography, the music that existed between Chicago and Toronto, there are similarities. Obviously, I’m not going to claim Toronto is as good historically with music as Chicago. Back in the drum and bass days, back in the house days, the touring circuit was Chicago, Toronto, Montreal, New York, Detroit so we’re all kind of connected.
TD: What do you think of Wavefront so far?
AP: To me, it was like Vegas, but a midwest sized Vegas.
TD: What do you have in store for MSTRKRFT in the next year?
AP: Some new singles. Just trying to take the torch back from those who we’ve lent it to temporarily. We’ve allowed a certain group and certain individuals to borrow the torch that we’ve carried. We’re gonna be taking it back next year.
TD: I’m excited! We’ve been a big fan of you guys. Thank you so much.
AP: Yeah, Thank you.
Up next was Erick Morillo who started up the crowd with a remix of Kings of Leon’s Sex on Fire, which was supplemented by some sexy go-go dancers in costume on stage and on risers. Before his set, I was able to grab Morillo and talk to him for a few minutes.
TD: How does it feel to be back in Chicago?
EM: I absolutely love it! Last time I was here, I played at The Mid is which a really, really good gig, but I mean it doesn’t compare to this. This is my first time doing an actual festival in Chicago. I’ve played many clubs, but I’m so happy to see that the scene has grown so much in the US and in Chicago to support a festival like this, by the water and the scene is perfect, I mean, I’m excited to go on.
TD: What are we going to expect from your set today?
EM: A lot of sex, orgasms, and c^m in peoples faces… and by that I mean music of course.
B: Who are you excited to see here?
EM: Bad Boy Bill; he’s one of my favorites. You know what? I’m just happy to be here, never mind who to see. I’m happy because it’s the first year they [Wavefront Fest] are doing it and I’m just proud to be one of the first guys to do it. I’m sure it’s going to be on going because, from the vibe here right now, it’s a really, really great party.
TD: What do you have in store for 2012?
EM: I have a compilation album coming out now called Subliminal 2012 with a lot of techno artists. Plus I have another album coming out called Sympho Nympho with Busta Rhymes on it, Craig David, and a bunch of other people. I’m really excited about it! The first single is coming out at the end of July. There’s gonna be a lot of music coming out in the next couple of years, I’m just happy to be apart of the team, especially since it’s blown up in America like it has.
What’s a festival without a schedule conflict? After a few minutes, I trekked over to the North Stage where Boys Noize was already playing. I wasn’t even close when I could hear and feel the bass erupting from his sound system. It’s been a while since I’ve seen him live in action so I was really excited for his set. The moon was rising and the light show had begun with yellow streams beaming from the stage. There was smoke added for effect and an array of colored lights highlighting Alex Ridha while he DJ-ed. His whole set was bass heavy, but the crowd went especially wild when he played a remix of Prodigy’s Smack My Bitch Up and his remix to Chemical Brothers Swoon. Boys Noize closed up his set with his original track Yeah and an encore of Kernkraft’s Zombie Nation.
All in all, I was very impressed with Wavefront’s first day! For next year, I would suggest more water stations or get a sponsor to give out free water because it was ridiculously hot. The recap for day two is on the way, be on the look out!