North Coast Music Festival

Written by Bryan

It was only yesterday we packed our vehicle and journeyed south to Chillicothe, IL for what would be a our first festival of the season properly titled Summer Camp. Fast forward 97 days, over 15 festivals, 9 states, and stories that could take hours to retell later; we’ve reached a very sad, but fitting end to this summer with North Coast Music Festival only 2 days away! In its fourth year running, the creation between React & Silver Wrapper returns to Union Park boasting a lineup that has made North Coast one of the best festivals for providing diverse music acts in the country. As Chicagoans and incoming out-of-towners prepare to come together to celebrate this cities last major festival, I’ve taken the time to compile a list of artists you absolutely must see at North Coast Music Festival 2013! Tickets are still available and can be purchased at Clubtix.

5. Manic Focus (Sunday, 5:00 – 6:00 Dos Equis Stage)

Manic Focus

If I could list any artist who straight rep’s the Windy City musically in all the right ways than Manic Focus would easily take the number one spot. What this Minnesota native/Chicago transplant has achieved in a relatively short period of time is downright inspiring. Those in attendance will witness something that is quite rare from this dubstep/glitch-hop producer; a set composed entirely of original music that will leave you feeling refreshed and reinvigorated from start to finish. If you are looking for further reasons to catch Manic Focus’s performance, he released his 3rd album late last night titled Distant Perspective that’s available for FREE download. Also, catch him perform at the House of Blues Friday night along with Paper Diamond and Russ Liquid.


Manic Focus on Facebook | Twitter | SoundCloud

4. Cherub (Sunday, 7:30 – 8:30 Dos Equis Stage)


My previous encounter seeing Cherub perform live is one I shall never forgot and only took place just a few weeks ago. With only 20 minutes of time set aside for the Nashville duo Jordan Kelley and Jason Huber to perform in front of a sold out crowd seeking the sounds of trap and hip-hop, the two did quite the job of delivering their signature brand of electronic-pop music to the masses. Having bagged a prime time spot on Sunday, festival goers can look forward to catchy lyrics that will have you singing along as guitars and synths transition the mood from early evening to night time! Also, check out their headlining after-party at Chicago Winery Saturday night along with Poolside.

Cherub on Facebook | Twitter | SoundCloud

3. Paper Diamond (Friday, 7:00 – 8:00 Coast Stage)

paper diamond

It could be the fact that I’ve listened to his remix of SBTRKT’s “Wildfire” more times than any other song in my iTunes library, that every member of The Dankles has seen him perform in 2013 besides me, or that I still feel short changed from his set being cancelled at Lollapalooza due to rain, but I am overly excited to see Paper Diamond do what he does best at North Coast Music Festival! Being the first electronic artist I paid attention to from the Rocky Mountain state (yes, even before Pretty Lights), his unique sound has always provided my eardrums with musical satisfaction over the years. Bass, good hip-hop, moombahton, trap, a dash of soul is what you can expect from seeing a Paper Diamond performance live. With some of us having to work Friday, Paper D’s 7:00 set time is the perfect way for all to start their weekend off on the right foot.

Paper Diamond on Facebook | Twitter | SoundCloud

2. Skream (Saturday, 7:30 – 8:30 Last Stand Stage)


I recently asked my Facebook friends which North Coast artist is equipped to provide those looking for some deep house music relief and was thoroughly happy to see Skream’s name come up in the list of comments. Though Skream’s roots in the drum & bass/dubstep community paved the way to his prominence in the electronic music community, his recent endeavor producing deep house tunes has showcased a matured state of mind from the UK man. This newfound passion has sparked a series of “Skreamizm” sets that encompass a bit of house, techno, rave, indie, party music in a 3 hour long escaped of musical bliss. Though I’m sure his North Coast performance will offer a condensed version of such a set, those who attend Skream’s after party at Bottom Lounge on Saturday night might be treated to entire experience first-hand!

Skream on Facebook | Twitter | Soundcloud

1. Wu-Tang Clan (Sunday, 9:00 – 10:00 Coast Stage)

Wu-Tang Clan

Did you honestly think any other artist(s) listed on North Coast Music Festivals illustrious lineup would oust the likes of Wu-Tang Clan for the number one spot? I shouldn’t be the one to tell you the significance of having RZA, GZA, Method Man, Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, Inspectah Deck, U-God, Masta Killa bring the curtains down on the summer of 2013 in Chicago. No high-end visuals or glittering light shows will be needed to experience Wu-Tang perform their masterpiece “36 Chambers” live in front of what I anticipate being a packed crowd. If you feel like you could use a double dose of Wu-Tang over the weekend, be sure to catch U-God and RZA’s after-party at Cobra Lounge Sunday night.

Wu-Tang Clan on Facebook | Twitter | Website

Honorable Mentions

French Fries (Friday, 4:30 – 5:30 Dos Equis Stage)
AlunaGeorge (Friday, 6:00 – 7:00 North Stage)
Seven Lions (Saturday, 6:30 – 7:30 Last Stand Stage)
Big Gigantic (Saturday, 8:30 – 10:00 Coast Stage)
Danny Brown (Sunday, 4:00 – 5:00 North Stage)

*if you have any comments or criticisms please feel free to hit me up on Twitter @reidahead

About Amelia Waters