Photo: Joe Gall Photography

Photo: Joe Gall Photography

Just last weekend I was able to roll into the always-beautiful Chicago and celebrate my last few moments of summer at North Coast Music Festival (NCMF).  As a frequent festival-goer, NCMF never ceases to please me. It’s a giant celebration yet still manages to keep the attendees feeling intimate with each performance. There’s plenty of space at Union Park for people to catch their breath and it’s so easy to hop from one stage to the next. Plus, the people watching is prime. There’s so much going on and everyone’s energy levels are high (even when Mother Nature attempts to interrupt the fun). I give two big thumbs up to my weekend at NCMF and here are some reasons why:

5. Chicago natives Future Rock after show at the brand new Concord Hall was a fabulous time. They opened for Lotus and in my mind, brought a better performance. Their set was artfully planned out, smooth when it needed to be and raw dance beats to keep the crowd grooving. Their light show was perfect and ran beautifully with their tracks. Concord Hall was a great location for this show. It’s a big open venue with plenty of space for everyone to dance. The audience was super close to the stage which, created a truly real experience amongst the artist and their fans. Beware you can’t bring in a camel back (the bouncers are a little rude and actually threatened to throw mine out…). Other than that this venue is great for a show. The back area is laid out with couches and tables with very relaxing vibes. All in all, check out Concord Hall and keep listening to Future Rock.

4. Gary Clark Jr. What a surprise. Watching him perform on the last day was unreal. This man kills it on the guitar. The entire crowd was in awe of his skills and it seemed like everyone had a smile plastered to their faces. It was a great change of pace from all the electronic music. Props to NCMF for booking this guy; I’d love to see him again.

3. Weather played a huge role in many of NCMF events. Unfortunately a giant thunderstorm wailed in on Friday delaying the festival for a couple hours. Fortunately by 8pm, attendees were allowed to come back in and I ran straight on over to the Alunageorge set. She rocked a tight black bustier and all white, silk shorts paired with white knee socks. She looked awesome. Her six-pack was gleaming as she danced around the stage, singing her heart out. I can’t wait to see what she brings next. My favorite track of her’s is “You Know You Like It” and the Wilfred Giroux remix is on point.

2. Cherub popping out of nowhere at the end of Gramatik’s set was a blast. They performed their new collab track “Obviously” and brought real funk to Chicago that night. Both crews were having a great time up there and their energy was contagious. Also that song is downright fabulous. Just that morning, I had been watching the music video they recently released and being able to see it perform live a few hours later was a real treat. Be sure to check out the video if you haven’t yet. There’s no argument these guys know how to have a good time. I was able to meet Jason Huber of Cherub after his performance on Sunday night and he was so gracious and thankful. I was very impressed by his welcoming persona.

1. And the best part of NCMF weekend was the Bondax after show at Cobra Lounge. Adam Kaye and George Townsend are truly gifted DJs. They brought such happy fun dance vibes to the bar that night; everyone could not stop dancing. The two guys rotated playing with their turntables, pushing buttons, making switches and singing along to all their tracks the whole damn time. I love them. You can feel their passion for their work while they perform and the audience was going wild bout it. I’m so excited for their future and can’t wait to see what they bring next. Please please please listen to “Giving it All“. It’s already gotten multiple remixes all over SoundCloud including one by French Kiwi Juice that’s smothered in French electro pop. I hung out with them after their performance and these two guys are genuine and humble as fuck. It’s almost like they don’t realize how good they are. I kept reminding them how talented and wonderful their performance was- they’d let out a slight giggle and pleasantly say thank you. Their worldly knowledge for music speaks ages against the fact that they’re both still teenagers. These young guys know how to groove. I see only a promising and successful music career.

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About Katy Beightol

Optimistic creative who believes in the power of content to bring people together to spread impactful ideas.