REVIEW: North Coast Music Fest 2013 Day 3

vega_2011bNorth Coast Music Festival – Day 3

September 1st, 2013

By: SouthSide Tanya Vega

Well all good things must come to end. What started off as a quite whimper is now going out with one huge exploding BANG!

It’s Day 3 of North Coast Music Festival and the steamy hot weather doesn’t deter anyone away because tonight’s headliners – Wu Tang Clan and local guys JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound were poised to leave everyone who came today with lasting memories until next year. Today’s agenda for SouthSide included branching out further as well as around Union Park to soak up the many sights and sounds of North Coast Music Festival instead of staying to one particular area. The music scene here was an eclectic mix of everything – from rap/hip hop to world fusion/reggae/ska and instrumental rock. There was even some Nawlins style Jazz rockin’ a stage too! If you wanted to party to EDM again – this festival had it. Whatever your music taste was today, North Coast had it for you. However due to the extreme hot temps, this reviewer noticed how many spent Day 3 mostly in the shade (wherever it was possible) enjoying the cool breeze blowing by and/or stayed hydrated (too many long lines at the watering fountains!).

Upon arriving early that afternoon, Psalm One & Rhyme School was already in the middle of her act spilling a bit of knowledge to the attentive crowd over at the Dos Eqquis stage meanwhile over at The Last Stand stage, there was another crowd grooving to the funky rhythms of world fusion/ska by Ojo De Buey. While waiting for her friends The Coop to begin their North Coast performance, SouthSide viewed the artwork and the artists at work at the Reader Living Art Gallery that was located at the baseball field. Then, it was finally time to groove to the trippy experimental rock fusion by The Coop (! SouthSide highly recommends checking out this local band that blends the elements of modern jazz rhythms with electrifying sparks of guitar rock and cosmic floetry of digital electronica and keyboards. When hearing how these different elements wonderfully meld together as the band instrumentally jams on stage, it might have you thinking of another band which almost has the same music fusion – Spyro Gyra. During this set, The Coop wowed the shiny happy people vibin’ under the bright sun with new tracks like Hieroglyphics Technician (a mellow yet rhythmic techno-sounding instrumental coupled with complex but flowing melodies), Thousands of Days (the point of the performance when this band had this crowd feeling a bit earthy while jazzed up to the song’s vibrant energy) and Loose Change (another mellow track that allows your ears to ride the cosmic wave of flowing melodies amidst the gentle vocal tone on the lyrics). This particular song attracted many hoopers and hippie dancing people closer to the stage area.

Next on SouthSide’s list of things to do today was to jam with her other friends, Gemini Club ( during their set at Dos Eqquis stage. However since this was another stage area where the bright sun was too stand under, most of the crowd found relief relaxing in the sparse shady grove of trees along side the stage, blogspot readers. Three years ago, Gemini Club played North Coast Music Festival at this area …zoom to the present, they returned opening with a thunderous drum beat to kick of their 2013 set. Featuring the vibrant sounds of pop/electronic rock, this local group had many (who were adventurous to brave standing in the hot sun) dancing while the many others including SouthSide chilled in the shade. The heat wasn’t the only thing effecting people today. It was causing Gemini Club some technical problems because (a) the band wasn’t used to “working” in the daylight and (b) the above 90 degree temps made the computers on stage overheat. “…computers work best in 60 degrees…” Even Tom’s (front man/guitarist) guitar didn’t want to tune properly. Despite that, Gemini Club (also known for their DJ and club remix sets around town), did their best in giving their fans and other Coasties a good show by performing a couple of new songs coming out in a few weeks. Fans can now stream or download their latest EP – Here We Sit off their site. SouthSide would like to make a small suggestion for next year – how about having the stage face the opposite direction where it’s not facing directly in the sunlight. Also there should have been a water station at this general area since most of the Coasties were either between the North, Coast and Dos Eqquis stages – it’s long hike to the nearest and only one water station (for a fest this huge, not cool!) located by Tent stage.

Walking around the fest, there were more fashionably dressed Coasties seen throughout the park such as a couple of nuns …actually two guys dressed as nuns …Alice and the Mad Hatter cosplayers …a group of female superheroes as well as the pseudo hippie/flower children. There was even a Deadmau5 character walking around the fest too. However SouthSide mostly noticed there were children …many of them younger that her youngest daughter’s age with their parents at North Coast with no special area of their own except the blanket areas where their parents kept them away from dancing crowds. Perhaps for North Coast 2014, there should be a kids area where local (or national acts like Kid Koala and/or The Arggolites – they have songs which appeared on the television program Yo Gabba Gabba) kid friendly acts perform (under a shady area) with other special activities for the younger Coasties to enjoy with their parents without having being nearly crushed or trampled by wildly dancing people especially at Last Stand stage where Dirty Dozen Brass Band (from New Orleans) was jamming. These “dirty old men who feel like spanking somebody” had this crowd grooving to the sweet jazz sounds of the Big Easy. While over at Tent Stage, EDM was rockin’ a crowd of gyrating party people during Paul Universe’s set to which many were going insane with glee song after after song. Yeah it was super nuts inside as well as outside this stage area! Hey, SouthSide found Waldo! Then over at North stage (the largest crowd SouthSide had seen all afternoon) Dastik’s EDM set had most within this park bursting to life from each pulsating beat heard around the area. You should have seen the hundreds of bodies dancing and going wild under the waning afternoon sun. It was totally incredible! It didn’t matter where you were – near the front of the stage, knee deep inside the middle or towards the outer edge (where this reviewer was) – there was always bodies in constant motion. Oh cool – someone was wheelchair surfing! There’s Cookie Monster …and he’s a Wu-Tang Clan fan too …and so is Cheshire Cat. Who knew!

SouthSide didn’t stay the entire day (felt a little winded from all of the excitement) but if she gets a chance next year, she’ll brave the entire lineup of music acts rockin’ North Coast Music Festival. It was, in a nutshell, a fun experience. She met and befriended Coasties from all corners of the world and states …danced till her feet couldn’t dance anymore and partied like there was no tomorrow! Though this reviewer may be tired now, she’s ready to tackle next North Coast 2014 …and hopes to see you there.

For more information about this music festival, visit

Until next time, support your local scene,

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Lives on the southside however she works and rocks with bands 2 to 3 nights a week on the northside – go figure… She independently reviews and snaps photos of the hottest Indie bands in Chicago. From country/western to metal and/or experimental, she’s there supporting bands from near or far.

Sometimes you might catch her on stage hosting the Flabby Hoffman Caravan show too. From Elbo Room to Red Line Tap …Double Door to House of Blues and everywhere else in between, she roams around town listening to music. You can say she’s a rock star but the bands/musicians she reviews are the real celebrities. Support the local music scene! If you’re an independent musician and/or band, she wants to be your friend.

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