A subtle breeze swept over our necks and rinsed off the suns heat whilst we entered Union Park to claim our tickets at the press lines. It was a sheer blessing to be able to enjoy the festival without the suns unforgiving discomfort. The weather this weekend seemed to be in the most perfect cohesion with our skin. We made our way towards the front of the lines where we were patted down with approval and cuffed tight within that day’s festival wrist band. I admired the color choice as I began walking into the park drawing my eyes forward and gazed from side to side recalling where and who I was as a person just one year ago. We scanned through our pamphlets planning how the night should go but of course it was more so of a loose outline since planning to not plan seemed a bit better use of our time.
The acts this year were diverse with live rappers to top dj acts band even some beloved jam bands. Acts included Bassnectar, Odesza, The Floozies, Umphrey’s Mcgee, Juicy J, Action Bronson, Brillz, Vulfpeck and many, many more. The festival seemed to cater to everyone interest and I had even got plenty of comments from attendees who came solely for their favorite act whom have traveled hours in order to vibe out amongst the fellow fans.
The lay out was conveniently sectioned into stages, food vendors and a pathway of apparel and jewelry shops. There are definite shops that make it out to each festival including Grass Roots Hats who had recently opened their Chicago location just months prior.
A brilliant vibration rang through the park as Odesza took the main stage. They purified air and publicized over the crowds with electronic melodies. Strings harmonized between rhythms in the memories of when guitar chords ruled the radio. A reminiscence of family encapsulated us within a circle of once strangers which had been transformed into my brothers and sisters. As we fell under the witness of the moon; its magic swayed within us and swept us up into the imagination of the music. I watched as the crowd danced within a deep meditation as intertwining ribbons of energy released out from their chest into the skies and melted us together into the atmosphere. The crowds tilted heads upwards into the stars with arms wide as we journeyed an unspoken feeling. Our hands painted in dance while caressed in whirl winds of emotion.
As Bassnectar took the stage it was stylized in the creep whilst Bassnectar junkies came out dressed with a seventies stank with a new innovation of inter-dimensional twists. Ladies heads bang and hips shakes in tangles with a complete loss of body. Their heavy Hip- Hop influence infused through a movement of pasties and cannabis within a laser tag of Lasse fare culture. Crypt walked and shouting while hyped amplified along the sides with soda cans. Blank eyes hazed out in the gaze of the youth whom had euthanized the beat in a breed of species of womping frenzy freaks. They dressed in yesterday’s throwback and tomorrow’s new unexplored territories. Lines erased and meshed into the sinking of their continuity and acceptance of dance. Foxes with fox tails and bandanas showcasing piercing eyes from the underground scene which had come alive right before my eyes.
Scratching on the bottom of the bowl for the tar of resin of the most dankest, sits a wiry beard with in what he describes an “alligator” frame. He grabs the mic with such power screamed into it a passion with incomparable at this festival utterly captivating in his lyrical rhythms. Chill beats lay underneath while he spit the stories of his own. A Complete thought of precision and the exact the detail of how. Unparalleled to this day of what type of rap he laid down. I was amazed how he had memorized the ins and outs of the complexes of his poetry. Without a fuck to give what you thought about his physical appearance he left you stunned at his sheer abilities while rooted by low subs bass and high cries of violin.
The festival ended with Zedd whose high dimensional sound touched each aspect of
new age dance music. Zedd combined touches of vocals intermixed with heavy dance beats dub influences. His visual display mesmerized and entranced the crowd to follow through the tunnels of fluorescents. The globos lights cut through the open air over our heads while a smoke fog created swirls of blue and green clouds. An illusion teased us while fingertips brushed the clouds just mere inches above our heads. His generational sound swept through us putting in perspective who we are as a new generation.
We left Northcoast with a deeper appreciation for the music that each artist had given us. The festival ended at 10 each night and allowed the thousands of attendees enough time to set out into the city night. The three days came and went faster than I can remember. I’m excited to see how much more the stages will evolve next year. I thoroughly enjoyed to diversity of live acts and DJs. Not only did this draw a diverse group of attendees but in effect, it allows many to discover new music and artists which they wouldn’t have primarily listened to before. As Music, visual Art, and computers become more infused; the possibilities of what this generation of artists will create and reinvent are endless.