Festival Watch is a Tomorrow’s Verse feature where we break down festival news into the facts you need to know.
North Coast Music Festival – September 1-3 – Union Park, Chicago
Update 6/1: Primus was added as an additional headliner, and Ganja White Night, Bob Moses and Autograf added as well.
Headliners To Watch:
Ween – The obvious choice for us at Tomorrow’s Verse, Ween will return after their triumphant two nights at Aragon for a Sunday headlining spot at North Coast. With Dean and Gene finding a new, recently revitalized groove and busting out a variety of surprises at each run, this will almost certainly be a highlight of the festival.
Primus – Les Claypool and Primus are back in full force, recently debuting new material to mix in with their massive back catalog of classics. The eclectic band embodies the same genre-crossing that North Coast's lineup boasts, and will make for an outstanding, energetic headlining set on Sunday night.
STS9 – Sound Tribe has also recently felt reenergized in the live setting, settling into a groovy, upbeat funk sound that screams of pure fun. The band has only improved by means of technical proficiency, leading them to a perfect blend of jamming, funk and electronic that is simply made for the festival setting.
Joe Russo’s Almost Dead – A shoe-in for the jam band scene that this festival likes to play into, Russo and his band have been consistently on fire for years now, and proved themselves to be amongst the most talented band in scene today. The band’s festival set should draw a large crowd, and be absolutely electric.
Lettuce – Consistently amongst the most fun funk acts in the scene, Lettuce continues to be an absolute powerhouse in the live setting. With a tight, commanding rhythm section and a wall of horns, these guys will certainly get the North Coast crowd moving.
BadBadNotGood – Canadian five-piece BadBadNotGood are fairly young and still yet to peak. Known for a smooth, jazzy sound and a collaborative nature that brings in electronic and hip-hop influences, these guys will fit in perfectly at North Coast, and more than likely bring some guests along for the ride.
Akenya – Chicago female artist Akenya has perfected a sound that mixes soul, hip-hop and jazz, her smooth but eclectic music a perfect match for North Coast.
Edamame – Local beatmaker Edamame specializes in lo-fi and low key, trippy instrumentals. Spacey and creative, the artist should make for an interesting live act to check out at the festival.
Autograf – Electronic trio Autograf will bring their upbeat, infectious EDM to the festival for those looking to dance.
You Need To Know
Taking place over three days in Union Park, North Coast tends to draw a younger crowd that embraces EDM and electronic acts, as well as the jam-band scene. Though the headliners may be big names, a lot of the best acts will be found by exploring the rest of the lineup. The festival features vendors and installation pieces from artists, as well as a silent disco.
The Bottom Line
In its seventh year of existence, North Coast continues to set its view on electronic and jam band acts, but chooses them with a wisdom that festivals often lack. With more artists to still be announced and an exciting number of talented acts as is, North Coast will again certainly fill its 20,000 capacity and shouldn’t disappoint.