Smoke danced in the air. The smell of on-tap beer drifted across Union Park as it transformed into a musical paradise, greeting Midwestern music-heads with popular headliners and must see up-and-comings for the 2015 North Coast Music Festival. Self-dubbed “Chicago’s Last Stand,” a final hoo-rah to the summer before the cooler weather begins it’s unapologetic domination, a myriad of hip-hop, electronic and metal bands took to the stage in ear pleasing sets during Labor Day weekend.
Fans from every corner of Chicago, home to Kanye West, Twista, R. Kelly, Lupe Fiasco plus dozens more, descended upon the 3-day stint to see their favorite artists. This year’s festival tapped rapper Wale, D’Angelo and The Vanguard, along with one of the most influential hip hop acts ever, The Roots, in addition to The Chemical Brothers, popular electronic music band.
The North Coast Music Festival has always been known for it’s diverse appeal. Attracting everyone from the grunge lovers, to boho-chic flower childs, to hip-hop heads, North Coast had something for everyone.
Wale was Chi-town chillin’ as he performed his hyped set on Friday, September 4. Blessing the 312-stage, the “Matrimony” rapper put on an impeccable show, interacting with fans; taking selfies with festival goers smart phones and jumping in the crowd on multiple occasions.
Dressed in an army-fatigue top and pinned up dreads with a red and black scarf, the D.C. native chanted, “turn the f*ck up,” as the audience bellowed after him, getting the crowd hype as he performed his most popular hits, including “Bad,” the Miguel-assisted “Lotus Flower Bomb” and “Girls on Drugs.” The 30-year-old songwriter closed his show with the ultra party anthem, “No Hands,” untying his secured do to shake his dreads to the beat as the crowd waved their hands and jumped in rhythm.
D’Angelo and the Vanguard took to the stage the following day, marking their first performance ever in the Windy City. Despite Saturday morning showers, fans came out in droves to see the R&B legend perform with his band. Although the “How Does it Feel” singer performed most of his new material from his surprise album, Black Messiah, the 41-year-old was a hybrid of old-school, funk and blues. But his die-hard fans, who first fell in love with the R&B crooner from the early nineties, didn’t feel left out, as he performed the sultry hit, “Brown Sugar.” Alternating from the guitar to the keyboard, D’Angelo showcased his unlimited talents, infused with his signature falsetto. – Angela Wilson (@SheisAngela)
Photo credit: Vocalo 91.1, Frank Knuckles Instagram, Josh Timmermans Instagram, Sherron Shabazz Instagram