The 8 Best Moments From Chicago's North Coast Music Festival
September 8, 2015 - 6:13 pm
Leather Corduroys Made Their Festival Debut
This rap duo has been performing at Chicago venue after Chicago venue since dropping Season earlier this year, and made their festival debut on the 847 stage at NCMF this year. Rocking the very rare Dope Boy Magic Kanye 2020 tees, Joey Purp and Kami de Chukwu did their thing in front of an audience of Savemoney fans and fam. Job well done, fellas.
Wale Brought D.C. to The Chi
“And that D.C. shit, I rep all day,” Wale bragged as he closed out his set Friday night, and he fa sho wasn’t lying. The Album About Nothing rhymer brought go-go to the city of bopping, footworking and juking and the fans weren’t even mad. He performed some of his classics from “Pretty Girls” to “Lotus Flower Bomb” along with some of his newer tracks and the crowd of drugged out listeners was too lit. At one point, he came out on his blue hoverboard and showed off his dance skills and proved that even in a heavily rock and EDM lineup, there’s always room for a little bit of hip hop.
Lili K Gave Us Soulful Serenades
Her set was short, simple and to the point and the soulful songstress showed listeners that Lili K is not playing games when it comes to this music thing.
Having supported local rhymers around the city with her background vocals for some years now, she has taken center stage with her latest project, Ruby, and proved to us with her NCMF performance (and her Made in America set the next day) that she’s an artist we need to watch out for.
The O’my’s Used Their Platform to Spread Major Love
Local Chicago group, The O’my’s definitely had a theme for their North Coast set—love. As they breezed through tracks from their latest EP, Keeping the Faith, lead vocalist Maceo Haymes belted words like “love keeps me righteous,” atop impassioned instrumentals from the rest of the gang.
The band brought out poet and activist Malcolm London who did his thing as he spoke on the police brutality plaguing the city of Chicago.
Macy Gray Made a Statement
Okay, so I know that I’m not the only one who had no idea Macy Gray was still making music. Well, yeah, she most certainly is -- and she’s just as funky with it as ever.
She took the 773 stage at North Coast Saturday evening with her unforgettable and utterly unique vocals. The the soulfulness of her band Galactic was the perfect pairing for the young crowd.
Jeremy Ellis Shut Shit Down with The Roots
When I read the lineup for North Coast Music Festival, the '90s hip-hop head in me geeked out when I noticed The Roots would be performing, and they surely didn’t let me down.
They performed some of their classic tracks like “Break You Off” and “You Got Me” along with newer works. Black Thought, ?uestlove and the rest of the crew did their thing, but Jeremy Ellis, who calls himself a “wildly dexterous button pusher,” stole the show with his extremely intricate skills on his beat-making machine. He played an array of tunes including the Super Mario theme in rapid fire motion, leaving the audience in awe of how quickly his fingers were moving.
D’Angelo Proved That He Still Got It
Not that you ever questioned if he did, but if there was any doubt in your mind that D’Angelo still had it, after seeing his NCMF set Saturday night, you would know for sure why he’s solidified himself as a neo-soul god.
Funkier than ever before, with his trusty band The Vanguard by his side, his performance was an experience. Sadly, though, that experience was short-lived, as he was forced to end it before getting to some of his most beloved tunes in his catalog.
“They’re telling me I’ve gotta go,” he explained, much to the audience’s disappointment. Had we had it our way, he might have still been up there on that stage. But we did get to see him perform some classics like “Brown Sugar” along with newer tracks like “Really Love,” and for me, that was just enough.
(Photo by Daniel Stewart)
Stefan Ponce Reminded us that the Background Players are Important Too
We closed out North Coast Fest Sunday afternoon by hitting up Stefan Ponce’s set. The Grammy-nominated producer has made a name for himself by working with artists like Childish Gambino, Vic Mensa and Chance the Rapper. He played those tunes during his set, from “Good Ass Intro” to “3005” and “U Mad,” and the audience was live. At one point he noted that we might be wondering why he’s up there just playing shit, and casually explained “because I produced them all.” He went on to play some joints from his latest project, which is currently in the works. Be on the lookout for that!
(Photo by Daniel Stewart)