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Concert Tue Sep 07 2010
Fairy wings, furry boots, whippets, and enough glow sticks to light a small country took over Union Park this past weekend for North Coast Festival, dubbed "Summer's Last Stand," three days of electronic, hip-hop, and jam acts all in one place. Upon walking up to festival grounds Friday night, you knew a good portion of the weekend would be spent dancing, the heavy thumping beats from every stage flooding onto Ashland and Lake. Being the first year of the festival, there were some glitches (huge lines at an understaffed will call, confusion with security on what passes accessed what area, a lot of gate crashers, no water refill stations), but none that weren't a good lesson for organizers to learn from for future years. Overall security was friendly (as was the crowd, sober or not), and the festival got a break with amazing weather all weekend, cutting down on what could have otherwise been a lot of dehydrated sweaty fans. Click through and continue reading about my weekend at North Coast, and some thoughts from Gapers Block Tailgate Editor Brian Lauvray as well.
Paul van Dyk started off the electronic assault of North Coast's three-day festival of lights and beats with an evolving and tight set that showed off most of his recent "dance 'n trance" album and remix work with a lot of In Between being featured whilst PVD also gave a healthy wink and nod to his earlier (and more subdued) Reflections. Staid and steady behind his laptop, the light show expressed the emotion and feelings of the songs if not the quasi-robotic Paul. -Brian Lauvray
As I got my bearings of the festival, I was able to catch some of Pretty Lights on the Groupon stage. Before the festival I wasn't impressed with what I heard, pretty generic hippie style rock dj, but live the duo really upped their electronic and funk elements, creating a heady mix of thumping bass and kick drum that was an enjoyable precursor to the main attraction.
The Chemical Brothers know how to make an entrance, starting off the night with a slow build, a massive backdrop of lights and lazers warming up behind them, as they dropped the beat and went right into "Galvanize," one of the many hits the duo would play Friday night. Some of the standouts of the night were off their new album Further including "Another World" "Swoon" and "Dissolve," proving that the new material holds up just as well as classics like "Star Guitar," when trotted out live.
The Chemical Brothers are one of the prime examples of the perfection of a live electronic act. Seamless transitions, a perfect mix of build-up and drops, stunning (and sometimes jarring) visuals, and above all else making the production of their music standout as the main focus. As cliche as it sounds, its the type of electronic music that you don't have to be actually high to feel high at their show. As far as electronic goes, it's right up there with seeing Daft Punk, which is still hands down the best live show I've ever seen. The Chemical Brothers have perfected their art, and dish out a polished set that pleased a field full of very happy people.
Check back later for reviews from Saturday and Sunday at North Coast.