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Concert Tue Sep 07 2010
Another beautiful Chicago day kicked off North Coast on Saturday as our photographer George headed out early into the field and caught the beautiful shot of rocker Grace Potter above, and also was able to grab Daedalus, who filled in for Benga when he had some problems at Customs, for a quick portrait session backstage.
I kicked off my night with a massive crowd of people smoking what smelled like really excellent quality weed at Jay Electronica. Jay was friendly with the crowd, taking hits of said weed, joking about BDSM related sex bets, and ranting about conspiracy theories, almost to the point of default. The banter wasn't needed when it came to showcasing the rhymes and showmanship of Jay. From rapping over a Jon Brion soundtrack in "Act 1: Eternal Sunshine (The Pledge)" to dropping one of the best songs all weekend when he busted out "Exhibit C," his captivating talent was evident amongst the ADD riddled set. When he brought up a massive crowd onstage, he played it off, protecting the fans as security tried to make them leave, rapping against the guards, and in the end giving a peace offering hug to the guys who were just doing their job. Sure, Jay brought three guys up to freestyle at the end of his set, but that's how he got his start. And regardless of the fact that only one guy could flow, it was enjoyable watching Jay's face as they rhymed, full of concentration and all smiles, a man that clearly loves every aspect of his art form.
Chicago-based Future Rock has always stood on the loud and bumping pillars of electronic music, and on Saturday evening at North Coast volume and booty-shaking beats were the order. Future Rock dominated the small Coast stage with their typically odd but oh-so-groovin' beats and a stage presence that was half rave (Lights. So. Many. Flashing. Lights.) and Halloween spook house (So much fog machine). The boys did not disappoint and dropped successive jams throughout their set while engaging with a happy, altered, and astonishingly young audience. The teenagers and early 20-somethings were (in between Facebooking and Tweeting on their phones) more than happy to get into some dancing for the eager to please beats of the Rock. -Brian Lauvray
Speaking of youth, the juxtaposition in age of Future Rock's audience and De La Soul's crowd was jarring. From teens popping pills to long-in-the-tooth 30-somethings wondering if they should have even brought this joint, the audiences were disparate but also incredibly happy to be there. For De La Soul's set the band --who is notorious for engaging with the crowd and yes, making the audience get into it-- was not having any of this nonchalant and pleasantly low-energy crowd. Starting and stopping at various points (though it's important to note, DLS did not ruin nor take away from their set with the pausing) to egg on the crowd and force singalongs (rap alongs?) from an audience that was too old to really remember most of the lyrics or, in some instances, too young to even know who De La Soul was. Yes, a pair of young girls remarked "Is this a Girl Talk remix?" to "Me Myself and I." I'm not making that up.-Brian Lauvray
I ended my night with another massive dance party, the one-two punch of Boys Noize and Moby. Boys Noize spun rough-around-the-edges yet at the same time sleek remixed beats and original material, a perfect blend of his full body of work. The younger crowd for Boys Noize ate it up, bodies moving in time all around. And as a seamless transition went right into Moby, many fans around me didn't even notice the difference for at least 10 minutes. It didn't matter who was behind the decks at this point; it was all really good and everyone was just swept away dancing.
Moby's DJ sets are a clear testament to the fact that he's been into the house scene for a very long time, showing the style of music where he cut his teeth during the start of his career. He's clearly at home behind the decks, knowing every move and enjoying the ride as he works. It's all second nature to him, and even when part of the sound system cut out half way through, the crowd kept dancing, a true sign of a good set.
Check back later for our last day at North Coast Festival.