It’s a rarity when college kids and adults gather on a Friday night, unfazed by the work schedules and late night study binges that await them when they leave the Union Park. EDM trio, Autograf, provides those rarities with their music. Hundreds of people gathered to see the Chicago-based EDM trio behind hits such as “Dream” and “Metaphysical.” No strangers to the booze infested and psychedelic fueled Electro house scene, these people were in for a show of a lifetime. Girls dressed as if it was Halloween in EDM heaven flooded the front row eager to hear Autograf. The tempo of the music was in sync with an equally exciting lightshow. Autograf is well known in the EDM scene and have ubiquitous recognition for their groundbreaking EP, “Slow Burn.” When it comes down to it, Autograf sets themselves apart from other EDM artists by incorporating live instruments such as drums and trumpets. This is a good shift from the average DJ that presses the play button on his iPhone to get the party going. Technological achievements drive the Electronic Dance Music scene allowing more people to get involved in making music right from their computers. No need to invest in those piano lessons anymore, just pick up an audio mixer and a sound editing program and you’re golden.
If you’ve heard of reggae then you know Damian Marley. The reggae artist is the son of music legend Bob Marley and the symbol of modern day Rastafarian culture. Most likely, you’ve seen Bob Marley’s face plastered on a poster in your friend’s room somewhere or referenced in a campaign for progressive marijuana reform. Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley has been performing since age 13, following in his father’s footsteps. His career has been fruitful, having been nominated and ultimately winning a Grammy in 2002 for best reggae album. He has transitioned into other facets of music, such as hip-hop and having released an album with rap legend Nas called “Distant Relatives.” Marley didn’t stop there as he quickly collaborated with EDM icon Skrillex to release the popular song “Make it Bun Dem.” The crowd at the Skyline stage of North Coast failed to let the unrelenting rain stop them from seeing his performance. Many people could be seen wearing drug rugs and beanies, commonly worn by the reggae artist himself. If there was one artist at the festival that had the biggest cult following, it was Marley. His entire set had a Jamaican inspired theme that made you feel as if you were on the island itself. Next to Marley was a man flying a huge Jamaican flag and female back-up singers who assisted the artist with choruses. The performance was something you shouldn’t miss next time he’s in town.
The Cool Kids with Chance the Rapper
Perhaps one of the most notable and unique sets of North Coast was The Cool Kids. The American duo consists of Evan “Chuck Inglish” Ingersoll and Antoine “Sir Michael Rocks” Reed, both of which have strong ties to the Chicago hip-hop scene. The duo’s music goes back to 2007, right around when they came out with their debut album, “The Bake Sale,” which details the artists lives growing up in Michigan and Chicago. The Cool Kids reminds you of that grimy and gritty hip-hop that is reminiscent of the great Nas album “Illmatic,” rap that is filled to the brim with candid lyricism and funny quips. It’s hard to find rappers that have complete control over their rhyme schemes, something that was present when the duo came on with songs “What up Man” and “Mikey Rocks.” They can rap at blistering speeds and then immediately shift into vocal melodies while remaining articulate. Their reputations don’t lack merit, having had songs featured in bits of digital and pop culture such as the HBO show “Entourage” and video games “NBA Live 08” and “MLB 08.” You know you’re influential when Chance the Rapper makes a special appearance at your show and he did just that. While finishing off that last quarter of their performance, Chance slid on stage and gave the rap duo a shout out, saying The Cool Kids inspired him to make music and mentored him into his current role. Chance’s sound engineer was also introduced to him through the rap duo. Being a native of Chicago, it’s exhilarating seeing local heroes come out on stage together for one amazing performance.