Photos by Bobby Reys
Cherub has been steadily building a name for themselves since crossing paths three years ago with a common musical goal. It was simple, guitarist Jordan Kelley had a sound he wasn’t quite sure how to achieve, Jason Huber had just the voice and production skills to make it happen. Having found each other in Nashville, TN, the pair created Cherub, a hybrid dance/funk electro-pop that has drawn comparisons to Prince and Pharrell. Over the past two years the duo have watched their stars rise exponentially, playing Bonaroo and Electric Forest, along with a successful SXSW in Austin last year buoyed by supports from the Red Bull Sound Select series. This year Jason and Jordan jumped on tour with Gramatik in the spring and, with festival season out of the way, will begin a Fall tour with ProbCause, Mansions on the Moon and Pell. We had the opportunity to sit down with the pair before the played the Dos Equis stage, check out the conversation below. Continue reading North Coast Music Festival: Interview with Cherub →
Lotus has carried the flag for their own genre for awhile now. “Jamtronica”, the band’s signature blend of electronic elements paired with a creatively unique jam band aesthetic that has kept them at the forefront of both genres for close to 15 years now. Lotus’ ability to master a wide range of disciplines musically has allowed the Indiana-based group to constantly tinker with it’s sound and evolve the band’s dynamic. Lotus is a fully adaptable animal, with the ability to go from rock to dance to hip hop all in one rocking set and, largely without vocal aid. I had a chance to catch Lotus frontman Jesse Miller while backstage at The Last Stand Stage, check out the interview below. Continue reading North Coast Music Festival: Jesse Miller of Lotus →
Like most anyone involved with hip-hop music or pop culture in general, I grew up listening to Wu-Tang Clan and vividly remember ODB crooning through the speakers of my Mom’s Ford Explorer when I was a kid hijacking the radio. So, waiting on the elevator with two photographers to meet and interview U-God during North Coast was one of the crazier moments I’ve had in my life. The two of us said hello, settled in and enjoyed the view from the 29th floor of the Hard Rock Hotel, check out the conversation below.
Continue reading |Interview| North Coast Music Festival: U-God →
Photo by Geoff Heano
Day Two of North Coast Music Festival in Union Park went off much smoother than the 2013 debut a day earlier. With the sun finally shining down and the heat pounding festival-goers, things got off to a fast start. Chicago’s own Porn and Chicken got things going with their 2:30 set at the Last Stand Stage, picking up where frat-dance kings Milk n’ Cookies warmed up the stage earlier.
After floating through the following sets and checking out a truly inspired set from Conspirator, I found myself torn between the silky smooth tones of Aloe Blacc, the rough-edged hip hop of Flatbush Zombies and the endearing DJ sounds of Thibault. I ended up making the rounds to each briefly, unfortunately missing most of Flatbush due to simply not being able to navigate the festival properly. Between Bondax, Gramatik, Future Rock and the smattering of EDM/Dance acts on the Tent Stage, the Saturday afternoon air was soon completely inundated with the glitchy sound of digital music. Being a big fan of both Gramatik and Bondax, it was disappointing that organizers pushed so many similar acts together and brought about memories of monotonous EDM festivals of earlier months.
Emerging from the dense electronic jungle, Nas took the North Stage to close it out for the day. The New York MC showed precisely why he is one of the most decorated hip-hop acts in the history of the genre, filling his hour-long set with tracks from his entire discography. Dipping back to Illmatic for timeless hit (“The World is Yours”, “Life’s a Bitch”, “Memory Lane”) and peppering more recent work from several albums (God’s Son, Stillmatic, Life is Good), Nasir Jones put on a show that won’t soon be forgotten at North Coast.
EDM made it’s way back to the stage in two forms to close out Saturday, with Big Gigantic and Afrojack bringing up the rear as the day’s headliners. Jeremy Salken and Dominic Lalli continued their string of impressive Chicago shows by performing their instrumental take on the genre that includes live drums and saxophone, drawing one of the biggest crowds of the weekend. A meet and greet organized through Thissongissick.com kept the pair standing stage-side for hours. For his part, Afrojack held things down, giving fans a grittier dance experience from the other side of the festival grounds and closing out what was easily the biggest day at North Coast for anyone trying to dance.