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The news site of Glenbrook South High School.

The Oracle

The news site of Glenbrook South High School.

The Oracle

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‘Summer’s Last Stand’ holds its own


Cooler days and changing of seasons are what most people think of when September rolls around. But for some the first weekend of September means going to Summer’s Last Stand: North Coast Music Festival.

Taking place at Union Park over Labor Day weekend, North Coast Music Festival is an electronic, jam band, DJ, techno, hip-hop, dance festival.

The location, which is about one third the size Lollapalooza’s, offers an easy way to get from stage to stage. A new addition to the festival’s second year was a fifteen-foot LCD screen behind the stage, providing the festival not only with awesome music, but also impressive lights. Also added to each stage was a side LCD screen offering fans in the back a chance to see a live recording of the show.

The festival was already enjoyable and unique on day one compared to others. The doors opened at 3 p.m., allowing festivalgoers to arrive at the park without missing school or work.

Lotus, Philadelphia’s electronic jam band, was the second show I caught and my most anticipated show of the weekend. With their hour-and-a-half slot the Philly band brought elements of rock, electronic, jazz, jam and funk to their show.

Known for concerts with complex light set up and varying set lists containing frequent group improvisation, Lotus did not disappoint, as it was nothing but excellent.

After Lotus I heard a huge bass drop and instantly knew it was the headliner French DJ David Guetta.

Guetta’s performance was where the LCD screen really came in handy. Not only was Guetta’s musical set amazing, but the light show was an out-of-this-world experience. The atmosphere was upbeat and fast with the lights enhancing the setting.

Big Gigantic, the Boulder, Co. electronic jam band duo was another show I anticipated. Performing on Saturday, their mix of drums, beats and live saxophone made the show memorable and got me ready for the headliner that night.

Sound Tribe Sector 9 (STS9) instantly set the bar high by opening with “EHM”, from their 2009 album Ad Explorata. Through the light rain and cool breezes, STS9 played stellar jams with heavy bass, immediately becoming the highlight of the festival.

The lack of true jam bands, with rock ‘n’ roll singing and five-minute jams, was disappointing. Compared to last year when Umphrey’s McGee and Disco Biscuits performed- both in the jam band scene since the nineties- were almost completely forgotten this weekend filled with mostly electronic and DJs.

Playing early on Sunday was Van Ghost, a band completely out of place compared to the rest of the acts, which made it dissatisfying. But Sunday also included the highly anticipated Santa Cruz DJ, Bassnectar. When Bassnectar came on all I could feel from the first row was my body shaking from the over-modulated bass.

Bassnectar then went on to play a new song called “The Matrix,” from his newly released album Divergent Spectrum, quickly making it one of the biggest parties of the weekend. Everywhere you looked, festivalgoers bobbed their heads to the extreme dub step and danced the entire time.

Overall North Coast was an amazing weekend filled with spectacular music and stunning lightshows. The fest’s nickname, “Summer’s Last Stand,” is fitting, as it is the final festival of the season.

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