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Don't Miss These 8 Acts At North Coast Music Fest

By Tankboy in Arts & Entertainment on Sep 3, 2015 6:04PM

Photo: Katie Karpowicz

We keep hearing that this is a transitional year for the North Coast Music Festival as it embraces a wider musical palette and moves away from the EDM it was known for.

But to be honest, we stopped thinking of it as an EDM festival a few years ago when they started booking more bands and less DJs.This isn’t exactly a new development—we wouldn’t contest North Coast vets like Little Dragon (2014), Aloe Blacc (2013), The Rebirth Brass band (2012), of Montreal (2011) or Lupe Fiasco (2010) as huge players in the EDM scene, right? North Coast recognized right from the start that the kids that want to dance don’t care what genre of music they’re dancing to as long as it moves them. And this year is no different with a wide ranging line-up. Here are our recommendations for the 8 can’t miss acts performing this weekend.

Dirty Dozen Brass Band
Friday on the 312 Stage at 3:30 p.m.

Dirty Dozen Brass Band, photo via their website

This crew from New Orleans has been going strong through a variety of line-up changes since 1977. While the members have changed, the spirit of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band has remained the same, delivering horn-heavy party music that will bring folks out to start dancing in the streets. This early slot is a terrific way to kick off your weekend and make sure you get off on the good foot from the get-go.

Friday on the 630 Stage at 5:45 p.m.

Photo via RAC's Facebook page.

We've been following the career of RAC, a.k.a. Andre Allen Anjo, since 2007, watching his rise from being the indie rock's set dance remixer of choice, into a formidable live act with his own catalog of original material. Every show we've seen from RAC has delivered good vibes that spurred on the kind of crowd dancing that feels warm and full of brother- and sisterly good will instead of debauched revelry. This early evening set should send folks away from this side of field filled with warm feelings and the general sense all is right with the world.

Roy Davis Jr.
Saturday in the Heineken House at 6:45

Roy Davis Jr

House legend Roy Davis Jr. sat down with us for a long talk and overview of his career, so you already know of our deep respect for this Chicago DJ. But don't take our written word for it. Listen to the mix he created for us below and get on the floor of the Heineken House early Saturday evening to take in one of his sinuous DJ sets that span genres,

The Roots
Saturday on the 773 Stage at 7:45 p.m.

20090912_common_the_roots 130.jpg
Photo by Jim Kopeny / tankboy

Long before they were Jimmy Fallon's house band, The Roots have been tearing up the live circuit with mind-bending sets since the '80s. We caught them a few years ago at a small club show and we are still pretty sure the experience affected us on a molecular, musical level.

D’Angelo and the Vanguard
Saturday on the 312 Stage at 8:45 p.m.

D'Angelo, photo via his website

It took 14 years for D'Angelo to release the follow up to Voodoo, but Black Messiah was well worth the wait, and was one of our favorite LPs of 2014. Saturday looks to be a steamy, sultry and humid night, providing just the right conditions for the crowd to drip with sweat to D'Angelo's sensuous and twisting jams. We've been waiting a long time to see this artist perform live so we're thinking this could be one of the highlights of our music year.

Porn And Chicken
Sunday on the 847 Stage at 3:30 p.m.

Porn And Chicken, image via their Facebook page

Porn And Chicken have earned their reputation for throwing some of the most outlandish and decadent parties in Chicago over the last couple of years. If you're looking for out-there costumes and club kids behaving badly, their parties are ground zero for losing one's shit in the club. But it's not all just wild visuals, there's talent in this DJ collective and one listen to their live set, embedded below, at this year's Spring Awakening proves it's the music, not the spectacle, driving the party.

Twin Shadow
Sunday on the 773 Stage at 5:30 p.m.

Twin Shadow, photo by Milan Zrnic

Twin Shadow, a.k.a. George Lewis Jr., was involved in a pretty horrific tour bus accident last April. But instead of running from the experience Lewis returned to the road as soon as physically possible. On touring again so soon, Lewis told NPR, "It felt really good to do. It felt important." We're thankful he took this route, because his carefully-crafted mixture of electronics and soul music is just the sonic salve most North Coast attendees will be craving by this point in the weekend.

The Chemical Brothers
Sunday on the 312 Stage at 8:30 p.m.

The Chemical Brothers, photo via their Facebook page

The Chemical Brothers are probably the classic rock version of dance music to the younger crowds at North Coast, but one listen to this year's Born In The Echoes proves they are no nostalgia act. The fact the organizer's landed the DJ duo to close out the weekend is impressive, and given the group's legendary live shows—and their nimbleness in the mix that puts them miles away from the current crowd of younger button pushers—this should prove an epic capper to this weekend's party.