Photos: The Cool Kids Brought Out Chance The Rapper & Won North Coast Music Festival 2017

By Tankboy in Arts & Entertainment on Sep 4, 2017 2:35PM


North Coast Music Festival returned for its eighth year in Union Park over the weekend. Mixing hip-hop with electronic artists and jam bands, it remains one of the more interesting summer experiences, festival-wise.

It had been a few years since I last attended, and while I couldn't go all three days this year I did hop in and out of the scene over the weekend to try and get a feel for what North Coast has turned into. In its earliest days it felt like a hodgepodge of disparate acts, primarily chosen simply because the promoters were personal fans. That much hasn't seemed to change.

This year's crowd was a mixture of mellow granola folks, flintier hard-edged EDM fans and the usual lot of partying teens for whom this may actually be "summer's last stand." Some folks seemed to be there less for the music than the scene, but that is no longer all that unusual at a festival—especially one that has such a wide-ranging roster, with notables including Gucci Mane, Big Boi, Damian Marley, Ween, Deadmau5, Primus and Skepta. Most folks did seem united by the hopes of enjoying a long weekend of partying to a live soundtrack.

And, of course, Chance the Rapper made an appearance, showing that the current hardest working man in Chicago hip-hop can't resist a good fest for the right reasons. He joined Chicago's The Cool Kids for the final quarter of their set, and while many in the crowd rushed the stage for a glimpse of their hero, the appearance had a deeper resonance since Chance actually came up under The Cool Kids. As his friends and heroes prepare to release their first album after a long hiatus, Chance's appearance lent the duo of Antoine "Sir Michael Rocks" Reed and Evan "Chuck Inglish" Ingersoll some heat. To be fair, the new material that made up much of their set proved The Cool Kids are in excellent form, so hopefully this signal boost will make sure their work hits as many ears as possible.

While I only sampled bits and pieces of the festival, our photographer Tyler LaRiviere was on the grounds throughout to capture the bands, the vibes, and the fashions from over the weekend.