North Coast Day 1: A Little Rain, A Lot of Disco

Here’s the thing: I love North Coast.  It’s the perfect book-end to the summer festival season, getting everyone out for one last rage before we retreat to our radiator-heated apartments waiting for Summer Camp again.  Friday kicked off with a little snag in the way of a rain delay… in total, it about about 75 minutes of lost time, which isn’t that big of a deal.  It did, however, mean that set times were changed and we had a lot more great bands overlapping with each other.

Gates are Back Open!

Gates are Back Open!

That said, major props to the North Coast team.  They had those lines back open and moving like nothing had happened.  Everyone was extremely friendly and accomodating, and they did a really great job of keeping things safe even in the muddy conditions.  So – we were back at it.  All scampers know, a little mud can’t hold us back. The pushed closing time back from 10 to 11 to make up for the loss (which was super cool).

The amazing thing about Union Park (for non-Chicagoans, this is also where Pitchfork is) is the fact that those stages are so close together, yet somehow the sound doesn’t bleed at all.   The first thing to hit was Paper Diamond, which really got the crowd back on track.  I was a first-timer for that, but it was really fantastic!  There were some lovely hoopers in the back, trooping it through the mud.  But what I really was waiting for was Disco Biscuits.


First I stopped by Passion Pit, because I’ve always loved the way they make their crowd feel like you’re sitting with them in a living room.  Something about their ability to talk with the crowd and play with such subtleties even in a large open-air venue is pretty rare… you always feel like you’re right up front.  They ended up playing the after-show with Alunageorge and Capital Cities at Concord Music Hall, and I hear it was just fantastic.

And then, it was Biscuit time.  I scooted over as quickly as possible and wedged my way through the crowd to get as close as I could up on the side (yep, I was that girl).  The energy in that crowd was just fantastic.  You would have no idea that these thousands of folks had just stood in the pouring rain for an hour!  The big takeaway from this set: lights.  I had a view from the right side and it was absolutely mezmorizing, so I can’t imagine what it was like straight from the middle.  For those playing at home, I highly recommend going couch tour tonight — they’re working through EventLive, and the quality of streaming is really impressive.  They’ll be showing all of today (Saturday) and tomorrow’s shows here:!/event/1000510


And now it’s Saturday!  It’s actually about 11:15 and after writing this, I’m heading back to the grounds for a huge day of music.  Must-sees today include:  Milk n Cookies (love those guys), El Ten Eleven (just saw ‘em in Portland in November, so stellar), Conspirator, Future Rock, Gramatik, My Boy Elroy, and – of course – Big Gigantic.  It’s still raining outside, but who cares?  It’s a big ‘ol day of music and we’re ready to rage.