Summer is wrapping up, but that doesn't mean Chicago's many outdoor music fests are. The third annual North Coast Music Fest will descend on Union Park Friday through Sunday, bringing together 70-plus acts for an electronic and hip-hop-centric explosion of sound. Single-day tickets still remain for Friday and Saturday, at $60 apiece. Below, a sampling of what you’ll find at Union Park this weekend:
“I Know the Truth” by Pretty Lights
Derek Vincent Smith has put together a gem of a track, building a pulsing, powerful wave of dubstep might. Even the opening piano notes throb with intensity.
“Scheme” by STS9
Sound Tribe Sector 9’s mix of alien vocoder lyrics and shrill, light-speed electronic beats results in a dance-friendly tune you can’t get out of your head—which won’t be a problem in the slightest.
“The Triple Wide” by Umphrey’s McGee
Every jam band likes the opportunity for an extended rock-out session. Umphrey’s takes it one step further, incorporating electronic mixes into its normal guitar act, and it’s a wonderful point-counterpoint.
“Shutterbugg” by Big Boi
Ever since Outkast went on hiatus, Big Boi’s been taking his brand of Southern hip hop solo. While electronic and synth influences color his latest efforts, tracks like “Shutterbugg” confirm his rapid-fire lyrics and distinctive mindset aren’t going anywhere.
“Rage Valley” by Knife Party
This track from ex-Pendulum members is a gloriously chaotic mix of stuttering scratches, garbled lyrics, and staccato beats. But it’s the smooth electro-interludes that make the song great, giving it an organic ebb and flow.
Honorable Mention: Girl Talk
Two reasons Gregg Gillis’s mashup project isn’t on this playlist—his latest albums aren’t on iTunes, and those brilliant records are designed to be heard all at once anyway. Luckily, they’re all available online at pay-what-you-can prices. If you’re a GT newbie, start with Feed the Animals—not his latest, but his best.