PREVIEW: North Coast Music Fest in Chicago, September 4-6

Article Contributed by Joann D. Ball | Published on Sunday, August 30, 2015

The Labor Day weekend countdown is on. Won’t you please come to Chicago? Show your face and make “summer’s last stand” at North Coast Music Fest in Union Park. Single day tickets are still available at for the all-ages sonic buffet of indie, EDM, jam-band, hip-hop, and house music. With established bands, underground artists and world renowned DJs appearing on stages named for metro Chicago’s area codes and in the Heineken House celebrating the homegrown genre, North Coast offers more than enough to feed your soul and jack your body. 

North Coast acts you don’t want to miss:  

Widespread Panic (312 Stage, Friday 7:45-10 p.m.)

It’s been five years since the band released new material. Their 12th studio album Street Dogs, due on September 25, was recorded live. The band is kicking off its tour in the headlining slot on North Coast’s first night. Enough said.

Joe Russo’s Almost Dead (773 Stage, Friday 6:30-7:45 p.m.)

GD 50 transformed the Windy City during the July 4th weekend. The magic is still in the air, so the stage is set for Joe Russo and friends to go further. The celebration begins again.

D'Angelo and the Vanguard (312 Stage, Saturday 8:45-10 p.m.)

The neo-soul leader’s website is and he named his recent disc Black Messiah. There’s no doubt the man is on a mission, and he’s come back to fulfill a promise. Witness his rare onstage miracles first hand and you’ll know for sure how it feels. 

Galactic w/ Macy Gray (773 Stage, Saturday 5:45-6:45 p.m.)

Synergy is New Orleans jazz and funk with the dynamic diva’s unmistakable vocals. The proof is in the combo’s new song “Into the Deep” from Galactic’s album of the same name. Expect the unexpected when it’s performed live with choice cuts from the band’s extensive catalog and Macy’s sing-along hits a few days before her birthday.

Michal Menert (312 Stage, Saturday 2:45-3:45 p.m.) 

The Denver-based electronic music artist and producer recently dropped the descriptively titled Space Jazz on his own Super Best Records label. He’s well-travelled and seasoned from festival performances including Camp Bisco. Even without his 18-piece big band, an analog and digital, genre-tripping adventure awaits.  

Twin Shadow (773 Stage, Sunday 5:30-6:30 p.m.) 

The band’s spring show at Metro in Chicago had the vibe of an early 1980s Prince show at First Avenue in Minneapolis. A few days later, George Lewis Jr. and several band members were badly injured in a horrible tour bus accident that interrupted the Eclipse tour. Now, he’s fully recovered and ready to go back to the top.