Returning to Union Park Aug. 31 for the ninth consecutive year, North Coast Music Festival (NCMF) gives festival-goers and music enthusiasts one last thrill before summer comes to a close.
Known for being “summer’s last stand,” NCMF fills the niche for an all rap and EDM music festival, with artists including Miguel, Smokepurpp, Cashmere Cat, DJ Snake, Mura Masa and Yellow Claw set to perform.
What began as a humid day filled with music and dancing ended with an evacuation due to severe weather around 8 p.m. With two hours left of the festival, festival-goers were urged to seek shelter and safety as the rain poured. Miguel, Axwell Ingrosso and the Cool Kids had their sets canceled due to the evacuation.
Not all was lost as the team at Silver Wrapper, the production company behind NCMF, moved fast to deliver fans a pop-up performance at Concord Music Hall. Manic Focus was set to perform the Official North Coast After Party at Concord on Friday night following the festival, but fans got two acts for the price of one as Miguel was added to the bill an hour after the evacuation
Despite the uncooperative weather conditions, day one proved to be an exciting and eccentric experience for festival-goers.
Chicago-native disc jockey Monte Booker opened the Coast stage Friday afternoon, giving audiences a taste of what NCMF has to offer.
Being early in the day, the crowd for Monte wasn’t massive, but those in attendance let loose and danced to the rhythm of remixed beats. During his 45-minute set, the artist remixed songs including “SICKO MODE” by Travis Scott, “Praise the Lord” by A$AP Rocky, “Magnolia” by Playboi Carti and “Work” by Rihanna.
Transitioning from rap and hip/hop songs, Monte said to the crowd, “If you’re from Chicago, you know we [like] house music,” and proceeded to mix mellow, soulful beats.
Los Angeles-based rapper Bryce Ross-Johnson, known by his stage name Bryce Vine, drew crowds at the North Stage ready to jam out to mix of rap and indie-pop tunes.
The artists performed his most popular hits, including “Glamorama,” “Drew Barrymore,” “On the Ball” and “Sunflower Seeds.” Before performing “Los Angeles,” Bryce shared the meaning of the song to the crowd, explaining it’s about rich girls in Los Angeles who will never love.
Bryce Vine knows how to pump up an audience, dancing and jumping around on-stage. But his efforts had no effect on those in the audience who stood on their phones, paying little attention to the act before them.
Bryce ended his set with his radio hit, “Sour Patch Kids,” during which he jumped into the crowd, posing for pictures with his screaming fans. On a courteous note, Bryce thanked security for helping disentangle him from the crowd’s reaching arms before ending his set.
19-year-old Chicago rapper, singer and songwriter Jarad Higgin, known by his stage moniker Juice Wrld, brought out a full crowd for his set at the North Stage. Accompanied by family and friends onstage, Juice Wrld asked the crowd to wave their phone flashlights and hands in the air before heading straight into his most popular track to date, “Lucid Dreams.”
Juice brought out a surprise guest — baby George, who can be found on Instagram @_babygeorge12. Four-year-old George jammed out to the rapper’s songs, jumping around stage and singing along.
Joined by two hype men on the mics, Juice played other popular tracks including “Wasted” and “All Girls Are The Same.” Juice showed off his vocal abilities by singing acoustically before ending his set with a second round of “Lucid Dreams.”
Compared to the large crowds gathered for Juice Wrld and Bryce Vine, Iris Temple performed for an intimate crowd at the Monaco stage. The up-and-coming Chicago duo blessed their audience with their melodic voices and poetic lyrics.
Iris Temple is comprised of Quinn Cochran and Quinn Regan, who met in high school and discovered their mutual passion for making music. NCMF was the duo’s first music festival, and audiences reveled in the moment, swaying to the soulful music. The duo was with the music, and it was evident they felt the sound down to their core.
Halfway through their set, Iris Temple asked their listeners would mind if they performed acoustically, to which the crowd cheered and clapped their hands. Iris Temple performed songs including “Tear U Down” and “Parade,” showcasing their vocal range and musical ears.
Closing out their short but sweet set, Cochran said to the crowd, “We’ll send you on your way so you can drink and have fun,” and sang their final number, “Lemonade.”