Chicago has numerous festivals to attend in the summer, but none are set-up as well as Mamby on the Beach. In it’s 4th year Mamby on the Beach once again boasted some of the best city views offered at a Chicago music festival alongside a thoughtfully curated lineup Saturday and Sunday at Oakwood Beach. An eclectic cast of bands, electronic-based musicians and hip-hop artists — from homegrown artists including Towkio and Cupcakke to album-charting acts including Spoon and Common — complemented the fest’s theme of chill, danceable vibes.
Musically, Mamby was different. With a combination of indie-bred genres, Mamby was really one of the more relaxed events. Sand volleyball, hair braiding, food trucks, tarot cards, and fire performers were carried throughout the event. It was the perfect way to enjoy a weekend on the beach.
With three stages, Mamby never missed a beat. Main stage and Mixmag both laid on the sandy shore with the third nestled in the grassy portion. Transitioning from one to the next was a thrill as you took off your shoes when greeted by Lake Michigan.
The sonic landscape also showcased a bevy of strong Chicago musical talent. Saturday’s lineup included Towkio who brought a great tempo to open up the show. Towkio and his DJ upstaged everyone by beginning to perform a dance called “juking” — a Chicago style of dance. Towkio, the Chicago-native and possible professional ‘juker,’ got the crowd on his side with a wave of ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs.’ He then got them to scream his name.
The night closed with another Chicago-native Common. Common mostly played to his reputation as the gentleman and soft-talking nurturer who addresses women as “ladies. Common even brought out another Chicago artist Chance The Rapper to perform on stage with him. Common was at his best, and least defensive, being smooth and a little self-deprecating — the guy who doesn’t always close the deal.
On Sunday, Snakeships set had beach dwellers kicking up sand for “All My Friends,” and the duo gave a shoutout to Chicago Pride weekend.
Mamby culminated with Whethan, Russ and Cold War Kids. Those looking for singalong hits seemed to migrate to the Russ . Whethan displayed the most intriguing visuals of the weekend. Flanked by two video screens displaying trippy visuals and lights, he delivered a vibrant, experimental mix. Whethan brought out Oh Wonder to perform their new song.
The ideal way to celebrate summertime is getting to the beach. Having a party there is even better. Mamby on the Beach cannot be beat as the best beach party of the summer.