April 21, 2024

North Coast Music Festival 2014 Day 1

Photos by Alex Lapenia and Jesse Pizano of Three Card Photography.

North Coast Music Festival 2014 took over Chicago Union Park last weekend as thousands of people came to see some of the world’s best EDM and hip hop acts perform their greatest hits. Labor Day weekend set the perfect stage for festival goers as the 5th Annual North Coast was looking to be a big success. Friday was a beautiful day as the sun came out from the cloudy skies to drench the stages waiting for the likes of Keys N Krates, ProbCause, Showtek, Alesso, Bassnectar, and many more to perform. Saturday and Sunday continued the party with performances from Adventure Club, Nicky Romero, STS9, Talib Kweli, Little Dragon and Kid Cudi on Saturday, and Porn and Chicken, Riff Raff, Ookay, Zeds Dead, and Snoop Dogg closing on Sunday.

Read on as Alex and Jesse share their recap from North Coast Music Festival Day 1.

M4SONIC by Alex Lapenia


Just because you’re an opener doesn’t mean that you’re dull, which is so refreshing to see. Usually when I go to festivals, the opening act is just background noise, and I’m very happy that this was not the case. The Australian DJ really showed us how they party down under and got the crowd going right out of the gates, the energy was off the charts. M4SONIC had great stage presence and his infectious performance set the mood for the rest ofFriday. M4SONIC played one of his most popular songs, a remix of Weapon and the crowd went into a frenzy. He was definitely one of the best surprises of the day, and I’m glad it happened so early. Excellent set. – Alex Lapenia

Keys n Krates by Alex Lapenia

Keys N Krates

There is no better way than to spend Friday night listening to some good tunes and getting a dance move or two in. North Coast attendees where treated with a fun and energetic performance from Keys N Krates. The electric trio performed unique blend of trap, hip hop, and top forty music for an hour. It’s clear from the moment that Keys N Krates started playing they knew exactly what the crowd needed to have a good time. What separates Keys N Krates in the electronic community is how they elevate their sound by using drums, keyboards, and synths which add another dimension to their beats. The concluding moments demonstrated the relationship Keys N Krates have with their fans, as they dropped “Dum Dee Dum” from their 2013 EP Solow and there new single “Are We Faded”. If they keep making music and performing the way they do, they won’t be able to handle the influx of friend requests that will come their way. – Jesse Pizano

Showtek by Alex Lapenia


The Janssen brothers really put a show on this year and as expected were one of the must see performances at North Coast. Whenever Showtek comes to Chicago it’s no wonder why they sell out so quickly, as fans were treated to some of their biggest and best anthems, and when their two best hits came on “Cannonball” and “We Like To Party” there was  no way you could help yourself from busting a few moves. The Hardstyle EDM DJs made their case for headlining a festival and are sure to get their opportunity very soon if they keep improving their already impressive festival presence.


ProbCause by Jesse Pizano


ProbCause was perhaps the most impressive of the evening. Pulling from rap and hip hop influences spanning back decades, he took to the crowd as if they were old friends from past festivals. Prob Cause dropped several songs including “Chicago Style” and “Pale Moonlight” to get the crowd turned up. Here we have an artist that’s coming through the ranks of music, who not only takes to the stage like second nature, but is able to feed of a hip hop craving crowd. The machine-gun mouthed ProbCause closed out the 847 Stage, this fast-tongued artist finally got the time slot he deserved. – Jesse Pizano

W&W by Alex Lapenia


An already sought out act this year the Dutch Duo really turned it up at North Coast Music Festival.  The “Jumper” DJs definitely had the crowd doing just that, they had them bouncing off the walls going crazy with every build up leading to a nasty bass drop, and they didn’t stop there jumping up and down with the crowd themselves. The duo really brought their ‘A’ game to Union Park and showed us all how to party. If they keep it up, they’re going to be headliners really soon. – Alex Lapenia

What So Not by Alex Lapenia

What So Not

On Friday, Sydney-based duo What So Not dropped a massive set on raucous and sweaty crowd. What So Not does not shy away from the bass. Their songs are best described as hyperactive take on trap music. What So Not were putting on a killer show the trap beats where loved by the crowd, who got down to the likes of “Jaguar” and “Tell Me”. Their sound is incredibly unique and I was impressed. – Jesse Pizano

Alesso by Alex Lapenia


Alesso pulled out all the stops Friday as the headliner at the 630 Stage. Putting on a lights show that was for the ages. He pulled out all the stops and held nothing back playing all of his legendary hits that have become not only festival staples but have become EDM anthems. Alesso’s already amazing set got even better once the lasers started coming out, illuminating the Chicago night sky. Not only was it a dance party during his set, it was also a sing along as the crowd couldn’t get enough as they were screaming their hearts out begging for more, raising their hands in anticipation of every climax leading to another drop to sending them into another dimension. – Alex Lapenia