The final day of North Coast Music Festival brought with it lush beats, massive crowds, and dance parties all day long. We joined in the fun and genre-hopped, from indie acts, to electro-pop and beyond. Thanks for all the fun, North Coast, and see you next time.
Matt & Kim
I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve had the pleasure to watch Matt Johnson and Kim Schifino take an already intense crowd over the edge. They imbue their insane energy into anyone who happens to hear their music. Seriously, if you were at the far end of the festival and even the faintest tone of their songs hit your ears, I’m sure you would have been drawn to the stage and felt the irresistible urge to stick around for the party.
Matt & Kim were stationed on a platform atop the stage, raising them up every so slightly as to give everyone a good view of their crazy performance. They tossed t-shirts, balloons, blow up dolls, and giant beach balls into the crowd, all the while playing recognizable hits like “It’s Alright”, “Daylight”, and “Let’s Go.” Their antics on stage between songs are usually some of the biggest highlights of their shows. Matt & Kim’s genuine love for one another beams so brightly as they crack jokes about having sex and use that visceral vitality to give the audience a good show. When you have a woman as fierce as Kim smashing a giant black dildo into her bass drum, there’s just no way to not have a fun time.
Farley Jackmaster Funk
Much like Fader Fort at SXSW, there is a HUGE line to get into the Heineken House right now. I’d guesstimate that the line of people waiting to see Farley Jackmaster Funk is about 30-50 deep and the growing excitement is almost tangible.
The line starts moving and we’re quickly in. The ambience inside is like a small club in a trendy hotel just, y’know, with advertisements encouraging you to drink a certain Dutch beer. The ceiling is illuminated with visuals of abstract shapes and colors synced up to the pulsing bass.
This place is packed, filled to absolute capacity of people losing their minds to cuts of deep house and disco. “There is always a devil trying to separate the people! We believe in unity! Not in division!” Funk preaches to the crowd as billows of mist emerge from the rafters. I look around for a moment. A stylish man near me is voguing. A bro starts doing weird rigid fist pumps moves. A group of women are joyfully dancing together. And a hippie has a pair of bongos for whatever reason. Funk is right, house is a unifier.
Action Bronson iss very well known for his fondness of smoking massive amounts of weed and giving over the top performances that usually end up going everywhere but the stage. I mean, when you have a song where the chorus belts out “Why you think I’m out there actin’ crazy?” you have to expect lunacy. However, that’s not what Action Bronson delivered on his North Stage headlining set. What he gave to the audience was arguably better.
There are few rappers that can just exist on stage and command a stage as well as Action Bronson. He wasn’t dashing around manically or even trying to get the crowd overhyped. He didn’t need to any of that, all that was required was a master control of the mic and a vigor like no other. The crowd was explosive for Bronson, who took every step like a giant among men.
Backing him up throughout the night were Alchemist and Big Body Bes, the latter of whom I must commend for becoming a great performer. Previously I would not have been as excited to see Big Body Bes on stage, but in the past year he has turned his swagger up, focused his flow, and can stand with the best of them.
Zedd appears before us with a massive crescendo of light and sound. The majority of his set is high energy remixes of Top 40 pop singles, early 2000s rap, and modern rock pillars such as The White Stripes that are all spliced together with his original productions. A live remix of Missy’s “Get Ur Freak On” takes the song in a slightly new direction, becoming more spacious and thunderous. Basked in the lights of a pale white moon and green lasers, his remix of Magic’s “Rude” sounds colossal. Fire erupts from the ground as he plays the highly infectious “Clarity” and “Stay The Night”, his collaboration with Paramore’s Hayley Williams.
I walked out of Union Park as Zedd was wrapping up to grab an Uber home. The soft echos of synth chords melted into the summer night sky and the muted reflection of lights rested on the walls of nearby buildings, temporarily turning a stretch of Ashland into a strange yet familiar canyon. See you next year, North Coast.