Our must-see picks for the 2015 North Coast Music Festival


It’s summer’s last stand. The North Coast Music Festival goes all out this Labor Day Weekend with a mashup of winding jam bands, party-pleasing electro acts, legacy R&B stars and pretty much everything in between. Here are 10 bands you gotta see.


Slow Magic

What’s magic (and respectful) is that this DJ has managed to keep his identity secret in the era of the uber producer. Pay attention to the mysterious man behind the neon animal mask and you’ll discover an artist pumping heart, brains and courage into electronic music as on the moody snapshot “Girls.” (9 p.m.)

NORTH COAST MUSIC FESTIVAL When: 3-10 p.m. Sept. 4; 1-10 p.m. Sept. 5-6 Where: Union Park, 1501 W. Randolph Tickets: $69-259 Info: northcoastfestival.com

Joe Russo’s Almost Dead

The Grateful Dead said Fare Thee Well in Chicago earlier this summer, but their catalog is in good hands with this talented homage that interprets “Bertha” and lesser knowns like “Lazy Lightning.” Led by drummer Russo (who accompanied Phil Lesh and Bob Weir in Furthur), the quintet is just begging to be bootlegged. (6:30 p.m.)

Leather Corduroys

Chicago rap is in a good place right now thanks to crews like SaveMoney that produced wattage for Vic Mensa, Chance The Rapper and Towkio. Next on the burner is this duo whose sharp wit and quick licks have led to bookings with pal Hannibal Buress and an impromptu launch at Coachella. (4:15 p.m.)




D’Angelo and The Vanguard

This is the mic drop moment. Just the announcement of D’Angelo’s return after a prolonged hiatus gave this town collective goosebumps while recent festival appearances have built the suspense, comparing the neo-soul, R&B born-again with the ilk of Prince and James Brown. We only wish he had more than an hour. (9 p.m.)

The Roots

You might know them as Jimmy Fallon’s house band, or you might know The Roots as one of the greatest hip-hop acts of all time. Their seamless fusion with top notes of soul and jazz has been timestamped on 11 eclectic albums, and led to the formation of the annual Roots Picnic festival, so they are well-oiled for this gig. (8 p.m.)


If Hall & Oates and Robert Palmer owned a strip club, Chromeo would be the entrance music of choice. Sexy disco funk is mixed with ‘80s nostalgia produced by two guys who graduated from video game controllers to synthesizer knobs. It’s party time. (7 p.m.)

Lili K

Some would expect to hear this Chicagoan at the Green Mill on any old flashback Friday, but the classical jazz singer is already almost too big for that stage after appearances with Chance The Rapper and a Disclosure cover hit. She’s already got the rockstar schedule down by doubleheading at Jay-Z’s Made In America Fest this weekend, too. (1:30 p.m.)




The Chemical Brothers

The British duo was everything that was right about ’90s techno when downtempo mood swings, apropos sampling and big, glitchy beats came together in one sweaty dancefloor mix that could hold your attention til 3 a.m. New album “Born In the Echoes,” featuring Beck and St. Vincent, is as much a sign of the times as it is a pure throwback. (8:30 p.m.)

Until The Ribbon Breaks

Collaborations with Run The Jewels, Lorde and The Weeknd put them on the radar, but this buzzy British band has held suitors captive with their trip hop, electro R&B and hip-hop synergy that has cinematic overtones from film school days. (7:45 p.m.)

Twin Shadow

After surviving a tour bus crash (and reconstructive hand surgery) in April, George Lewis Jr. makes a bold return in support of his third album, “Eclipse,” that marries his ‘80s chillwave aura with a more contemporary indie pop sound. The set promises to be a reflective moment of the weekend, in more ways than one. (5:30 p.m.)

Selena Fragassi is a local freelance writer.

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