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North Coast Music Festival 2011 - A Summary

North Coast Music Festival. This year was its second year and boy did it grow since last year. Last year tickets were only $75, this year they were $95 and had even more bands. I was so excited to go back this year since I had so much fun at it last year. It is definitely the smallest festival I have ever been to, but it really packs in a bit punch. This year the headliners were David Guetta, STS9, and Bassnectar.

Day 1: Friday

We started the first day off a little bit late, getting there just in time for Lotus. This was my first time seeing Lotus, even though they have been at a lot of festivals that I have gone to, somehow I always managed to miss them. But I was so excited to go see them this year, and they put on such a wonderful show. They just released a new album which is a little more electronic, but it all sounded really great during their set. Next up was Wolfgang Gartner who was super awesome. I also have never seen them but they put on such a cool show. And then we ended the night with David Guetta who was simply amazing. You would never know that all of the good songs on the radio right now were produced by Guetta until he played them all during his show. The highlight though was probably when he covered Avicii’s Levels. The whole crowd went crazy, especially during the Pretty Lights Finally Moving part. Guetta’s set was so full of hits and fun, he definitely played one of the best shows of the weekend.

Friday After Show:

We went to the Big Gigantic and STS9 aftershow at the Congress Theater. Unfortunately we got there a little late and missed out on Big G, but luckily STS9 brought saxophone player Dominic Lalli out to joint them on a few songs. The combo of the sax with STS9’s groovin instruments was spectacular. The set was a little more relaxed than I have usually seen, but it was still fun, they played a lot of great songs including Hidden Hand HIdden Fist.

Day 2: Saturday

Saturday we got there early because we didn’t wanna miss out on anyone. Zeds Dead was the first show that we saw and it was awesome. They threw down a lot of new songs and remixes. Their best remixes were probably MOP’s Ante Up and The Beastie Boys’ Intergalactic Planetarium. Next up was Big Gigantic who threw down extra hard. They played a lot of new songs which are a little more dub, but they don’t leave out the saxophone which is great. Their best new track is a remix of Kanye Wests’ Get Em High. Next up was Major Lazer who I have also never seen even though they have been at a few festivals I have been at. But wow did they really blow my mind. Diplo is the DJ and he throws down some heavy beats. Then they have this girl dancing on the stage, and I swear she is a contortionist. She could put her whole leg behind her head, as well as stand on her head during an entire song and do the booty clap…UPSIDE DOWN. Simply amazing, that takes a lot of talent. Next up we went to Rusko. Last time I saw Rusko was at Coachella and hearing him drop Da Cali Anthem in California was a life changing experience. Unfortunately there was something wrong with the speakers so his set was pretty quiet, which stinks during an electro set when you can hear your friends talking rather than the heavy beats and bass drops. But he played all the best songs, including Hold On. Then finally we saw STS9 who threw down so incredibly hard. They started the show off with EHM so I knew they were about to play a mind blowing set. They mixed together their new songs When The Dust Settles and Schemewhich was so cool. Their newest EP is seriously amazing. Those two songs just might be my new favorite STS9 songs.

Saturday After Show:

Not wanting to miss any acts like we did the previous night, we went straight to the Congress after STS9 to see Zeds Dead, DIplo, Lance Herbstrong and Sebastian. Lance Herbstrong started and they were a lot of fun. They combine electronic with instruments and play some fun rock songs with a little edge. Next up was Sebastian who is a French DJ. His set was kind of interesting, nothing special. He mostly just stood up there with his arm up in the air as random words flashed by on the screen behind him. FInally it was time for Diplo which is always a fun show. He is a DJ for so many other side projects that its always fun to hear him play everything from Duck Sauce to Major Lazer. Then finally the main event, starting at 2am Zeds Dead came on. And like their set during the day, they played a lot of new songs and crazy sweet beats, as well as some of their favorite old tracks. Even though we were mad tired, by the time they came on they really picked up our spirits and had us dancing until 3am.

Day 3: Sunday

We were originally going to get there early on sunday to see DJ Solo, Lance Herbstrong and Paper Diamond, but since there was a 4 hour layover where we weren’t going to see any bands we decided to just get there later so we wouldn’t be sitting around doing nothing. So we got there later just in time to see Benny Benassi. Now when I say that he threw down hard that is an understatement. He seriously threw down HARD. He played Skrillex’s remix to his Cinema which got the whole crowd going crazy because the beat is just so insanely hard in Skrillex’s remix. Then he played the J. Rabbit Bootleg remix of Satisfaction which really throws some heavy dub into the beat. It was such a fun and amazing show. THe place was packed because he was playing on a smaller stage but it was so much fun. Then last but not least was Bassnectar. After just releasing his new album Divergent Spectrum it was great to hear him play all of his new tracks. But he also stayed true to his fans playing his cover of the Pixies’Where Is My Mind as well as Lights, Basshead, and Wildstyle Method. His set was by far the heaviest of the entire festival. The crowd was simply going insane and it was so much fun. All of his new songs were so great, he was definitely the highlight of the festival.

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