Summer’s Last Stand wrapped another successful year of music with over 15,000 fans heading to Union Park despite some inclement weather impacting some of the performances. Nevertheless, performances by the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Danny Brown, Passion Pit, Laidback Luke, Datsik, Rebelution, Gary Clark, Jr., Purity Ring, JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound, Wu-Tang Clan and more powered the festival and festivalgoers. Some of the biggest names in electronic, hip-hop, indie, dance, jam music on five stages catered to thousands of festival attendees and music enthusiasts from Chicago, other states in the U.S. and yes, even the rest of the world.
Friday night at North Coast, impending weather caused a temporary evacuation of the Union Park grounds forcing thousands of festivalgoers into the city's west side. A set by Capital Cities was cut short, but they managed to perform “Chartreuse”, “Kangaroo Court” and “Farrah Faucet’s Hair”. While the festival was extended an extra hour once the weather had passed, Friday's headlining set by alt dance-pop band Passion Pit ultimately became a live DJ set after much of their equipment was reportedly destroyed by the storms.
Most of you may have heard Aloe Blacc when his track with Avicii (“Wake Me Up”) first saw the light of day in Avicii’s promo mix. Or when his tune “I Need A Dolla” took over the airwaves last year. Blacc’s vocal chords showed his range and showmanship and also engaged the crowd thoroughly. Future Rock, the Chicago native trio performed with heavy synth, heavy bass and electro jams for a proper set for the masses. Seven Lions mixed with a perfect flow of electro, house, dubstep and more. Gramatik had his live guitarist there by his side for his set and also surprised the audience with Cherub, who performed a song! Hip-hop legend and matriarch, Nas showed the crowd why he is considered a lyrical genius with his verses cause uproar to a reciting crowd. Headliner, Afrojack filled his set with big anthems, big beat drops and showcased his rising popularity in the electronic dance music scene.
Rain was in the forecast again on Sunday and held off for most of the day though it did force an early end to the festival closing, headlining set by hip-hop ensemble Wu-Tang Clan with concertgoers once again advised to prematurely evacuate festival grounds. They managed to perform “Clan In Da Front” and “C.R.E.A.M.” followed by a tribute to deceased former member, Ol’ Dirty Bastard with “Shimmy Shimmy Ya”. A Sunday night set by local soul-punks JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound was halted after one song. However, New Orleans’ finest brass ensemble, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band got the day started earlier with their patented blend of funk, soup, gospel and more. The band got fans moving (some fans even joining them onstage for twerking and drunken dancing during "Dirty Old Man") before hitting on a spirited rendition of "When the Saints go Marching In" later on. Datsik, attracted a substantially large crowd for his hour long set—second only to Wu-Tang Clan (who he's remixed). Diversity continued though as hip-hop, dubstep and reggae gave way to blues guitar in the form of Gary Clark, Jr. who turned in the day's most impressive performance.
Some of the other highlights of the festival included RL Grime who threw down an immaculate set with some of the hottest tracks in trap music, Kanye songs, Kendrick Lamar and played his remix to Benny Benassi’s “Satisfaction”. Laidback Luke’s set got rave reviews from fans from his mix of huge drops and acapella, but definitely didn’t disappoint. The Coop put on a performance that was really unique and kept the crowd interested with their amazing rendition of “Requiem For A Dream.” Reggae rockers Rebelution played all of their fan favorites and put on a tremendous show. DJ prodigy, Madeon spun a set using his Technicolor mixer live and was a great addition to the line-up.
Overall the festival showcased the diversity of music within the three days with immense success despite the weather issues, but we are sure that next year will fare an even more robust line-up and experience.