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North Coast Music Festival pics (Jamiroquai, Rapsody, more)

North Coast Music Festival returned for its ninth year to Chicago’s Union Park over Labor Day Weekend (8/31-9/2). Both Friday and Saturday nights at this year’s edition of the festival ended early because of severe weather: torrential rain on Friday, and lightning strikes in the area on Saturday. Miguel, The Cool Kids, and DJ Snake were among the artists whose sets wound up being cancelled when the park was evacuated, and Lil Xan and Lil Skies also dropped off before the festival began, citing “unforeseen circumstances.” North Coast gave Friday and Saturday ticketholders free entry on Sunday, which fared much better than the two days preceding it, ending in a headlining set from Jamiroquai.

The Chicago Tribune writes:

While [Sunday] evening culminated with Jamiroquai’s dance-funk flourish, the rest of the day also provided plenty of danceable moments. Producer Mura Masa fueled the dance party, adding live instrumentation to his tropical-vibed productions that flavored songs such as “Complicated” and “1 Night.” Beforehand, rapper Rapsody delivered a refreshing mix of poetic flow, storytelling lyricism, throwback vibes and female empowerment sentiments. Backed by an adept seven-piece group, which included 9th Wonder, her riveting set included the Maya Angelou-inspired “Sassy,” “OooWee” and her verse from Kendrick Lamar’s “Complexion (A Zulu Love).” She also brought out Chicago Bulls’ Jabari Parker.

Another surprise appearance came during Kami’s set. His Leather Corduroys partner Joey Purp hit the stage for their rousing performance of “Reboot.” The Chicago rapper’s energetic set also included the call-and-response “Payload.” U.K.-based singer Jacob Banks was another highlight; his gritty baritone buoyed songs such as the affecting “Sink or Swim.”

But it was Jamiroquai’s astral electro-funk that proved an ideal match for the festival that traffics in groove-inducing acts. Whether the theme was romance (“Alright,” “Cosmic Girl”) or dancing your troubles away (“Canned Heat”), frontman Jay Kay and the band turned the park into a euphoric disco.

Cashmere Cat, dvsn, Lil Gnar, Comethazine, MadeinTYO, Yellow Claw, Smokepurpp, Vic Lloyd, RL Grime, Kami, Moon Taxi, Jacob Banks, Rapsody, Mura Masa and more performed over the festival’s three days. Check out pictures in the gallery above.

photos by James Richards IV

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