Although the genre was birthed in Chicago, house music festivals are usually found in sun-kissed cities along the ocean. During Wavefront Music Festival on July 5–7, however, Chicago gets to host its own massive outdoor dance party—located right on Montrose Beach.
Aimed at an older audience, Wavefront Music Festival has had attendees that have been far more well-behaved than those at Electric Daisy Carnival and Spring Awakening, minus a few hiccups. Security was abundant, ending misbehavior quickly—they even caught the guy who popped the giant inflatable panda.
The second day of the two-year-old electronic music festival welcomed sounds from AC Slater, Rusko, Audion, Frankie Knuckles and Fatboy Slim. Although the temperature wasn’t as warm as some bikini-wearers may have hoped (check out our photos of Saturday's crowd), the lakefront breeze helped cool down sweaty dance breaks throughout the day. Technical difficulties from Friday trickled on, which delayed acts and interrupted a few sets (note: Rusko will curse out your CD player if it doesn’t work correctly).
Jacques Lu Cont performed an energetic set in the early evening on the 130-by-80-foot Wave stage, which is built to look like a tidal wave complete with water cannons to shower the crowd. His glistening performance of the Killers' remix “Mr. Brightside” was particularly lively, generating screams from the crowd.
Dubstep forefather Rusko performed his set at sunset, and included memorable crowd favorites such as “Somebody to Love” and “Eat, Sleep, Rave, Repeat,” alongside new tracks “So Cruel” and the spastic Daft Punk remix of “Get Lucky.”
The Chicago Heritage Legends stage hosted local house acts all weekend, capped by the performance by "Godfather of House Music” Frankie Knuckles on Saturday night. The DJ and remixer, who became a key figure in the origin of Chicago house in the '70s and '80s, was joined by Jamie Principle, who emceed their duets “I’ll Take You There” and “Your Love” live. With dusty synths, splashy drum beats, simplistic melodies and gospel-inspired vocal samples that whispered and droned, Frankie Knuckles’s set was a complete mind and body liberation.
RECOMMENDED: Complete coverage of Wavefront Music Festival