Chicago Heritage legends reclaim throne at Wavefront Festival Day 2
With an overcast sky and many festival goers still recovering from the night before, the Saturday edition of the Wavefront Music Festival got off to a slow start, but by no means does that mean it was not one for the record books. The Wave Stage brought the bass with quality names like Caspa and Rusko, the Oasis Stage hosted some of the guys from Seth Troxler’s Visionquest label as well as a lengthy set from the three men of Apollonia, and of course, the Legends tent belonged to Chicago house veterans Frankie Knuckles, Jamie Principle, Derrick Carter, Mark Farina, Ralphi Rosario, and Gene Farris (among others). Here’s what really stuck out for us yesterday:
Taking to the Wave Stage around 5:30pm, Jacques Lu Cont delivered a hard-hitting set on the Wave Stage that skirted the delicate line between techno and electro. Dropping such crowd-pleasing cuts as his now-legendary “Mr. Brightside” remix and Brodinski’s “Let the Beat Control Your Body,” the multifaceted producer worked his audience well with pounding electro bass and energetic builds. Over on the Cube stage, probably our favorite sound system at this year’s fest, the well-respected Trus’Me, Davide Squillace, Steve Bug, and Guti delivered hours upon hours of fitting daytime techno for an increasing large and excitable crowd.
Day 2, however, fittingly belonged to the Windy City architects who built the first house beats on 80s drum machines and nurtured a following in the wombs of abandoned warehouses. Frankie Knuckles, Jamie Principle, Mark Farina and Derrick Carter did not steal the show at Chicago’s Wavefront Music Festival. They have always owned this city. Mark Farina and Derrick Carter took turns pumping up an appreciative audience in a rare back-to-back set that traversed such sonic ground as Michael Jackson medleys and soul heavy floor shakers. As recognizable throwback hooks came to be heard, old school heads in attendance roared with approval, increasing the energy and creating a generational chain of goodwill as younger attendees reflected their enthusiasm. Knuckles – affectionately known as “the Godfather of House” in a city where a street bears his name – put on an irresistible funk-infused set that dripped with soul and kept the Chicago Heritage stage moving beneath a moon wreathed in fireworks. His set made it abundantly apparent that French house finds its roots in old Chicago enclaves. His disco-infused approach enthralled the crowd through jolly chords and expert loop work that kept smiles shining through the night.
Simultaneously, Seth Troxler was bringing Visionquest’s patented deep vibes to the Oasus Stage faithful. The mercurial performer was on his game for much of the set, adopting a tripped out club set approach to provide an atmospheric alternative to the more straightforward stages. Dubfire also closed out the fest on Day 2, and his spot on the Cube stage was well-placed for a show-stopping fireworks display over the water with techno pummeling through the speakers.
Matt Medved and Cara Daley contributed to this article.