Nicolas Jaar, Damian Lazarus and Crew Love close out Wavefront Festival Day 3 with force
Despite the abrupt news early on that Lee Burridge’s scheduled Day 3 All Day I Dream stage was canceled (for reasons unknown), the final day of Wavefront version 2.0, gave Chicago fans plenty to write home about.
Deep house ruled the Cube Stage on Sunday, with a stacked lineup of some of the freshest international artists in the game today. After the Martinez Brothers got the ball rolling — driving the daytime crowd into a largely unmatched frenzy (including the only play of Tale of Us’s ubiquitous “Another Earth) , Scuba turned up the heat with a set that interspersed his industrial techno with more recognizable vocal numbers as well as brief sun showers that refreshed sun-weary festival-goers. Crosstown Rebels boss Damian Lazarus reset the energy with a mellower and nearly exclusively instrumental approach, delivering a masterful set that spanned deep tech cuts and funky upbeat offerings alike. Over on the Oasis Stage, Benoit & Sergio teamed up with Frank & Tony (Adultnapper and Anthony Collins, respectively) for a unexpected back-to-back set. After Hot Creations captain Jamie Jones took over the reins back at the Cube, the vibe shifted once more to a more consistently bumping brand of deep house replete with top percussion and throbbing funk bass.
Meanwhile, the Crew Love team held down the Legends stage to give audience members a shady place to enjoy live instrumentation from No Regular Play, PillowTalk, Slow Hands & Tanner Ross, and Navid Izadi, as well as eclectic DJ tagteams from the Wolf + Lamb and Soul Clap camps.
Nicolas Jaar closed out the festival with a stunning sonic tour de force against a scenic backdrop of lakefront fireworks. Jaar’s brilliant live set began downtempo before escalating into bass heavy grooves and mind-blowing mashups of his own material, including Darkside’s remix of Daft Punk’s “Instant Crush.” The finale was one to remember. Jaar gyrated onstage entranced in music and subsumed in static screens while he combined the seductive “Stay in Love” with his moody masterpiece “Space is Only Noise,” emphatically singing the lyrics over pummeling bass while the sky erupted in blazing bursts of light. After the enigmatic artist relinquished the stage, Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now” could be heard blasting from Justice’s DJ set on the Wave Stage. It was a fitting ending for a festival that braved technical issues and a stage cancellation to deliver on the promise of its star-studded lineup and enviable beachside location.
Matt Medved and Cara Daley contributed to this article.