DeadBeats & Chicago Music Festivals Ticket Giveaway

We teamed up with DeadBeats to give away a pair of tickets to DeadBeats Chicago at Navy Pier. To enter the giveaway go to our facebook page and see the pinned post. The winner will be announced at 7PM on October 18th.



Deadbeats Chicago

Our quintessential, faithful, electronic favorites return to Chicago this fall for their latest tour. Their Northern Lights circuit in 2016 brought us ethereal waves of electricity and of course, a massive amount of bass. Zed’s Dead brings to us this year, Deadbeats, making its stop in Chicago October 21st. Switching it up for us in 2017, they bring with them to Navy Pier an eclectic mashup of greats we already know, and of course some little or lesser known. This group of artists will give you an evening that will specially deliver something you’ve been missing, with a little something you know and love. The boys bring with them this time, Ghastly, Ghostface Killah, K?d, Eprom, and Diskord–the kind of lineup that makes for an alluring night, basically.
A heavy bombardment of tempo and a deep cathodic pulse represent electro-house great Ghastly. A hard house producer and crowd favorite, Ghastly’s coming back to Chicago for a fall show this time, however.
Ushering in a new wave of electronica, K?d provides a majestic fulfilling wave, breaking sound barriers and hearts. This heavy mystical dub is a perfect fit for the rest of the staggering performance, and will undoubtedly be a new favorite for you if they aren’t already.  Also appearing is Eprom, an artist you’ll definitely want to see, featuring music you won’t hear often. It’ll capture your attention, with an array of wild space trap type beats that you’ll have to see to believe.
The Chicago show is also treated to a gross amount of bass from Diskord, and a swirling echoing dub; fitting with the theme of our lineup this year you can expect a mixture of trap and cerebral rhythms.
Special to Chicago, ZD and React bring to us classic rhymer, Ghostface Killah. If the night wasn’t already teeming with must-see acts, Ghostface is that old school hip hop you didn’t know you were missing.
This display of unique musical talent has so many different things to offer, there’s something for everyone to not only enjoy, but to love. Come to Navy Pier October 21st and become a part of the love that happens when divergent forces merge. And of course, it’s a chance for everyone who appreciates Zed’s Dead to join together.
It’s a mixture of old and new, in a venue with even more history than the artists that visit it and will represent a memorable fall event for everyone who attends.


My Name is Mud – Summer Camp Music Festival 2017

We began our journey to Summer Camp Music Festival Friday afternoon after scrambling last minute for the necessary items to pack. I became lost between blankets and pillows in the back seat of the car to only be awakened by the rain that crashed against our car windows. We drove up with our videographer who was obviously anxious to finally be able to cover one of his favorite DJ. Figure had personally asked him to shoot his set this year and we were more than excited to get the opportunity.
I myself was extremely curious to finally get a chance to speak with Figure after learning about where he gets his inspiration for producing. I am always fascinated at the psychology that goes behind making music for any artist and how someone can use the exact same medium but completely create opposite effects with it.
Low chatter came from the front seat as I sat contemplating over why and how artists convey certain emotions with their music as windshield wipers fought off the water. We inched closer to Three Sisters Park as the rain still continued to fall. Luckily, we made it in the festival in nearly perfect timing to completely avoid getting wet.
We learned a heavy lesson from last year about how hot it can get in the morning. How rudely the sun can awaken you in its heat and stickiness of sweat and stuffy tent air. We trudged through the mud with our belongings to find a camp site large enough for two tents. Thankfully we found something hidden beneath the cool shading on the forest camp site. Camping in the forest allowed us to stay out later and not feel the regret of no sleep in the morning. We comfortably slept past noon this year without interruption.

Venturing through the park I immediately realized just what type of mess the rain would leave us with, mud! How appropriate the first artist I remember hearing singing was Les Claypool. Unfortunately, I felt it did bring some peoples moral down or at least the amount of dancing was far less than what I remembered the year before. The difficulty of dancing or traveling from stage to stage while our feet stuck to the ground and sunk deep into its clutches was Hardly an environment to move around. I also noticed a smaller percentage of girls hooping because of the conditions.
We found ambitions pathways around the small ponds of mucky water. They also as always ran a trolley which was free !
The mud also effected the cleanliness of the porta potties. There was water on the floor with mud that is not the most appealing to be mixed. Up inside a bathroom. There was a high density of mud that accumulated outside the porta potties due the high traffic of people in the surrounding area. Lines were less long for the porta potties because I’m sure most were just a bit grossed out with the situation. VIP bathroom were your best bet unless you were an artist.
Besides the mud I wouldn’t even have complained and after awhile like I said I sort of got used to it or found it fun change of pace from my clean city living. There were so many things to see and do that the whole mud issue began to take a backseat.
There were daily workshops to attend in order to help cultivate and spread awareness. The permaculture workshop addressed natural building methods, soil health, water design integration, planting techniques, edible food forests, container gardening, and much more. The complete immersion event includes prepared meals, camping, morning ceremony, evening discussions and a dynamic learning environment.
Food vendors offer wide varieties of food that seem to expand every year. Choices like Heady Taco, Asian Sensation are some of the campers favorites! There were also choices of Greek, middle eastern, American food, Mexican food, as well as a coffee booth who created a big buzz in the mornings! These choices are great for people who are just too lazy to prepare! One thing I would like to see in the future is more vegan options and fresh fruit.

Another great point about the festival was there were dozens of Live artists selling their creations. I saw anything from paintings to festive pins. Mack Glass Blowing was there making all kinds of glass art and jewelry with live flames right in front of your eyes.
One of my favorite artists to meet was Phil Kutno who creates trippy pencil drawings that are nothing like I’ve ever seen before. His style incorporates taking several objects or people, then slowly fractals it into a larger picture!

Summer Camp Music Festival seems to always have the perfect balance between electronic music and live acts. There were live acts such as Umphrey’s McGee, Moe., Trey Anastatio, Electronic fused acts like Gramatik, Pretty Lights, and Manic Focus lastly, pure electronic music like Figure, Liquid Stranger and Rezz.
I found myself in the Photo pit for one of my favorite bands growing up. Primus approached the stage with a southern swag and his captain Morgan stance confidently perched on a speaker.

Zeds Dead as always killed their set! It’s great hearing their fresh take on music. In the age of anxiety this music draws people together and relieves their fans through their energetic music.
EGi is an up and coming jam band with a great following on the local scene. Ethereal is nothing short of the term that can encapsulate the pure human emotion behind their passion and art. Each band member plays a very important role and you can see the camaraderie and true respect they have within their membership. Their style gives an edge to jam

Bands with their fluctuation of styles. Noe seamlessly rips in and out of various scales created the third dimension to their music. Their bass lines are intricate and full of funk while they styled in influences from new age house beats. They are also known for their strong inspirational roots of Santana, but have endlessly proven that no one style can box them in.

Figure commanded the crowd and was def the one of the filthiest acts this year. Die hard fans came out of the wood works to womp out and get out any aggression. His sets are always so fun to watch and be a part of and his fans are super passionate and interactive. It was a pleasure to speak with him after the set and get to know him more. He is a very down to earth guy who invited his cousin and her boyfriend along for his trip. He explained how horror films have been a huge inspiration for his music and how he loves creating music while watching some of his favorite films. He sported a Jean jacket leather boots and a Halloween II t-shirt. His tattoos only emphasized how deep his love went for gore and horror flicks.
To our surprise, we ran into Yonder Mountain String Band backstage and had a chance to briefly talk to them. They graciously allowed us a picture and we more than happy to talk to us. We ask them how their set went that day and they replied with smiles, telling how great the festival was going and how they had an amazing time playing for everyone. Yonder Mountain String Band is a progressive bluegrass band who takes high pride within their craft, proving their love for music, reinvention, and instrumentation. They have also been working on a new album entitled, LOVE. AIN’T LOVE which comes out June 23rd of this year!
While most people come to Scamp for the music, it can’t be boxed to plainly Judy listening to music. Scamp becomes a place to meet new people, experience new perspectives, connect, and learn more about yourself. Each tent holds a story waiting to be peeled back and experienced.
Our friends introduced us to a young man from New York who could of, hands down had the coolest tent I’ve ever been in. The spacious tent resembling a white lotus was lined with an Armenian rug, tapestry neatly thrown over tables to hold intricate trinkets and the sounds of a djembe drum altering us into another state. Holographic art laid on the floor for visitors to pick up and admire beautiful faces of women melting into each other. A China doll transformed from left to right into a blue smiling lizard woman then into Snow White blonde and back around.

When Sunday came the mud seemed to have dried up and hardened for the most part. There was a path that allowed easy entrance to the Moon Shine stage which had previously been swamped out around its entrance. Today more and more people were willing to dance and hoop without getting slowed in the grips of the quick sand mud.
I met with a man who ran a radio show in Cincinnati with two women who were happy to tell me all about how the music festival scene has evolved. One woman explained how when she was only 14 years old when she hitchhiked to buy tickets to a music festival! Now that is dedication! She went on saying there were no debit cards, no cell phones, no internet! She explained that you had to meet with someone purely out of faith they would be there at a random head shop or record store and buy the tickets with cash. She went on by saying how no one thought about bathrooms at Woodstock! This group of friends have been coming to Scamp for over seven years and aren’t quitting anytime soon! Now I definitely felt spoiled after hearing their story!

In the grand scheme of things, this festival is far more than music it can truly enrich your perspectives and broaden your horizons with its choice of music, art, and the connections you will make. I wouldn’t allow a little weather discourage the natural curiosity of adventure. The endless possibilities and exchanging of thought wrapped in these small psychological espionage awaiting from stage to stage. Though improvements will always come as we age the most interesting part I believe is seeing how this scene is constantly evolving!

Art Festivals

Reaction New Year's Eve – Never Look Back

Reaction NYE returned to the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont after their extraordinary success of the previous year. The indoor convention center allowed for ample amount of room to hold two separate stages and as well as a Silent disco. Their was the Main Stage called The Warehouse, a stage to the side called The Arcade Stage, and a Silent Disco Lounge in the room just adjacent. The Event came equipped with vendors offering a variety of festive gear; including apparel and hats. This two day event held a variety artists including some national and international names; excitingly, we even saw some of our very own Chicago local artists!
We were welcomed in with an interactive art exhibit of a large piped pyramid glowing in melting florescent lights. It stood proudly as a swarm of patterns bounced off the canvas like surface that was mapped in projection of ethereal energy fields. We were drawn further in towards the stages dressed in moving lights. Magenta, yellow, and red fractals swung from side to side over our heads onto the industrial piped ceiling and reflected off the black finished show room floor. The lights were calibrated to the sound of the high hitting snares and of the dark trance music that boomed through our chest walls. “The Warehouse” I thought to myself, what a fitting name for this vibe. The atmosphere was somewhat more sheltered that any straight up underground rave with some undisclosed location because we were allowed to have a great time without any haunting feelings of it being busted by cops at any point.
Headlining for the first night was Anderson Paak, Dillon Francis, Danny Brown, and tying it all up was an incredible performance by Flume.
I was pleasantly surprised by an amazing performance from Anderson Paak. From the beginning of the performance it looked like just your run of the mill rapper and dj act; but then it got even more interesting! Not only could he rap but he also had an amazing singing voice and on top of all that he began playing drums while doing all of this ! They definitely had inspiration from funk, rnb, as well as their very own take on modern rap music. He covered a variety of styles and was accompanied by a truly talented band and keyboardist.

We started our way towards the pin ball machines as we work with the trance stage. Here we found great inspiration for snapping shots of many dancers and groups of friends. We were lucky enough to be able to check out many people performing poi and shufflers with bright LED shoes. A girl stood towards the crowd as prismatic colors evolved from the darkness from end to end of a taunt string which had magically flown through the air. We watched the girl perform poi with such adept fluidity that with further speculation it proved to be such a natural part of who she was.

A rumble of snare rolls starting raising to encourage the breaks from within the music and shufflers began making their marks on the floor. Out of the corner of my eyes I saw videographers followed by bright lights as they traveled around the crowd looking for their next muse. The influence of their camera work brought out the vibrancy of the shy and encouraged for the confidence of the poised. A girl dressed in a black jumpsuit and hair pulled into buns on the top of her head replicated some sort of hybrid cat woman. She showcased her LED shoes for the camera by cutting shapes and smiling. I noticed dancers were completely in the moment loosing themselves within the arpeggiated melodies of Air Sine.
Dillon Francis performance pulled a lot of inspiration out of the Chicago trap scene. Large Screens on each side of the main stage showcased mirrors like geometric patterns then back to Dillon Francis who sported a Hawks Jersey. He threw down one of the filthiest performances I have seen thus yet from him. It was a then refreshed with soft melodic break towards the middle allowing us to collect our thought for just moments to just go right back into another episode of bass drops and an even hard finale. His set was definitely harder than his set at summer set so I’m guessing he must have learned how we in Chicago like our electronic scene!

Flume was a very anticipated performance as he always keeps the audience in suspense in his set openings. This performance was no different. It began with an angelic choir as a high feeling of peace swept into the crowd. For moments it allowed us to rethink the way we judged and second guess ourselves. The way we pulled down upon our shirts and fixed our hair or the way we create bubbles between ourselves from society. The sound was engineered so precisely that it was a completely obvious to what this artist wanted us to take from him. A white light glazed over our eye lids transcending us with the reinvention of music. He completely threw out any stereotype of electronic music and created his own path. By simply of breaking the habit of the monogamous; it began differing our language of expressing ourselves. He placed his performance solemnly somewhere between where an epiphany could be reached through the Vatican walls and who’s lives were dedicated to the forces of what drove our being into an electric innovation of the future tense. He continued on with some of his most well known tracks as well as others from his new album Skin including my new favorite “Insane.”
NYE night was headlined by acts such as Gucci Mane, Manic Focus, Tchami, and ending with Zeds Dead.
Tchami made it all the way from France to make it out profiling his future house sound for us.
In contrast to the night before this night The Arcade Stage came harder with trap acts such as Jsquared as well as Kyral x Banko. The stage were packed and the crowd ate up all the filth they were throwing down. The night of NYE was especially lit because of the overwhelming excitement for the countdown. The crowd went double as hard this night as the night before and their was and even more feel of adrenaline in the air. The acts that were booked for this night only further motivated a rage to tie up 2016.
As unexpected as it could have been the count down was then MC’ed by local DJ from group Porn and Chicken! Under his honors we were welcomed into the new year and said good riddance to 2016!

Moments after Dom’s midnight countdown; Zeds Dead took the stage. As the first act of the new year all other acts will have a hard bar to surpass! They killed their set; but of course I wouldn’t have expected anything less from them. Die hard fans were having the absolute time of their lives dancing and cheering to familiar tunes. Their set was incomparable to any I have heard yet of theirs in Chicago. They were completely in sync with what the crowd wanted and created an epic dance party setting off 2017 with high expectations to what this year will bring.
We tried to savior the moment as long as we could but by the end of the night crowds began scrambling all around us. Heading out within our random conversation with strangers who we had become in someway emotionally attached to. 2016 came and went and if I learned anything from last year; it was to never look back! 2017 is our chance for a fresh new start no matter at what point of life we are at or what kind of trouble we think we found ourselves in. I am looking forward to what turn music will take this year; knowing now there are no boundaries to our generation!