Photos: The 10 Best from North Coast Music Festival

This past weekend’s North Coast Music Festival in Chicago looks to have gone off without a hitch and we’ll hope to see it return next year. Thanks to the promoters for getting us some photo passes, because our man Chris Monaghan absolutely killed it this weekend and took some amazing shots. You can look back at his photos from Day One, Day Two and Day Three or read on for his Top 10 Photos from the weekend with a bit of commentary on each. I had to include the photo from the New Deal set also, so technically I only gave him 9 choices from his entire set of photos from the weekend.

Pretty Lights @ North Coast Music Festival 2010

I love this crowd shot I took during the Pretty Lights set on Friday. It was the first show I was really excited for in the weekend. Everyone was really getting into it, and the place was packed with people grooving.

The Chemical Brothers @ North Coast Music Festival 2010

This photo doesn’t do the show justice, but its one of the better ones I got from the weekend. The Chemical Brothers didn’t want photographers in the press pit, which makes sense now that I’ve gotten to digest my photos. Live music photos don’t do their concert experience justice. Their show was audibly and visually amazing. I hope to post a video soon, but before that you should make every effort to catch them live the next time they announce tour dates.

Baby Kid @ North Coast Music Festival 2010

This photo was taken during the Strange Arrangement show on Saturday afternoon. I like it because its not just a kid at a music festival: It’s a kid that’s being taken care of by responsible parents at a music fest. This little guy looks like a potential future rock star in the making. “That’s my little dude…”

Grace Potter & The Nocturnals @ North Coast Music Festival 2010

It’s hard to take a bad picture of Grace Potter, but I love this one in particular. The woman’s hair is crazy and it shows the energy that her whole band had the entire set. I have seen them a few times now, and they always bring the heat.

The New Deal @ North Coast Music Fest 2010

Standard “crowd shot in the sunglasses” music festival photo, this time via the New Deal’s Darren Shearer.

Jake Cinninger (Umphrey's McGee) @ North Coast Music Festival 2010

This one of Jake Cinninger from Umphrey’s McGee just works for me. He has that tunnel vision look on his face when he’s shredding and the lighting is great. No thanks to me here; this was all courtesy of the one and only Jeff Waful, UM’s incredibly talented lighting engineer.

Jameson after North Coast Music Festival 2010 at Kingston Mines

I think you can all guess why I like this picture. Mmmmmm…whiskey and Live Chicago Blues at Kingston Mines. One of my favorite ways to end the night.

Dirty Dozen Brass Band @ North Coast Music Festival 2010

I loved this photo. There’s nothing like the real-deal funky jazzy NOLA sound and the Dirty Dozen Brass Band brought it to Union Park on Sunday afternoon. I had never seen them before but it didn’t matter. By the end of the show everyone was singing and dancing along with the band on stage.

Lupe Fiasco @ North Coast Music Festival 2010

Lupe Fiasco was one of the best shows of the weekend. His band was tight, and surprisingly heavy at times, and he preformed with an intensity that captivated everyone in the packed crowd. I like this photo even though its slightly out of focus. It was hard to catch a crisp image of him considering he was running all over the stage.

This photo of Damian Marley with Nas in the background is tight. I really liked the way the light hit his dreads and the look of sincerity on his face. This show was a big surprise for me. I had heard they were good but for some reason I still wasn’t very excited to see them. They were amazing though, tons of fun, people all over the stage celebrating Jah, and good quality music. I wouldn’t have wanted to close out the fest any other way.

This was the first year of the festival and there were some organizational kinks that need to be worked out. Overall though, I had an amazing weekend packed with good friends and good music. I know where I will be next year for Labor Day weekend in Chicago…