Yesterday, we covered Northside Festival’s first day of music. Today I take a look at Day two, which again was full of incredible, varied acts including Grandmaster Flash, The World Is a Beautiful Place and I am No Longer Afraid To Die, Colleen Green, M.A.K.U. Soundystem, and No One and the Somebodies among many, many others. Again, difficult choices had to be made, but I am pleased with what I ended up seeing.
Grandmaster Flash, Kweku Collins, Radamiz, and I.O.D. at McCarren Park
The first stop for the day was a stop at the main stage at McCarren Park for Grandmaster Flash. The openers for the show were hip hop artists I.O.D., Radamiz, and Kweku Collins. I’m not an expert in the genre I.O.D. played a bit of a modern, mainstream sounding set, Radamiz performed with two rappers and a DJ. Kweku Collins had a bit of a throwback vibe to his music, and was a solid performer with great presence and energy.
Grandmaster Flash took the stage for the headlining set, and showed the crowd why he is truly a legend in the hip-hop world. He had the audience under his control all evening, telling the crowd to put their hands up, asking them to dance. At one point, he stopped everything, came off the stage and gave a little speech about hip-hop, saying he was going to do a genuine hip-hop set and talked about how he was one of the original forefathers of the genre. After that speech, the audience sang along, to remixes of songs from Bob Marley, Beastie Boys and many others. The crowd danced even harder than before, showing the legend a ton of love, and he returned it throughout the show.
Jocelyn Mackenzie at Pete’s Candy Store
Well, for a huge change of pace, I roamed just east of McCarren Park to Pete’s Candy Store to check out Jocelyn Mackenzie’s set. Since I first heard her former band, Pearl and The Beard, I have been a big fan of Jocelyn, her voice is phenomenal, and her energy and unabashed passion for the music she performs just makes her an artist I truly admire. A small group of people, mostly friends and family crowded into the former train car that is the performance space at Pete’s for the set. Mackenzie opened up the set in the middle of the floor, singing with her powerful voice and drumsticks while stomping around. She then took a bit more traditional approach, playing Ukulele and singing into the microphone on stage. However, things couldn’t stay too normal for too long, Mackenzie then asked the audience to sing along in the style of their favorite Muppet. It was a really fun show that flew under the radar, but anyone who was in that room had a blast.
Diet Cig, Childbirth, Colleen Green at Baby’s All Right
Diet Cig have forcefully thrown themselves onto the list of my favorite live bands. This night, the two-piece were stoked to be back in Brooklyn, and they really brought some incredible energy to the completely packed Baby’s All Right. Alex Luciano jumped, kicked, spun, ran around on stage, seemingly unable to get tired. Luciano’s banter was on point as well, smart, silly, charming, and at one point demanding that everyone put on sunglasses because of the crazy light show. Noah Bowman’s drumming was intense as well, and layed an anchor for the chaos that Luciano brought to the stage. Right before a very sing-alongable part of “Harvard”, Alex’s guitar cut out, but enough fiddling got it working right in time for her to sing along and then end up knocking some of Bowman’s drums to the floor and using the pieces as a seat. Diet Cig really brought it at Northside, a great way to kick off a very late show at Baby’s.
Washington based Childbirth’s set was another highlight of the festival. The three piece, containing guitarist Julia Shapiro (Chastity Belt), bassist Bree McKenna (Tacocat), and drummer Stacy Peck (Pony Time) were angry, smart, and funny. Dressed in maternity gowns, they ripped through their set, offering quick and witty descriptions of their songs and what they were about, often just repeating the name of the song. “This song is called Breast Coast, it’s a joke about Best Coast”. The crowd at Baby’s was really into the set as well, singing along and dancing along with the band.
The night came to a close with Colleen Green who took the stage at 1:15AM. Green apparently took Diet Cig’s advice and donned sunglasses during her set. Backed by pre-recorded tracks, Green rolled through some great songs from her catalog, including tracks from her 2015 record I Want To Grow Up. The whole vibe of her set just fit her style so perfectly, where else would anyone want to be at 1:30AM than listening to some great slacker-pop anthems that rip. At one point Green had half of the audience on stage with her. It was well worth staying up late for this triple bill at Baby’s.
Check out the slideshow below, and be sure to check back tomorrow for a recap of Day 3’s shows including Conor Oberst, Kacey Musgraves, and PWR BTTM!
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