2012 Wavefront Music Festival


Sunday was easily the strangest day of the entire weekend. We arrived to find gates knocked over and an empty beach that forced attendees to evacuate due to harsh weather conditions. This caused a delay in the show and cancelled a couple of sets. The DFA trio never got to perform but mentioned how they loved the layout and would love to return and make up their sets one day. Once they got clearance to start the show back up, Danny Daze stepped up first. His lively, bass-filled dance rhythms were fun for the daytime and set the bar high early on. Lee Foss matched his label mate’s energy with his own diverse set. He dropped tracks from Justin Martin to Disclosure as well as his own label. He showed no boundaries or limitations, he just played what he wanted and looked like he was having a lot of fun in the process; overall, he delivered. Benoit and Sergio followed suit and played to an even larger audience than Friday. Seeing them perform on the beach in day light felt like it was perfect union; their music sounded like it was made specifically for the beach. The audience once again responded enthusiastically to their live set. Out of anyone performing at Wavefront, they may have generated the biggest buzz and walked away with the most new fans. Coincidentally, the next artist, Guy Gerber, also played live but with a very progressive electronica sound that is matched by no one. His set leaned heavily from his latest Fabric mix and showcased his futuristic sound. He also got great feedback from the crowd and came out one of the biggest winners of the weekend. He finished up just as the sun was beginning to set on the Chicago skyline.

At that point it was time to just rest as Steve Lawler became background music. The big finale was coming and it was time to make a rare trek to the south stage and watch Duck Sauce close out the weekend. A-Trak and Armand Van Helden’s disco house project brought a huge stage production (that featured a giant inflatable duck) coupled with fireworks that had all the makings of closing headliner set. They played their own originals from their forthcoming debut LP as well as older tunes from their “Greatest Hits EP.” It was a feel-good disco house set that came wrapped in a huge stage production. The audience ate it up and pushed their way up to get as close as possible. And just like that, it was all over. For a first year festival, things went off with only a few minor hitches. Some common complaints we overheard from attendees were the long beer lines and people having a hard time finding the water refill stations; simple issues with easy solutions for next year’s event. At the same time, people raved about huge production value and amazing sound at the stages. They were able to turn up the volume up and also avoid major sound-bleed issues. Indeed, the good easily outweighed the bad. And it is only going to get better. Now that the first one is in the books, the Wavefront team can begin planning for next year to improve the overall experience for their customers. They are off to an amazing start and it is going to be a lot of fun to watch this thing grow. Sure it won’t be the same as this year, but where would the fun be in repeating the same event over again? Clearly Wavefront’s upside is huge and only requires a few minor tweaks. With a strong initial debut, the festival appears be in good hands and headed in the right direction.

Pat Mahoney, Shit Robot, James Murphy (DFA Records)
Danny Daze
Lee Foss

Benoit and Sergio
Guy Gerber

Steve Lawler

Duck Sauce

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Jeremy Frazier is the editor-in-chief of Soundfuse.