Spring Awakening 2013 preview

June 07, 2013|By Adam Lukach, @lucheezy | RedEye

Last year, Chicago was treated to one of its first true EDM music festivals in years when Spring Awakening descended upon Soldier Field in all of its bro-bred glory, a two-day, five-stage extravaganza.

This year, much to the horror of Jay Cutler and the Soldier Field sod, the festival has been extended a third day, running Friday through Sunday, with more fist pumping, more drops and more acts. But that's not to suggest that this year's festival represents quantity over quality, as this year's lineup showcases the genre's move to the "post-bro" age of recessional tank tops and obliquer short patterns.

Point being, it's not all "Wub-a-dub-dub/ Three synths and a thud" this year, with the acts being vast and varied, not to mention a couple of Chicago OG electronic musicians in the house, er, on the field. We've come up with various compatible scenario/suggestion combinations to make your time the raddest, bro, so grab your "Levels" remix and let's go.

If you want to see identical twins perform, go see... Milk N Cookies or NERVO.

The brothers take press pics like this, so you need to see these dudes. They're also the dudes you need to see for cocaine, apparently, as they were caught with more than $2,000 in cash and an ounce in cocaine last fall, then served a rather timid 30 days in prison. Straight rave EDM, the drop on their hit "Ghosts" sounds like a lobotomy, so come for that and stay for the coke.

NERVO, a pair of Australian sisters, is maybe a more appealing option, as Mim and Live have carved a way for themselves in this bro-game, with light vocals that guide the way to inspiring drops. They won a Grammy co-writing "When Love Takes Over" with David Guetta, and should win the hearts of oglers with their model-esque looks.

If you are with your dad, go see... Moby.

You either love Moby, or you hate him (at least that's what people tell me), but your dad will love Moby since his music is harmless enough to sandwich between the Pretenders and Tom Petty on 93 XRT during their lunch hour. Since he's putting in a DJ set, it's also groovy enough that you can dig it too; the dude hasn't sold more than 20,000,000 records for nothing.

If you want to see some classic Chicago house music, go see... Felix Da Housecat.

Aside from his awesome name, Felix keeps a keen ear for trance while maintaining the facade of a melody that make his songs engrossing but accessible. Plus, in his home city, the dude is a VIP and you know he'll grace the audience with a tremendous set.

If you want versatility, go see... Flosstradamus.

The Chicago-based duo made of J2K and Autobot has hit pretty much every other major Chicago music festival, both in part to their great performances and diversity of sound. Their sound swings from hip-hop to dance and back, even soon releasing a trap mixtape with DJ Sliink.

If you want to see great live drumming, go see... Break Science.

Live musicianship is something of a rarity at these fests, and, at the risk of being a rockist, it's very cool when a group can integrate the two styles properly. Enter Adam Deitch and Borahm Lee, the former of whom is a renowned drummer for his work both in and out of the studio, more recently assisting Pretty Lights.

If you want an American dubstepper, go see... 12th Planet.

One of Skrillex's dudes, 12th Planet hails from the West Coast and hopped on the dubstep train before a lot of others. He's been on several Skrillex collabs and combines the personality of hip-hop production with the frenetic bliss of anticipating the drop.

If you want to see the "highest rated DJ according to DJ Mag," go see... Nicky Romero.

DJ Mag bestows some Very Important rankings on the world every year with its DJ lists, and, according to the magazine, Nicky Romero is the hottest performer at this year's show. Riding the current wave of straight house, his sound remains surprisingly low-key, but still hypnotic enough to give Lil Wayne a seizure.

If you want to put your health at risk, go see... Excision.

Nobody does loud quite like dubsteppers, and 100,000 watts of stereo practically redefines loud. Excision hails from Canada, and his hyper-aggressive warbling can literally leave you short of breath with a skipping heart, so you KNOW that you're doing it right. Drink lots of water, kids.

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