Nerd Coast In a Nutshell
by Israel Gomez
Each year, as the warm summer weather rolls in and the leaves on the trees begin to green, Northside’s back yard becomes habitable enough to host its annual music festival, Nerd Coast.
Nerd Coast has always boasted a wide array of bands from all across the Northside campus, and a few other Chicago public schools as well. This year’s Nerd Coast, falling on the 25th of May, had 13 original music acts headlining the festival. These bands took the main stages of the festival by storm. Although the sweltering sun wrought its heated passion across Chicago throughout the day, the afternoon felt refreshingly cooler. There could not have been a better day to sit in the grass and listen to friends perform than on that warm Friday afternoon.
Cost of attendance for Nerd Coast was $3 for those premeditated concertgoers who bought tickets during their respective lunch-blocks, and $5 for the rest of the lot, who bought tickets at the gate. Beyond the music, the 50 or so concert attendees enjoyed food for their price of admission; senior security officer Andrew Mayer had the grill fired up, with hot dogs and hamburgers sizzling atop the heat of the coal. Although in years past Northside’s junior leaders classes have organized the event, NCP’s Pep Club was in charge of ticket sales, acting as bouncers, stage and microphone setup, and general event coordination. The proceeds raised by Pep Club went directly to Northside’s Physical Education department and new athletic equipment for sports teams.
The start times for these acts were staggered between the stages, in order for setup time and non-conflicting performances. Resultantly, Nerd Coast attendees swung back and forth like a pendulum, running between stage A, directly outside behind the main lobby, and stage B, on the concrete outside of the art wing back doors. The musical acts of the afternoon ranged from four-person bands to solo singers. As is typical to Nerd Coast, the lineup included a number of punny band names, groups formed solely for the event to be disbanded moments later, and Eryk Kokosinski’s, Adv. 802, angelic soprano voice. The full lineup in order of appearance included: “Battle of the Riffs,” “Sam and the Boys,” “Three Legged Chair,” “Never Enough Duet,” “√A2,” “DZO,” Lyla Bariso, Kathy Bian and Elizabeth McGovern, “Mom Dog,” Margaret Mui, Eryk Kokosinski, “TranscenDental Insurance,” and “Lacewings.”
Concert attendee Bailey Duboe, Adv. 807, said “It was really cool to see how talented some of the students are, especially since a lot of the performances had nothing to do with a music class.” This sentiment was shared by many Northside students who came out to see friends perform, but discovered that other peers had musical prowess to boast. Unlike recent previous years, fan favorite indie-rock band Boise Noise did not perform. However, Kenton Kizer, the band’s lead vocalist, still made an appearance as part of the visiting Jones College Prep duo “Mom Dog.” Northside senior Justin Bologna, Adv. 809, on guitar, and junior Jarron Long, Adv. 903, on drums, formed jazz duo “TranscenDental Insurance.” Their set consisted of Bologna looping chords on guitar and playing saxophone over the top, for a song written by Bologna and a Miles Davis song called “Donna Lee.”
The festival concluded with a singing, guitar, synth, and organ based performance by “Lacewings.” The band was made up of seniors Gabriel Hatto, Adv. 806, Luther Snagel, Adv. 800, and Sam Tweedy, Adv. 810. “Luther said he thought the show ‘bent reality,’ but in truth that is not that big of a deal, and we just ripped off the Super Mario 64 soundtrack anyways,” said Hatto.
Despite technical difficulties on one of the stages at one point in the event, everything turned out well thanks to the ingenuity and hard work of Pep Club. When asked about the event, TranscenDental insurance salesman Bologna concluded that “It was a fun time and I’m glad I participated. The chill atmosphere of Nerd Coast made it a great place to relax and enjoy yourself--as a performer, or as a music fan.”