Mamby On The Beach 2017 Preview


Author: David Heinrich

Mamby On The Beach is one of the many festivals that take place in Chicago over the summer. It’s relatively new, with 2017 being its third year in existence. It’s unique in that it takes place on the shores of Lake Michigan, at Oakwood Beach, a little outside of downtown Chicago on the near South Side. It’s a multi-genre festival that includes acts for people of all tastes and types, and in 2017 it boasts a strong lineup, in accordance with its first two years. In 2015, its initial lineup included headliners Empire of the Sun and Passion Pit, with depth provided by a James Murphy (of LCD Soundsystem) DJ Set, Phantogram, Röyksopp, Art Department, Cashmere Cat and Robert DeLong. Last year, they stepped it up and brought in Chet Faker, Lupe Fiasco, Milky Chance, Kaytranada, Tycho, Chromeo, Santigold, Animal Collective, Atmosphere, Gallant, and Miami Horror. In addition to those mouth-watering bookings, 2016 saw the addition of the DJ Tent, with house and dance all-stars like Tale Of Us and Loco Dice performing as well. Mamby truly offers something for everyone in a fun, relaxed, environment, and 2017 is sure to be its best year yet. Here are some artists on this year’s lineup that I’m especially excited for.


Finally, MGMT are back. The psychedelic indie rockers originally from Middletown, Connecticut have returned with a summer tour planned for this year, and Mamby is lucky enough to get a headlining performance from them this year. Famous for their hits “Electric Feel” and “Kids”, from the album Oracular Spectacular, MGMT are sure to put on a great live performance, and their triumphant return to the stage is not to be missed. Few details have been released about their new album Little Dark Age, but I’m sure the Mamby crowd will get to hear new tunes and old favorites as well.


This Californian indie rock quintet is going to put on one of the best shows of the weekend. Still touring on the back of their most recent release, the excellent Sunlit Youth, Local Natives bring an unforgettable show to the stage. I would know, I got to see them at the Majestic Theatre in Madison this April, and they blew me away. Drawing equally from their first two albums, their most recent, and a few singles they’ve released since then, the show evoked a variety of moods and emotions, which were all held together by driving beats and the tightest vocal harmonies you’ll ever hear. Their most recent single, “The Only Heirs” features Nico Segal (formerly known as Donnie Trumpet) and was produced by Nate Fox. They are both members of The Social Experiment, who frequently collaborate with Chance the Rapper, so the Chicago crowd will be happy to hear a hometown influence.


This pop/rock quartet from Ohio sure brings the fans out. Having been to two Walk the Moon shows before, I can assure you that they have a passionate fanbase who is ready to spread positive vibes and have a great time. Like MGMT, they’ve also been on hiatus for a few years since their sophomore album Talking Is Hard and their smash hit single “Shut Up and Dance”, but social media posts have confirmed that a third album is in the works. Inspired by the music video for one of their first songs “Anna Sun” in which lead singer Nick Petricca and everyone else have colorful and random face paint on, Walk the Moon fans typically paint their faces as well for shows. It’s a spectacle all its own, and a Walk the Moon show is sure to bring a smile to anyone’s face.


Flying Lotus rounds out the stacked group of headliners is Flying Lotus, an producer/experimental artist whose music incorporates a variety of genres. His influences are everything from funk to hip hop, electronic to jazz, psychedelia to house. He also raps under the stage name Captain Murphy. When he’s not making music, he also directs films. Flying Lotus puts on a really unique show that is sure to wow the Mamby crowd. He frequently collaborates with and is good friends with another experimental artist who is on the Mamby lineup, Thundercat. The two are also friends and frequent collaborators with acclaimed rap superstar Kendrick Lamar, so perhaps a Kung Fu Kenny guest appearance is in the cards.



French deep house producer, and the headliner of this year’s Mixmag DJ Tent. One of the pioneers of the new “future house” style, so his set is sure to be bumping. Wears a priest’s collar during performances, so get ready to go to church.




Swedish indie-pop band who will bring a high energy performance to the beach. Another one of my personal favorites, who I’ve also seen, and I can assure you they are well worth your time on Saturday.


Philadelphia-based electronic duo Marian Hill play Saturday as well, and will bring their smash hit single “Down” to Oakwood Beach. R&B vibes all around at this show.


Local Chicago rapper who released a stellar album last year called Bucket List Project. Also known for collaborating with Chicago’s finest son Chance the Rapper, sharing a verse on Acid Rap (“Everybody’s Something”) and a hook on Coloring Book (“Angels”). A Chance guest appearance at his set is also a possibility (fingers crossed).


Aforementioned experimental artist who has a similar style to Flying Lotus, very jazz-influenced but belongs in a category all his own. His album
Drunk from this year is one of the best releases of the year so far.


Psychedelic indie rockers from Portland, Oregon, best known for their hit “Rawnald Gregory Erickson the Second”. Sure to get the crowd moving in the middle of the day.


All-female dreampop band. I saw them open for Grouplove a year ago and they were one of the best opener sets I’ve ever seen, I’d highly recommend them.


See you all at the beach!