LouFest delivers, blows last year out of the water
Alyssa Knowling, Reporter
August 31, 2011
Filed under Uncategorized
Last year, I really enjoyed LouFest. I thought the experience in itself was amazing.
This year, on the other hand, I fell in love.
The bands this year really surprised me. Although some problems occurred in the lineup, the best bands of this year’s festival made up for everything, and there were many more genres of music played. I was so impressed by not only the lineup, food, and atmosphere, but also how well the organizers of LouFest fixed the main problems from last year.
So here is the best and worst of the second annual LouFest. Though I may point out some bad, let me remind you that overall I thought LouFest was absolutely, undeniably incredible.
Find of the Festival: Lost In the Trees. This North Carolina based group blew my mind.
The group was composed of singer/guitarist Ari Picker, whose melodies, songwriting, and classically influenced guitar parts were all absolutely beautiful, a strings trio of two cellos and one violin, a drummer, a tuba player/bassist and an amazing woman who seemingly played every instrument and sang like an angel.
The music incorporated symphonic ideas into the indie/pop-rock genre, which mesmerized me completely. In the middle of their set, there was a short, strings based classical movement played. They told great stories, and captivated the audience with their humor. The music was innovative and lovely. I would recommend them to anyone, and I’m so glad that I got to see them play at LouFest.
Best Fix from Last Year: The water station was majorly improved. Last year, there were a few water jugs that had slow, lukewarm streams of water. The lines got incredibly long, although having free water was great.
This year, organizers brought out the big guns. The station contained about a dozen high-pressure drink hoses that filled your bottle up with cool water in a matter of seconds. Lines were very short, if there was even a line to begin with. Way to keep everyone happy and hydrated!
Best Food: All of it! The food was fresh and from 15 local eateries, bringing emphasis right back onto St. Louis. The deserts were fantastic, especially Little Jimmy’s Italian Ice, which was light and perfect for the heat of the day. Holy Crepe! came back this year and once again, their crepes were delicious. Cha Cha Chow, Pi Pizzeria, and Mangia Mobile brought food trucks to the festival and served interesting, flavorful food. There was barbeque, Italian, vegetarian, Mexican, classic America food and more. Each restaurant really brought their best.
Biggest Disappointment: The main headliner for Saturday, The Roots, had to cancel due to Hurricane Irene.
They were stuck on the east coast and simply couldn’t get a flight out. I was very excited to see them, but definitely understood why they couldn’t make it. At the very least, their drummer Questlove came out and did a DJ set, which was fun and got the crowd dancing.
What didn’t make sense to me was why The Hold Steady took the main headlining spot. They were not going to be a headliner at all, and Deerhunter was. So as to why Deerhunter didn’t take the main headlining spot, I’m not sure. The Hold Steady plays Americana music, and though it was the best Americana music I’ve heard, the genre itself didn’t allow the band to be a compelling headliner. They shouldn’t have ended the night, especially because Deerhunter’s performance was absolutely mind-boggling. Oh well, there’s always next year.
Best Dance Party: !!! (Chk Chk Chk) was by far the most fun band in the lineup. The second they started playing, the crowd went wild dancing and screaming.
I was in the very front, which was an experience in itself. Their lead singer Nik Offer was insane, and by that I mean that he was completely out of his mind (but in the best way possible). He danced with more energy and charisma than any other singer I’ve seen. He jumped on speaker, he jumped on monitors, he jumped off the stage into the crowd and danced with me
All I know is that I definitely burned my dinner off during their set, and would kill to get a chance to see them live again.
Most Drugged Out: I don’t know what everyone else was thinking….but I’m fairly positive that the members of Das Racist were completely wasted. They were hilarious, but I think their music would have been a little better had they not been slurring their words the whole time.
Best Outfits: The members of Kings Go Forth, a funk band, had matching, white linen outfits complete with flowing hippy tops and bellbottom pants. To sum them up: their lead singer had fringe on his pants from the knee down. Fringe.
Best Energy: Lead singer/guitarist Lauren Larson of Ume was not only incredibly musically talented, but completely rocked the stage out. She had long, straight blond hair, and my God, did she whip it around. The most refreshing thing about her: she wasn’t using her long locks to hide a lack of talent. Because her energy completely added to their performance, I would recommend that anyone should go see them play live, regardless of whether they like the style of music or not.
Most Annoying Fan: During TV On the Radio, this girl squeezed her way to the front, took one of our spots and proceeded to wave her hands in my face and scream in my ear. I may or may not have used by boyfriend as a human wedge between her and I in the middle of the set.
Best Overall Performance: TV On the Radio was the absolute best way to end the festival. They were edgy, thrilling and loud. They were musically spot on and had a ton of energy. They certainly amped the crowd up with their amazing lighting throughout their performance and the fact that their music is just technically so good.
All in all, I don’t think this year’s festival could have been any better. I am so excited to see what comes in the next years.