While sitting down in the shade and enjoying some quality people watching, I saw much more than what I had initially expected at LouFest.
Sure there were plenty of dehydrated, drunk hipster types wearing various shades of plaid, beat-up Converse and skinny jean shorts, but there were also moms with strollers and dads wearing pressed Polos with boat shoes.
I saw girls donning cute fedoras, lil’ punk teenagers with Mohawks and women in big sun hats. And I’m convinced that only at LouFest could I go from saying, “checkmate” at the giant chessboard in the Kidz Zone to “cheers” in the Schlafly beer garden under a cool, leafy canopy right next to one of the stages.
LouFest was full of the seemingly un-similar, but then again so is St. Louis and that’s exactly what founder Brian Cohen wanted all along: a music festival that reflected the unique quirks of our awesome city.
On Saturday the local boys of Kentucky Knife Fight made the hometown crowd proud with their unique punk-blues sound. Later in the afternoon the indie rock band, Ra Ra Riot (who came to the Billiken Club in 2009) didn’t seem to be phased by the blazing heat, and they got huge applause off the hits from their new album “Beta Love.”
Fitz and the Tantrums capped off the afternoon with an electric performance on the main stage. They showcased their latest album “More Than Just a Dream” to the delight of the crowd.
As the evening wore on the energy started to buzz with the clock ticking down to Wilco, just one of the big names to play this year’s event. The National warmed up the stage playing hits off of their latest album, “Trouble Will Find Me.”
Despite the drizzle, Wilco was welcomed to LouFest by bellowing cheers in Forest Park. For 90 minutes, the band kept the crowd completely mesmerized by their famous folksy twang. Lead guitarist and singer Jeff Tweedy received some of the loudest cheers when he mentioned how much he loved playing so close to home in St. Louis.
Even though Saturday’s lineup was difficult to follow and Sunday’s weather didn’t exactly cooperate, the day turned out to be an incredible continuation of the 4th annual LouFest.
Things were kicked off by The Mowgli’s, whose alternative-rock sound had the fans quickly forgetting the soggy start to the morning. Others to take the stage included Youngblood Hawke, Court Yard Hounds, Tef Poe, Local Natives, Icona Pop and Alabama Shakes.
The Killers were pumped to cap off LouFest 2013 in front of the massive crowd at the main stage. Their set included older favorites like “Mr. Brightside” and “All These Things That I’ve Done” as well as newer tracks from their current album.
Next year don’t just listen to the echoes of LouFest on campus. Early estimations have shown that over 30,000 people came out to Forest Park during the weekend and next year is sure to have a turn out just as big, if not bigger.
So make it a point to get your tickets early and see firsthand how this incredible music festival brings together the city.