The LouFest experience

By Chase Myers

The sun was at its highest point when I arrived, peeking in and out of passing clouds. The walk to the main festival was long, but refreshing with a near perfect temperature and the sound of drums and bass guitar in the distance. Sooner than I knew it, I was there, emerging into a sea of music fans.

LouFest is a two-day music festival in St. Louis that takes place at the expansive Forest Park. There could not have been a better atmosphere for the festival.

Forest Park sits on the western side of St. Louis and provides a perfect canvas for artists to play outdoors, with a cityscape as a background, just above the trees.

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There was a stage set up on every corner of the park with what seemed like a mile-long food vendor at the far side.

Once I got settled in, I headed to the main stage in order to get a good view for the rest of the evening.

At music festivals, there are two kinds of people.

There are wanderers, who migrate from stage to stage, with no regard to how far back in the crowd they are. They are ready to see as many artists as possible and discover some new music in the process.

I am typically one to walk from stage to stage, but this day was different. Other than a few small bands I saw as I settled in, I was camped out at the main stage.

I was about 20 yards from the front of the stage when the next band started to perform.

The band, Future Islands, was from Baltimore, Md. and was one I was unfamiliar with. As it took the stage, it was obvious it would be a refreshing taste of an older generation. Being older than most bands there, Future Islands brought a seasoned vibe to the festival.

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The lead vocalist, Samuel Herring, had a vocal range that spanned from death metal growls to high, ‘80s rock yells, with a Southern country singer in between. This also matched his intense dance moves on stage.

After Future Islands was The 1975, an alternative rock band from Manchester, England. The band emerged into the American music scene with songs such as “Chocolate” and “Sex.”

The 1975 will be playing mostly overseas for the remainder of the year so it a rarity to see the band playing at American shows.

It did not disappoint in the slightest. The vibes from the crowd were incredible, as everyone was dancing and singing along to nearly every song.

I talked to a middle-aged couple behind us during the 1975’s performance. They had no idea who the band was before the performance, but were pleasantly surprised when they heard songs they recognized from the radio.

The final performance on the main stage was Arctic Monkeys, which by the looks of the massive crowd, was the closer for the night.

Riding off the release of its new record titled “AM” in late 2013, the band rocked the enormous crowd as the sun was finally set on the first day of the festival.

The logo for the band’s “AM” record was suspended behind the stage for the entire day leading up to the performance. They played old and new songs and when the guitar riff started for the band’s hit song “Do I wanna know,” the crowd went crazy.

The excitement from both the performing artists and crowd was constant throughout the day. Good music combined with good food left the people’s taste buds and ears satisfied, at least until the next day.

Chase Myers can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @chasemyers_DE or at 536-3311 ext. 273

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