Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Sunday - LouFest 2011

Ume rocking very hard
The retro rock of Old Lights started out the day. Their set reminded me of early Elvis Costello, definitely not a bad thing. Although their lead guitarist broke a few strings and experienced other difficulties, there was always another spare and the set continued just fine.
Jumbling Towers had a chaotic, unique keyboard based sound that my friends and I all enjoyed. The drummer was very talented and the singer looked like David Byrne of Talking Heads if you squinted. Definitely one of my favorites from sunday, I was disappointed to find a different sound on the free sampler they gave me. A drum machine? Where's that awesome guy? That said, I look forward to future releases from them.
Ume was the heaviest band of the weekend in my opinion. Their hardcore songs paired with Lauren's sometimes sweet vocals made a great combination. Her outfit was actually a great representation of the band's sound. A little black dress and combat boots. Also, she's the best headbanger I've ever seen.
Next up was the band I was most excited for, Lost In The Trees. Their set did not disappoint. The soft orchestral folk music was a stark contrast to Ume. The audience seemed quiet and respectful of their delicate sound. The set included brand new songs, a skeleton horse puppet being paraded through the audience, and a personal story about delivering pizza to the wealthy while on narcotics. Awesome.
The Low Anthem followed, being the only other folk band on the bill. The singer's voice sounded a whole lot like more recent Bob Dylan tunes.
Das Racist was definitely the wild card of sunday. The three maniac rappers took the stage and played much of the material from their forthcoming album, "Relax." Never taking themselves seriously, they told us how they planned to "do a couple more blues songs, some classic rock songs." They showed a lot of energy and I swear there must have been at least one of them talking at all times. They played Metallica on their laptop, air-guitaring heavily as they walked out.
!!! was one of the most entertaining bands of the weekend. How could you not enjoy watching the singer dance, dance with the audience, dance with a man in a wheelchair, dance on top of the speakers, and knock a row of lights right off the speaker while dancing? It was incredibly entertaining and created a great environment to hold an impromptu dance party with strangers. It started to drizzle a little bit near the end but that didn't stop anyone from grooving.
Cat Power doesn't play many live shows but for St. Louis, an exception. Her vocals sounded just as good, if not better, than they do on the album (which is pretty great.) The entire band experienced some issues with their monitors but it still sounded great from the audience. True to her discography, Cat Power played at least a few covers. In the middle of the set, an amazing sunset and a rainbow appeared. This would have been cool with any of the bands but it was an absolutely perfect visual for Cat Power's stunning set.
TV On The Radio had a noisy and rocking sound that has become their signature. Keeping with the theme of their new album (Nine Types Of Light) they had a great light show to go with the music. In my opinion, they could have mixed the audio a little better. It didn't ruin such a moving set however. I was particularly excited when they played my two favorites, "Repetition" and "Wolf Like Me," in a row. Dealing with the death of their bass player, Gerard Smith, this could be TV On The Radio's last tour. Whatever they do, I'm sure it will be in everyone's best interest. This set was really powerful and loud and a great way to end a great weekend in St. Louis.

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