Monday, August 27, 2012

Saturday - LouFest 2012

Sleepy Kitty. Courtesy of Nicole Pruess.
For the third year in a row, LouFest has been the end of summer highlight for many St. Louis music fans. The well-organized festival presented one of their best lineups yet. Unfortunately, I missed several bands (sorry Little Barrie, Pernikoff Brothers, and THEEsatisfaction), so I'll just talk about what I personally saw.

The festival was kicked off by local favorite Sleepy Kitty. Since this band has only two members, they needed a little help from their friends. Several guests appeared throughout the set. Their fun, energetic music was a great way to start the weekend. At a Sleepy Kitty show, anything can happen. They may play songs from a seven-inch released that very day. They might play a song about the Batman ride at Six Flags. They could throw handmade shakers at the audience. Anything can happen.

King Tuff played most of the tracks from their 2012 debut during their set. The garage-punk band made up for their lack of songwriting prowess with high-energy rock. This made for some fantastic head-banging that my neck complained about the next day. Totally worth it.

Cotton Mather was definitely the wild card at this year's LouFest. In the late nineties, this powerpop band was on everybody's list to be the next big thing. In 2003, the band broke up and pretty much disappeared. Now, they're back together, re-releasing their 1997 hit album, Kon Tiki, and possibly recording new material. Their smooth melodies brightened the day a little, despite the gray clouds.

The hometown heroes, Son Volt, played a beautiful country set. Although they really sounded quite perfect, they were a down-tempo break in a series of rocking sets. My adrenaline was going a little too fast to really focus on their entire set.

It's hard to describe Phantogram to someone that's never heard them. They combine rock, electronica, and R&B in a seamless fusion. The combination of man and machine on drums made their strange beats come alive. The slight drizzle of rain during their set only added to the mood.

Dinosaur Jr. is the loudest band I've ever seen in concert. This is the second time I've seen them, and they're still loud. A little too loud, in my opinion. Their songs sound quite different live than on the album. The verse of "Feel The Pain" sounds just like the album, but the chorus is played as fast as they can possibly play. It's an experience, though not always a pleasant one.

What's a DJ to do in concert? If you ask Girl Talk, the answer is "mix as much as you can live and throw the biggest party you can." The LCD screens on stage showed strange combinations of graphics that felt like subliminal messaging. People danced on stage, shirts came off, and toilet paper filled the air. This was the birthday party you've always wanted.

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