Loufest: A Quick Guide To Resolving Schedule Conflicts
You’ve scored your LouFest tickets. Now it’s time to check out the schedule and decide which acts you definitely have to see. But what about the bands you might be interested in, but just don’t know that much about? Especially when those bands are playing on different stages at the same time?
The folks at LouFest have actually made your decision-making process easier compared to other festivals. For example, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival has musicians playing on up to nine stages at the same time. And RiotFest, coming up in Chicago Sept. 16-18, has six stages of overlapping music.
LouFest has four stages, but there are never more than two bands playing at the same time. And you catch a break because on both days, opening acts Sleepy Rubies and John Henry as well as headliners Chris Stapleton and LCD Soundsystem all play without competing bands on other stages.
So let’s focus on the eight times each day at LouFest when you have to make that decision between two bands. Given the variety of musical styles highlighted at LouFest this time around, many decisions will be easy if you’re a dedicated fan of hip-hop and rap, alt-country is your thing, you’re into blues and R&B, or electronica is for you. Check out the links in this guide to see and hear more about the artists in the LouFest lineup.
Let’s start with Saturday. At 12:30pm, you can catch local band Foxing at the Bud Light Stage or JMR at the Tunespeak BMI Stage. JMR stands for Joshua Michael Robinson, who takes a one-man band approach to originals, blending R&B and layered instrumentals. It’s interesting stuff, but this is a special showcase for Foxing, a band that’s making waves far beyond St. Louis.
If you’re a fan of Nashville band Diarrhea Planet’s take on punk rock, head for the Forest Park Stage at 1:30pm. Otherwise, keep the local vibe going with a set by Illphonics at the Shade Stage, featuring the band’s compelling blend of rap vocals and top-notch musicianship.
At 2:30pm, let your musical preferences guide your choice; the legendary New Orleans jazz vibe of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band at Bud Light, or St. Louis duo Bruiser Queen blasting its brand of garage rock at Tunespeak BMI.
The 3:30pm choices are tougher: The Heavy, an English band that blends elements of funk, R&B, hip-hop and rock, is best known for the ubiquitous hit, “How You Like Me Now?” Brooklyn, New York’s Caveman brings an eclectic blend of rock influences to the Shade Stage, featuring the killer guitar work of Jimmy Carbonetti. Try and catch some of both sets.
There’s a major contrast at the 4 o’clock hour. Choose the sunny pop electronica of St. Lucia at Bud Light, or head to Tunespeak BMI for gritty, Texas-style rock and blues of the Quaker City Night Hawks.
There’s a 6:30pm decision between the Grammy-winning, established credentials of Seattle’s Band of Horses at Bud Light and Twin Limb at Tunespeak BMI. This up-and-coming Louisville band blends drums, accordion, guitar and sampled sounds to create a mesmerizing blend.
At Forest Park at 7:30pm, the duo Big Gigantic add dynamic lighting and production effects to a musical mix that includes elements of hip-hop, jazz and electronic live mixes. On Shade, dynamic singer Charles Bradley and his band, the Extraordinaires, will focus on real deal, old school soul.
Choices again start at 12:30 pm on Sunday when local stalwarts Aaron Kamm & the One Drops light up the Bud Light Stage with the band’s reggae and blues tinged sound, while Nashville-based singer/songwriter Bonnie Bishop plays Tunespeak BMI with her unique blend of country and soul. Tough decision.
Another Nashville band, Judah & the Lion, mixes elements of hip-hop, rock and pop and a little folk on the Forest Park Stage at 1:15pm; while local faves Karate Bikini hit the Shade Stage with finely tuned, expertly played originals. These are only 45-minute sets, so it’s harder to catch both bands.
At 2pm, Chicago‘s Twin Peaks kicks out the jams at Bud Light with non-stop garage punk. At Tunespeak BMI, it’s the folky indie rock of Athens, Georgia band Mothers, led by singer/songwriter Kristine Leschper. Choose your appropriate energy level.
Blues legend Buddy Guy just turned 80 a few weeks ago, but he’ll come out smokin’ at Bud Light at 4pm. He’s known for taking a stroll through the audience while playing his guitar when the mood hits. NAWAS, originally from Louisiana but now working in Nashville, brings a fresh, inspired take on R&B to Tunespeak BMI.
Rapper Vince Staples has worked with Cutthroat Boyz and Common, and showcases his 2015 debut album, “Summertime 06” at Forest Park at 5pm. Chicago’s Wild Belle, led by brother and sister Elliot and Natalie Bergman, mix tasty dance, reggae and psychedelic rock influences into an indie pop foundation at Shade.
Punk duo the Kills take the stage at Bud Light at 6pm, with more than a touch of White Stripes influence. Anderson Paak, who contributed six tracks to Dr. Dre’s “Compton” album, brings cutting-edge rap to Tunespeak BMI, backed by the Free Nationals.
Will Ms. Lauryn Hill actually appear onstage at Forest Park on time at 7pm? It’s worth the wait for this mercurial, influential artist. But you may want to catch a couple tunes at Shade by Austin, Texas-based Shakey Graves, who labels his music as “hobo-folk.” FYI, he appeared on “Friday Night Lights” under his real name, Alejandro Rose-Garcia.
See you in the Uber line at Forest Park! By the way, check out Loufest’s $15 Uber credit!
Photo by Rachel Brandt.