LouFest: A Recap
With a talented lineup, great in-between-act entertainment and a solid turnout, the first LouFest was a success.
Sunday night at 9:45pm, as the road crew music started to play on the blue stage, the first year of LouFest drew to a close.
As anticipated, Forest Park proved itself to be the ideal setting for a weekend of well-planned indie bliss. The weekend had an undeniably folk-rock theme, from the healthy food options to the family-friendly School of Folk tent, and despite some hot days, cool breezes broke up the evening sets for the perfect St. Louis weekend. From signing in and buying tickets to finding entertainment in between shows, LouFest had every detail prepped.
Solid lineups carried both days; the shows all shared a harmonious indie-rock, folk-rock vibe with acoustic instruments reigning supreme. Sunday brought out noticeably more people, but hopefully that was due to Day One word of mouth.
Festival-goers enjoyed moderately priced St. Louis favorites at the aptly named Nosh Pit. Kota Wood Fire Grill, Whole Foods, Pi and Holy Crepe! were just some of the vendors that attendees enjoyed for a fraction of their normal prices and wait times. LouFest’s skilled planners packed the Nosh Pit with a variety of fare, including vegetarian vegan options such as an oriental salad and freshly grilled corn on the cob.
In addition to amazing food and great service, the concerts themselves were well worth the ticket price. Several acts even mentioned how lucky attendees were to have a well-planned event at such a low price. Try paying $38 for Coachella and see where that gets you.
Along with the big acts, Jeff Tweedy played an intimate set on Sunday to a full crowd under a sunset backdrop, which just may be the best way to watch the St. Louis native and acoustic king do his thing. The most surprising set turned out to be that from Saturday afternoon act, Titus Andronicus, a five-member powerhouse from New Jersey that tore up a sweltering stage and made everyone forget about the days’ heat. Dripping in sweat and grinning from ear to ear, members of Titus, one of “Rolling Stone”‘s best bands for 2010, could not have been happier to be playing Forest Park.
As for the main draws, big acts Broken Social Scene and She & Him respectively rounded out the two days in distinct ways. On Saturday, Broken Social Scene played an almost-two-hour set. Members practiced a musical Chinese fire drill, rotating positions and instruments consistently throughout the set. Jumping into the crowd during “Texico Bitches,” blowing out the lights and fighting for a longer encore, BSS let St. Louis know they were glad to ring in the first LouFest.
Sunday night, She & Him played a fantastic set of their “Volume One” and “Volume Two” albums, stopping after a little over an hour. Superstar actress-turned-folk-queen Zooey Deschanel and rock star producer M. Ward wooed the crowd completely and their fans adored their set. But as far as closing out the day in style, Broken Social Scene takes the prize and made Saturday the night to catch.
Now that the festival is over, one can’t help but wonder how LouFest 2 will measure up. After executing successful first-year event, LouFest’s sophomore effort will surely have the same great food, good acts and hopefully the same affordable tickets.