Just when I thought Lollapalooza was the ultimate music fest, and it couldn’t get any better than that, LouFest comes along, ups its game, and blows my mind. I’ve never been more proud of my STL.
This was the third year for LouFest, and Shelah and I have been vendors from the get go. Every year has been better than the last; but with Girl Talk and The Flaming Lips as headliners this year, I’m wondering how 2012 could possibly be beat. True, LouFest has far fewer bands and only two stages compared to Lollapalooza’s massive set up. However, both festivals were cursed with a rainy weekend. Where Lollapalooza evacuated us, causing an “each-man-for-himself” mentality, LouFest embraced the weather and encouraged cozy-ing up with friends, strangers, and musical artists alike…under any shelter you could find. Of course The Foundrie/Just Liv tent was a haven for anyone near by, and we welcomed them with open arms and soggy s’mores!
I, of course, was perched at the front of the stage for Dawes’ set when the skies opened up on Sunday evening. I knew the rain was coming, but I’d been looking forward to seeing Dawes ever since the LouFest lineup was announced. I know what you’re thinking, “Didn’t you see Dawes at Lollapalooza?” The answer is yes. Yes, I did. But, I couldn’t get close enough for my satisfaction at Lollapalooza; so you can bet I was throwing ‘bows to make it to the front this time. I sweet talked a giant, post-grad, ginger-headed young man into letting me in front of him to make it to the front of the stage. He was, after all, much taller than me, and I was certain he’d be able to see right over my top bun! I may have also offered him a delicious Yuengling. It worked. Don’t judge.
*** You’ll have to forgive my rambling thoughts. Even after 2 1/2 weeks, my mind is still racing with excitement, and I’m just sharing my stories as they come. This is exactly how I would be telling you in person, so just imagine I’m sitting next to you. ;-) ***
Needless to say, Dawes did NOT disappoint. Even though their set was cut 15 minutes short due to the rain, they played their hearts out, and I was happy to obliged when asked to sing along. These are my favorite reviews from the RFT:
“ 2. Dawes Mops Up Guitar Solos
Water does bad things to most musical instruments, especially live electrified guitars, so we expected Dawes to be quick with the towels once the rain clouds started to spill. But frontman/guitarist Taylor Goldsmith backed up the band’s flannel-and-denim brand of Americana rock with a flannel-and-denim brand of ingenuity and showmanship by sopping up his fretboard with a few grating slides up and down the strings with a white towel mid-song and in perfect time.
11. They’re Hits for a Reason
Dawes’ “When My Time Comes” may be the band’s biggest song, thoroughly expended in those great modern music benchmarks: the car commercial and the TV drama soundtrack. But that chorus is for everyone, the diehards and the passersby alike. Here, I’ll teach you: It’s the song’s title, then “Whoa-Ohhh.” Simple yet effective, and as the rain started leaking, the true believers in the front were screaming it like the Holy Spirit of Rock & Roll had found them. By the last go-round, the band dropped out, leaving the thousands to a triumphant a capella. ”
I was def one of those true believers screaming in the front. Even my new red-headed friend joined in. Nothing brings people together like good music. Nothing. Oh, and I may have chased Dawes down outside of my tent after the rain ceased. I couldn’t help it. They looked so cute walking through the crowd. I just had to tell them how awesome they are. I’m that girl.
Although I was most excited to see Dawes this year at LouFest, The Pernikoff Brothers, Son Volt, Dr.Dog, The Cults, and most others certainly did not disappoint. I did not count myself as a Girl Talk or Flaming Lips fan before LouFest, but they definitely changed my mind. I couldn’t help but dance and sing along to Girl Talk’s rad re-mixes. And, I’ll admit that I was holding a bit of a grudge against The Flaming Lips due to their blasphemous attempt at covering Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of The Moon” album in 2009. (In case you don’t know, Pink Floyd is the greatest band that ever was, is or will be.) But, with their amazing laser show, and poignant lyrics, the Lips are paying tribute to Pink Floyd in a way that only true fans can appreciate. It. Was. Amazing.
Being around all that great music definitely energized me, and it got me thinking about what my perfect music fest lineup would be. Shelah didn’t want to hear it, but being the great friend/business partner that she is, she listened. Thanks pal! Such lineup includes, but is not limited to the following: Grace Potter & the Nocturnals, Chamberlin, Delta Spirit, Dawes, Milo Greene, Middle Brother, My Morning Jacket, New Multitudes, Band of Horses, Of Monsters and Men, The Avett Brothers, Mumford & Sons, Fitz & the Tantrums, The Black Keys, Shawn Mullins, The Silent Comedy, Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real, Willie Nelson…..the list could go on and on. What would your perfect lineup be?
Okay, if you’re still reading this, thanks for being a music nerd like me. But, LouFest isn’t just about music. The bands are simply the soundtrack to the fun times shared with friends and strangers alike. Some of our favorite people hung out at our booth all weekend. Stephanie, Roy and his banana suit, my old high school pal JP…..even peeps Shelah and I haven’t seen in years swung by to say hi and share a s’more and a cold one. We were lucky enough to be located right next to the Shock Top tent. Which was cool simply for its Foosball table. Foosball by the moonlight. Classic.
I could go on and on about the fun times we had at LouFest this year, but I think the pictures can tell the rest of the story. Sometimes I still can’t believe that this is my life. The Foundrie has the best friends, family, fans and customers ever! And for that, we thank you.
Until next time!