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Robert Randolph at LouFest 2017. Photo by: Matthew McGuire
Robert Randolph at LouFest 2017. Photo by: Matthew McGuire

LouFest 2018 is Scheduled for September 8 and 9, 2018

LouFest Music Festival hosted over 60,000 attendees for their eighth year in St. Louis on September 9 and 10. This year they relocated to a new section of Forest Park to nearby The Muny Theater.

The festival hosted local talented, national acts, and international bands on three stages. In 2017, the event sold over 30 percent of tickets to attendees outside a 100 mile radius of St. Louis.

It marked our outlets second time covering LouFest Music Festival, with the first time in 2012 on Central Field. The new location did provide room for additional attendees, but several members of the crowd did mention the parking lot was hot and uncomfortable in comparison to grassland.

Guests Guests walking in for day 1 at LouFest 2017 in downtown St. Louis. Photo by: Matthew McGuirewalking in for day 1 at LouFest 2017 in downtown St. Louis. Photo by: Matthew McGuire(0)
Guests walking in for day 1 at LouFest 2017 in downtown St. Louis. Photo by: Matthew McGuire

Bri and I walked into the festival grounds with sunny skies on Saturday around 2 p.m. Some of our friends mentioned that last year LouFest was covered in mud, and the dry conditions in 2017 was a nice change.

The parking situation was overall decent, but to bring in larger audiences, additional parking will be needed.

We walked in to first check out the Nosh Pit with food options from local St. Louis eateries.

We both picked out local bites to eat, and continued to walk around Forest Park. The trees provided an excellent use of shade during the day.

Marian Hill

International touring performers known as Marian Hill is a Philadelphia powder keg of alternative pop music that kicked off their set at LouFest with the hit track ‘Down.’

It marked my first time checking out the band live. Bri and I both noticed her opening with her strongest material as a sign of confidence. As we walked up to the Enterprise Rent-A-Car Stage we danced and celebrated the beautiful weather in downtown St. Louis.

Asphalt or concrete works well for certain parts of the festival, such as vending and merchandise. Marian Hill’s performance was during a hot point of the day, and her music reflected the atmosphere.

Starwolf

St. Louis-based Starwolf brought the thunder to the BMI / Tunespeak Stage on Saturday.

They brought a more aggressive alternative rock sound to the stage. When I listened to their studio material, it sounded more down tempo, and it caught my ear to have their sound turned up a notch for the live show.

Browse over a recent interview featuring Starwolf.

Huey Lewis and the News

One of the hallmarks of Rock n’ Roll history from San Francisco brought the heat to St. Louis on Saturday, September 9. Huey Lewis and the News connected with the LouFest crowd, and brought out their energy in the sun.

Johnny Colla rocked the saxophone and guitar during the opening of the performance.

The band busted out their classic material such as ‘Power of Love,’ ‘The Heart of Rock & Roll’ during their set. It marked my second time seeing them live, and have found out that the band is usually up for a onstage collaboration. Huey Lewis would later join the tribute performance on the Bud Light Stage.

Ron Gallo

In between sets Bri and I would meet up on a blanket near the Bud Light Stage with friends and family. It was a relaxing way to reconnect after intense live performances.

During midday on Saturday, I headed over to the BMI / Tunespeak Stage to watch Ron Gallo live in concert for the first time. The band exceeded expectations.

The Nashville/Philadelphia hybrid group known as Ron Gallo delivered an alternative punk rock set at LouFest 2017.

The band has a wide range of music to work with overall. They recently released HEAVY METAand performed tracks from their 11 track album.

Spoon

This past March the band Spoon dropped their ninth album Hot Thoughts with an international tour to support the project.

In combination with their new material, Spoon performed live music from their colorful career.

The alternative rock pioneers from Austin brought their world renown rock music to St. Louis. They will also be performing at ACL Festival in October.

Cage the Elephant

Rock icons from Bowling Green, Kentucky known as Cage the Elephant stole the show at LouFest 2017. Their set and Snoop’s live show were the two shows that displayed the most amped audiences of the weekend.

Saturday felt more crowded overall in comparison to Sunday. There was another large scale music event in St. Louis on Sunday, and spilt some of the crowd.

This created a large and dense audience for Cage the Elephant.

It was my second time seeing the band live, and in comparison to the 2009 performance I saw at Bonnaroo, it was lightyears beyond for a live experience.

St. Louis Superjam

LouFest Music Festival hosted a a tribute to Chuck Berry performance, but really could have just focused it on St. Louis music history.

Pokey LaFarge honored classic rock music with a group of special guests. Eric Krasno delivered remarkable guitar riffs along with Chris Chew on bass. Guest performers rotated on stage. It was an excellent superjam, but I would focus it on St. Louis for 2018, and let everyone know it is about St. Louis music history, and in 2019 have a New Orleans theme for the superjam.

Snoop Dogg

The headlining performance on Saturday evening was Snoop Dogg on the Bud Light Stage. It was one of the best live shows of the weekend.

Another show I saw at Bonnaroo 2009 was Snoop Dogg on their main stage. It was very interesting to see these two shows, and have very different experiences.

At Bonnaroo, the main stage is a flat field. You have probably been to a show with a flat field. The crowd in the front can see, and gets more into the show. The people in the back are less into the performance.

At LouFest, the main stage is a natural amphitheater. The people in the middle and back can see, and can get more into the show. That being said, this year at LouFest I noticed a lot of people that were standing in the road and was unable to see the show. It would be good to move the stage away from the road if possible.

Snoop’s performance was high energy in comparison to his 2009 set. The headlining pressure may have brought out a more amped up performance from Snoop and company.

Bri and I both enjoyed this set along with tens of thousands of people in downtown St. Louis. Snoop noted that he would return to LouFest any year he is invited.

The Record Company

Los Angeles-based rockers known as The Record Company broke out the hard hitting jams on Sunday afternoon.

They have been nominated for a GRAMMY and continue to push new boundaries coast-to-coast.

Their live set on Sunday was a steamy and hot concert. The sun soaked the audience and the band brought a LA marinated groove to the Bud Light Stage.

Robert Randolph and the Family Band

The America rock band known as Robert Randolph and the Family Band is one of the backbones in modern music.

His soul and presence on stage is always above par. The band’s performance on Sunday was another classic.

They started out by getting into the groove with the sound on stage, and performed older material. By the end of their set, the band invited up a horn section to share the stage.

This marked my eighth time seeing Robert Randolph on stage. His ability to create high energy on stage is unparalleled to other performers.

Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats

The band known as Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats blend a mixture of Missouri roots with Colorado mountain air. The original sound that the band creates is reminiscent of classic rock, but at the same time delivers it with a modern arrangement.

Their live set is impressive. It was my first time getting to see them live, and they did not disappoint. Bri and I were both excited to see their material live. They performed hit tracks with ‘S.O.B.’ getting the crowd fired up in Forest Park.

After performing at LouFest, the band went on to perform at Farm Aid 2017. I hope to see more interaction between LouFest and Farm Aid performers moving forward. With the local food scene in full force at LouFest, it only makes sense to connect with farmers and musicians that support farmers.

Run the Jewels

The stage on Sunday was set for a high energy performance from the hiphop heavyweights known Run the Jewels.

A blend of New York aggression, mixed with the twisted world in Atlanta creates the vibe at a Run the Jewels show. Their studio material is politically focused at times, but also delivers a high energy dose of electronic hiphop.

Their concert on Sunday was my second time seeing them on stage. In comparison to their set at Hangout Fest 2016, I would say that the LouFest show was louder and more amped up.

Killer Mike brought up Micheal Brown, and the injustice of the situation. He also mentioned that he is a son to a father that is a police officer. It was an interesting perspective to share with the audience. He advocated for peace and understanding in the face of adversity.

Weezer

The Southern California rockers brought new material from their upcoming new album Pacific Daydream to headline LouFest on Sunday evening.

Guests from all over the country gathered together in Forest Park to sing songs from the 20 year plus career with Weezer. Their songs stick like glue to listeners. The lyrics they write stick in our heads for years, and the guitar riffs will be played on radio for the end of time. Overall, Weezer is one of the alternative rock bands that compare to The Rolling Stones for classic rock.

This marked my fifth time seeing the band perform live, and they were good overall. I personally enjoy the band when they don’t have any new material coming out, and just focus on older material.

It was the first time I have seen the band cover Outkast’s ‘Hey Ya’ and ‘I Took a Pill in Ibiza.’ Browse over their entire setlist from LouFest.

Weezer’s concluding performance was a perfect situation to end with for the 2017 LouFest Music Festival.

LouFest Music Festival 2017 | YouTube Playlist