Pictures and words by Duane Clawson
After a complete overload of my senses from Day One of Loufest, I had a great night’s sleep and was prepared to tackle Day Two. I had noticed there were mass amounts of live interactions in the press room via Twitter, Facebook, and live photo postings. I said this would be a great day to bring my laptop and try some of my own live postings for MTC.
Day Two started with a set from Old Lights. Old Lights hail from St.louis and were a safe way to open this second day of music. Nothing too hard or too soft from this band, just fun rock music. Jumbling Towers, another St. Louis product, began to warm up the Orange Stage. JT produces music that sounds like it's up to something sneaky. The best analogy I could give of Josiah DeBoer's vocals would be to imagine a court jester attempting to sing. Somehow JT makes it all work as one cohesive unit. Ume, who the hell is Ume? Relatively obscure front woman Lauren Larson and her band were about to introduce themselves to St. Louis. In Egyptian times, if you were convicted of a crime, as punishment, you could put in a sack with a monkey and a snake and tossed in the water. Now with this in mind, imagine the ruckus that would make. This, my friends, is what Ume brought to Loufest.
In stark contrast to Ume, Lost in the Trees brought their lazy, lunchtime listening music. LITT claimed they were new to the festival scene but did a nice job of relaxing the crowd on this Sunday afternoon. Following LITT, the Low Anthem took their place on the Blue Stage. TLA sounds were complementary of LITT. A few months back, I reviewed TLA's set at Vintage Vinyl and not to be critical, but TLA is best viewed in a small venue. This band is not powerful enough for a big environment. In the press room many asked at times if TLA had finished their set early. Nope ,they were playing that soft.
So after Loufest nap time, Das Racist brought everyone to attention with a good ‘ol dose of bass-filled hip hop. I am by no means a big fan of hip hop music, but this crew out of Brooklyn made rap music that was appealing to the ear. I then made my way back to the Blue Stage to catch a set from !!! (Chk,Chk,Chk). !!! finished what Das Racist had started. Nic Offer, !!!’s frontman, is listed on the band’s Myspace page as Crowd Control; that would be an appropriate assessment. The press room was buzzing after !!!’s Loufest performance. Nic Offer was a nonstop flow of electricity that powered this band. Climbing atop the eight bass cabinets, on either side of the stage, Nic danced, air humped, and performed fellatio on his microphone, all to the cheers and delight of the large Loufest audience.
The next valley on this musical roller coaster was Cat Power. Cat Power front woman, Chan Marshall, captivated Loufest with her supermodel looks and siren-like vocals. Due to other commercial endorsements, Chan is not considered press friendly; therefore, photographers were only allowed to shoot during her first song. During the first couple songs of Cat Power’s set, Ms. Marshall perched herself in a position that was very inaccessible to photographers. There was much grumbling in the press area as Cat Power faded into the sunset. TV on the Radio brought Loufest to a close and what a close it was. I had heard TVOTR was loud but loud can be interpreted many ways; no, this was loud. TVOTR played a monstrous set of heavy soul that could be felt throughout one’s body. TVOTR also provided one of the better light shows of the weekend in which I thought at any moment a pilot may have mistaken TVOTR’s stage for a runway at Lambert Airport.
As TVOTR were winding down the night, I was headed back to the press tent. I posted one last picture on the MTC’s Facebook page and with the glow of my laptop, I reflected on the past two days. Not just the music, but the whole festival experience. I thought of the human interactions, the brief friendships that arose from being confined in one space for a couple of days. I reflected back on an image I had captured while Kings Go Forth played behind me. The image was of a woman and a little girl dancing on a carefree sunny Saturday afternoon. I thought of the sunset as Cat Power played through a few drops of rain. I thought of !!!’s Nic Offer moving through the crowd, stopping to put his arm around a young man in a wheelchair and the smile on that young man’s face after the encounter. So I will take with me a lifetime of memories from these two days in August and was once again reminded of how music has the power to move us. Pictures from Day Two are below:
Lost in the TreesThe Low Anthem
Contributed by Duane Clawson