LouFest Wrap-Up Part 2

So for the first post I blamed my post LouFest honeymoon. The delay for this second post is due to my body telling me to go to sleep instead of writing blog posts. My body won every night this week, except for this one! (Checkmate nature).

Day 2 of LouFest was epic. I am not one to use this word lightly…or even really at all, but I cannot find any adjectives that will accurately describe the way that I feel about Sunday. We started off with rain that cleared up moments before the first set. @Begt, Jennifer and I sat in the car (literally across the street from the entrance) and waited for the storm to blow over.

So, without any order, except for number one being number one, here is my Top 5 LouFest moments from Sunday:

5a) We entered onto the LouFest grounds just as the rain slowed to a drizzle. @Begt had convinced us that the band to see first thing was the Mowgli’s. I’d been listening to the other Sunday opener a bit, but maybe it was the rain, the pre-funking, or the universe commanded it, but that first set from the Mowgli’s set the standard for the day. This Southern California based 8 member band is a mix of sunshine, the beach, sparkles and love. Their energy from the first song all the way through their hit “San Francisco” was absolutely contagious. They immediately connected with the crowd through their poppy, loved filled jams. They have an Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros feel about them, but they are their own breed of band. They are touring throughout the US this fall with WALK THE MOON and others. If you can, you owe it to yourself to see them perform.

5b) The second show of the day was another SoCal based group, Youngblood Hawke. if you own a radio, you’ve most likely heard their catchy anthem “We Come Running”. This band also played with incredible energy and had the crowd on their feet and dancing in the muggy early afternoon. I had enjoyed “We Come Running”, but now consider myself a fan. My favorite performance from them was “Forever”. Here is an acoustic version of the song.

4) Like Day 1, there were a lot of bands that were either right before or right after a band I really wanted to see. This was the case with the Nashville based Wild Cub. This band was a SXSW fan favorite and have been hitting up various festivals all summer. Their set took place right before the Alabama Shakes. We had already been hanging out by this stage because much of the surrounding area was tree covered and we wanted to rest while listening to Local Natives. I had listened to a few Wild Cub tracks before, and was pretty impressed. This group put on a hell of a show. Some of their tunes sound like they could have been composed in 1985 but with a contemporary flair. I am really looking forward to hearing more from them in the future. They have a few festival shows this fall, but I am sure they will be back on tour once the weather gets nicer. Enjoy their “hit” Thunder Clatter:

3) If loving hippie makes me a hippie, call me a damn hippie. After seeing Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros in July, I’ve been anxiously awaiting seeing them at LouFest. Literally the only complaint I have about LouFest is that they scheduled ESM0’s to perform immediately before the Killers. This meant that if I wanted to get a good spot for the Killers I’d have to leave ESM0’s early. This was not a good position to be in. But, it had to be done because…its the Killers…the greatest American Rock Band of my generation (you can take that to the bank my friends because that statement is as true as gold is valuable). They started off their set with my two favorite ESM0’s songs “Man on Fire” and “That’s Whats Up”. As a kid decked out in UNLV gear, I was dancing like a hippie because ESM0’s are just that good. Alex was also a bit more aware of his surroundings than he appeared to be in Las Vegas.

2) About a month after first seeing Imagine Dragons live in 2010, we started listening to the Imagine Dragons Pandora station with religious fervor. One of the songs that frequented this station was from a quirky quartet from Cincinnati, OH. Having a band name that is written in all caps may seem presumptuous, but when you are WALK THE MOON you can do whatever the hell you want. This may just have been the best set of the entire festival. They rocked out on most of their catalog including “Next in Line”, “Tightrope” and the incredibly catchy “Anna Sun”, which had the entire crowd screaming. What little of my voice I had left after this show was lost after the Killers. This band is touring with the Mowglis this fall, they shouldn’t be missed.

1) This weekend could not have ended on a better note. If you’ve read this blog at all you know how I feel about Las Vegas’ own The Killers. From the moment I saw the black and white Nevada flag on the main-stage just before the first show on Sunday, all the way through their set, I was ecstatic for this set. The set was filled with many of their most popular songs, and started out with “Mr. Brightside” and included a version of “I Think We’re Alone Now” made famous by Tiffany. In true Vegas fashion the show concluded with one hell of a pyrotechnic show during “When You Were Young”. I was thrilled to see the Killers again, and am looking forward to seeing them again next month at Life is Beautiful here in Las Vegas.

Well St. Louis, you definitely captured my heart this time. Will I attend LouFest next year, you ask? Yes, yes I will.

Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros 8.1.2013

Thanks to @begt I’ve been obsessed with Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros for a little over a year. I was really excited when I saw that they were on the bill for LouFest because I had heard they put on a great show. About a month ago, I saw that they were coming to Las Vegas to perform at the Boulevard Pool at the Cosmopolitan Resort here in Las Vegas. Through a stroke of luck and a bit of magic, I was able to get a free ticket to this show.

photo 5

photo 3 I had not seen a show at this venue before, but had heard that it was fun and intimate. I was not disappointed. This is the pool area for the resort, but they had drained the largest area of pool as this is right in front of the stage. There were smaller pools still available for those individuals who wanted to dip their feet in the water.

Having gotten there a bit later than expected due to an amazing dinner at the Spanish Tapas joint Jaleo . My friend and I settled near  the rear of the pool near the main bar. Despite being closer to the back of the crowd, we still had an incredible view of the stage.

The show started a few minutes late, but it seemed as if it could have been due to the massive size of the band, and perhaps the lead singer, Alex Ebert, appearing to be quite inebriated. I understand and applaud that he is the brainchild between the “cultish” vibe of the band, and perhaps that is why he was a bit out of it when the show started…or it could be because they like their weed. I am not judging. The first few songs included 40 Days Dream and my favorite That’s What’s Up. 

As the 1.5 hour set went on the vibe became distinctly more “jam bad” with songs like “I Don’t Wanna Pray” lasting for almost 10 minutes. The band really seems to enjoy what they are doing, and at least 1/2 of the members sung at some point in the night. The lead singer, Alex, has a great stage presence. He draws from the energy of the crowd, but also lives in his own world. I am not entirely sure he knew where he was last night.

The set ended with much more energy than it started. After the first round of “we have time for only one more”, which happened to be their biggest hit, “Home” where at least 3 people in the crowd were able to tell a story. With two birthdays included in these stories, there was a quick “Happy Birthday” to some of the fans. I was a bit worried at this point because the second song I was most waiting to hear, “Man on Fire”, had not been played yet. Fortunately, they did play this song in lieu of a traditional encore. By far, this was my favorite performance of the night.

The entire set included songs from all three of their releases. Their newest single, “Better Days” was also a highlight of the evening.

The chemistry between singers Alex and Jane is pretty incredible to see. They obviously enjoy what they are doing. It is always great to see a group with this much love of what they do.

I am greatly looking forward to their performance at LouFest as I am ready to use my two dancing feet.

New Music: Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros

Just in time for our LouFest preparations, the hippie cult-like California band Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros has released their new self-titled album. This is their third release in their four year career. NPR Music previewed the new record last week. Their signature style and mult-instrument jam sound still remains, with a few more catchy hooks than their last release.

The first single is “Better Days”. I don’t know how to describe this video other than awesome!

@Begt and I will be seeing them live at LouFest, but I will be seeing them when they play the Cosmopolitan Pool early next month.