Whether the timing, the cost, or the rain kept you from Lolla or your favorite bands, our neighbors to the south are putting on yet another fantastic festival this year. If a 2-day fest is more your thing, stay tuned! Chicago Music News will be bringing you the best of the best from the fest, but we want to point out some gems from the lineup first.
Mathias & The Pirates [Saturday @ 11:15am — Forest Park]
Mathias & The Pirates may have just undergone a lineup change, but they are ready to kick off this year’s LouFest! The band effortlessly fuses hip hop and soul to create a sound that will hook you in seconds. Hear “The Panic Button” here.
Chris Bandi [Saturday @ 12pm — Tunespeak-BMI]
Up and coming country singer, Chris Bandi, may have relocated to Nashville, but his musical journey started in Missouri where his parents raised him on a combination of country and classic rock. After brief flings with punk-pop and R&B, he eventually made his way back to country and has opened for the likes of Kip Moore and The Marshall Tucker Band. Check him out here.
MVSTERMIND [Saturday @ 12pm — Bud Light]
Named “2016 Complex & Hiphop DX Rising Star,” MVSTERMIND has been turning heads and making St. Louis proud. Although he may be one of the newer kids on the block, MVSTERMIND has shared the stage with G-Eazy, Oddisee, and Chicago’s future mayor, Chance the Rapper among others. Check out his first hit “Mali Moolah” here.
Chill Summer Vibes
Hippo Campus [Saturday @ 2pm — Bud Light]
Hippo Campus is chill as hellllll. Having just heard their music pouring over the fields of Grant Park, I can personally attest to the power of their feel good jams which will leave you feeling relaxed and blissful. Listening to them gives me the same feeling I get when I listen to Vampire Weekend, except that their melodies are more sprawling. Check out “Way it Goes” here.
Rainbow Kitten Surprise [Saturday @ 8pm — Tunespeak-BMI]
Although their name makes me think they must be a bunch of pubescent hipsters singing ironic song lyrics on acid, RKS is far from it! The music of these North Carolina indie rockers features introspective lyrics and uplifting instrumentation. To top it all off, Sam Melo’s voice is an absolute treasure. I think I might love them. Feast your ears on their music here.
Future Thieves [Sunday @ 12pm — Forest Park]
Future Thieves? Future thieves of our hearts! No joke, Future Thieves is some magical hybrid of indie rock with a bit of country. Armed with sweeping guitars, a steady beat, and a crystal clear vocals, it’s only a matter of time before these guys explode into stardom. Check out Future Thieves here.
Mondo Cozmo [Sunday @ 1:30pm — Forest Park]
Josh Ostrander has buried himself in various solo projects over the past decade, but with Mondo Cozmo, he seems to have found the perfect formula. With a voice reminiscent of Bob Dylan and compositions of upbeat, soulful music, Ostrander has perfectly crafted his debut album, Plastic Soul, which overflows with infectiously catchy songs. Listen to “Plastic Soul” here.
Houndmouth [Sunday @ 4:30pm — Bud Light]
Houndmouth is another band that effortlessly merges country with indie rock. Something about their music makes me think they should exclusively play outdoor summer gigs. Maybe it’s the loose guitar, maybe it’s their vocals which make you want to sing along with them, or maybe it’s the fact that I’ve only seen them in the summer, but they just scream “summer jams” to me. I have yet to see them since the departure of female vocalist Katie Toupin, so I will be interested to see how they account for her parts.
Ron Gallo [Saturday @ 6pm — Tunespeak-BMI]
Bursting with fuzzy guitar riffs and biting vocals, Ron Gallo’s set is bound to wake your ass up and prime you for the rest of the night. His album HEAVY META, released earlier this year, is 11 songs of glorious punk-rock in which Gallo sings about the state of the world and tries to make sense of how things ended up how they did. I feel ya, man. It blows my mind how our world can be so cruel when we should really be united by how lucky we are to exist in this crazy universe in the first place. Check Ron Gallo out here.
Cage the Elephant [Saturday @ 7pm — Forest Park]
I mean, I could honestly go on about Cage the Elephant for days (ask anyone who knows me), but I’ll spare you. I shall succinctly describe them as one of the most captivating, energetic live bands you will ever see. See part of their outrageous Lolla performance here.
Harts [Sunday @ 2:30pm — Tunespeak-BMI]
If Jimi Hendrix and pop rock had a baby, it would be Harts. Their music is upbeat and danceable, but Harts shredding on his guitar steals the show. If you’re ready for some mid-afternoon dancing, head over to Tunespeak-BMI for Harts!
The Record Company [Sunday @ 2:30pm — Bud Light]
As an alternative to Harts, you can head over to The Record Company’s set. The band’s 2016 album Give It Back to You has received high praise and earned them a spot on Rolling Stone’s “10 Artists You Need To Know” list when it was released. Get acquainted with their blues rock here.
Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats [Sunday @ 6:30pm — Bud Light]
Launched into the spotlight with their hit “S.O.B.,” these newcomers have a similar feel to The Record Company, but with a brass section and an extra retro feel added into the mix. When playing their self-titled album at a family party, my grandpa commented, “Geee Abs, you have the greatest taste in music!” The band certainly has a sound that appeals to music fans of all ages. If you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, hear “S.O.B.” here.
Weezer [Sunday @ 8:45pm — Bud Light]
“Hey braaah, how we doin, man?”
“It’s been a while, man. Life’s so rad! This band’s my favorite, man, don’t ya love ’em?”
Yes, yes we do love Weezer! These guys been cranking out solid hits for over two decades, selling over 17 million albums worldwide. Although their sound has evolved since the release of their massive debut album in 1994, their set will be rockin Sunday night! Hear their newest release “Feels Like Summer” here.
Indie Pop + Hip Hop
Marian Hill [Saturday @ 3pm — Forest Park Stage]
Although most probably know Marian Hill from their hit “Down,” their catalogue is full of catchy winners. Samantha Gongol’s fluid voice alongside Jeremy Lloyd’s laptop generated beats create the perfect pairing that don’t require extra backing to achieve their rich sound. Have a listen here.
Snoop Dogg [Saturday @ 9:15pm — Bud Light]
I don’t care what type of music you listen to, this set is bound to be a trip down memory lane! The D-O-double G released his fifteenth (yes, 15th) studio album this past May and it has since received favorable reviews. Don’t miss this legend’s set!
Lizzo [Sunday @ 6:30pm — Tunespeak-BMI]
“I don’t need a crown to know that I’m a queen,” sings Lizzo in her song “Scuse Me.” This chick is a total BOSS, so if you’re looking for strong female performers, definitely make your way to Tunespeak-BMI to hear Lizzo dish it out. Listen to your new anthem “Good As Hell” here.
Run the Jewels [Sunday @ 7:45pm — Forest Park]
How bad ass is Run the Jewels?! After working with each other a few times during their solo careers, the two decided to start Run the Jewels together and fans went nuts. The supergroup released their third album together this year and has critics spewing their praise. Can these guys do any wrong? Listen to “Nobody Speak” here.
Got FOMO yet? Well, NO MO’ FOMO! Tickets to LouFest can still be purchased here for $60/day or $95 for the pair.