LouFest: The Best of the Fest

Coming at you with your roundup from LouFest! The weekend was full of amazing performances, but some stood out from the rest.

1. Hippo Campus

These Minnesota boys know how to have a good time! Whether they were jumping around on stage, taking selfies, getting the fans involved,or giving a shout out to granny, Hippo Campus managed to keep the energy up throughout their mid-afternoon set on Saturday. Fans reveled in the summertime jams spilling out over the grounds and sang along as the band worked their way through their hits. As I said before the fest, Hippo Campus it is the perfect band for an outdoor music festival.

2. Cage the Elephant

I mean, how can most bands even compete with Cage’s live performances? Between the Shultz brothers venturing out into the crowds, Matt’s dance moves, and their relentless setlist, I can’t think of many other current bands that put on as captivating a show as Cage, and Saturday evening was no exception. Before jumping into “Mess Around,” Matt asked the crowd “How many ladies here don’t mess around?!” With a ferocious response for the ladies, he responded “That’s what I like…that means I’m in a dangerous town! This is a song about you, St. Louis!” The band and the crowd fed off of each other’s energy until nearly everyone at their set was jumping to the beat.

3. Snoop Dogg

I haven’t listened to Snoop in years, but a wave of nostalgia rushed over me early in the setlist when “The Next Episode” was performed. All it took was 3 notes, and I was suddenly transported back to junior high. Snoop has had an amazing career, and I felt lucky to be able to see this legendary artist live that weekend. Snoop and his gang did not disappoint. He controlled the crowd as if they were his puppets–making them wave their arms or scream out lyrics on cue. The setlist for the night featured covers from artists like Akon, Katy Perry, Dr. Dre, 2Pac, the Notorious B.I.G., and more. Snoop’s set was the perfect end to a great Saturday at the festival.

4. Mondo Cozmo

Man, this band has really found its sound, and it was perfect for this type of event. Ostrander’s Dylan-esque vocals paired with the band’s epic sound drew wandering fest-goers to the stage like a moth to a light. Their harmonies were perfect, their sound was rich, and their cover of “Bittersweet Symphony” fit the bill perfectly. Mondo Cozmo thanked those at the stage for sharing the experience with them, knowing they could have been doing a number of other things on that perfectly sunny afternoon. The appreciation was mutual. I think they gained a lot of fans during that set.

5. Ron Gallo

The guys of Ron Gallo are beasts! Ron Gallo tore his way through a setlist filled with songs featuring his own social commentary, and bassist Joe Bisirri jumped around so wildly on stage that I thought his head would flop off at one point. Their set was high energy, a think-piece, and wickedly entertaining. I’m hoping they come through Chicago soon so I can see them again and get more insight into Gallo’s mind.

6.  Lizzo

Lizzo was, hands down, one of the best sets I caught at LouFest. Preaching acceptance, self-love, and respect for all, Lizzo is the voice I feel like we have been waiting for. Her setlist was well-paced, the songs were catchy, and her connection with fans was genuine, strong, and well-used. I can’t give enough praise to this woman–she is a must see act for everyone!

7. Run the Jewels

Run the Jewels was so badass! I had read a lot about their supergroup before making the trip down to St. Louis, and I thought it had the potential of being one of the best acts of the weekend. RTJ took the stage and immediately broke into their 14 song setlist. Killer Mike and El-P have an undeniably strong stage presence and I was excited to see if I could capture it in my shots. Their chemistry was amazing, their set had fans screaming, and I loved every minute of it!

8. Weezer

Aaaaah, Weezer. Waiting for their set to start was bittersweet. On the one hand, I was about to see a band that I love live for the first time. On the other, it was the last show of an incredible weekend. Knowing I couldn’t change the inevitable, I decided to focus on the positive. Weezer did not disappoint. Opening their set with “Hash Pipe” primed fans for what was to follow. The band’s setlist consisted of fan favorites from the past 25 years and even included a cover of Outkast’s Hey Ya. I’m so glad I was finally able to see them live, and am hoping they continue to crank out the killer jams!


For all photos from Day 1, click here.

For all photos from Day 2, click here.

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