The lineup for 2014 Loufest was recently announced, and now that I live about a 20-30 minute walk from the festival grounds in Forest Park, I figure I have no reason not to attend. Let’s take a look at the lineup and see how this year’s version of the festival is shaping up. First I’ll take a look at the top-billed artists and then make a few notes on some of those further down the list.
Okay, so if there is no other reason to attend, Outkast probably makes it worth it, right? Yeah, probably. If you were to see Outkast in an arena, a decent ticket would cost around $95 most likely (the cost of two days at Loufest), so why not see Outkast at Loufest and see a bunch of other bands while you’re at it. Getting Outkast is obviously a huge win for the festival planners.
I fear getting Outkast makes much of the rest of the lineup suffer. The Arctic Monkeys being second billed is kind of laughable. I don’t appreciate the band so much, and beyond my personal preferences (or lack thereof), I feel they are more of an act whose sound would shine in a club. Clearly, I am not impressed.
The Next Tier: Cake, Grouplove, Matt & Kim, The 1975
This group of artists is perfectly fun and inoffensive, but there is nothing to write home about. Grouplove has been in St. Louis at least twice in the past year, so it’s not like they are a big “get.” Cake hit their peak years ago, and while I want to see them live for the first time, it’s not like they are highly desirable. I like Matt & Kim in the same way I like rewatching the American Pie movies every once in a while; they are stupid, but fun and entertaining.
The 1975 is easily the most interesting choice here. I am interested to hear their sound in a big, outdoor setting. Done right, I think they can translate really well, but if they don’t have their shit together, it could be brutal. I’m also concerned about crowd familiarity with them, and whether people attending may just be dead for the show.
Tier 3: Portugal. The Man, Kelis, Trombone Shorty, Future Islands and Kelis
Portugal. The Man is like a less bombastic Scissor Sisters and I would almost definitely choose any other artist in the same time-slot. Kelis could either be really good or really bad. Will she be able to build a good show around the five songs everyone knows, or will she go through the motions? Trombone Shorty should be cool as long as the venue doesn’t overtake his sound. And Future Islands is one of those Indie bands that I don’t have a problem with, but will never seek out.
The Best of the Rest
I’m going to have to dig more into the bands I’m not all that familiar with down the list. As far as the ones I am familiar with, not a lot stands out. Washed Out is an outfit I have always been interested in seeing, but would prefer for it to be at two in the morning and ghosted full up on acid. San Fermin could be very good, but is an artist I’d be more interested in seeing in a smaller venue. The Districts are a cool young band, and a nice addition to a group without much pop.
This group of artists lacks much of the wow factor and doesn’t cater to my personal preferences after Outkast. There is rarely any doubt that attending a festival with a bunch of your friends will be fun, so I am greatly looking forward to Loufest 2014. Let’s hope expectations are exceeded.