Pretty Little Empire. I am fortunate to have been a fan all of those years and having seen them play, in 2009, a place as cozy as CBGB in (St. Louis) to this past Sundays Loufest performance. They always 100% and Sunday was no different. They played new songs "You Don't Want To Be", "Badlands" and "You Don't Want To Be". They also played 'Master Plan" and "Something More". Then Morgan from Bruiser Queen joined them for a few songs. They played a a much faster version faster version of "You Can't Have It All". They closed out their set with "Talking Loud" and even though they played early at 12, the crowd was size-able (including some in shades in strollers!) and enjoyed the Pretty Little Empire 's set.
I was able to hang with photographer Jared Gastreich (who I took a photo of whilst he took photos of Pretty Little Empire) for a little while while we went over to catch Chicago band Empires set. I have seen the lads in Empires quite a few times and they always put on a great show. It was no exception on Sunday. They played mostly new songs I wasn't familiar with but they sounded good.
Next up I saw Portugal. The Man who has a sizable dedicated crowd as Portugal. The Man. The group played a go for broke type of set as the sun emerged. Within the set I heard them cover Oasis (Don't Look Back In Anger), swill Jack from a fifth and get a little more out of control during the set as they enjoyed themselves thoroughly. The crowd ate it up. I was first introduced to Portugal. The Man by good friend and new music finder DC from The Waiting Room Radio Show.
Next up Trombone Shorty who played set that incorporated old with new proving that just because they are a horn section doesn't mean they can't cover Red Hot Chili Peppers and Green Day. The younger people in the crowd ate it up.
Outkast closed out the night and also festival as they reminded people they had been rapping for 20 years now together. They were consumate professionals, even though things got a little raunchy at times which seemed to surprise some of the younger people in the crowd. But having listened to them for 15 years I was not surprised. Most of the time the naught things they do are done with a wink and nod. On Sunday they delivered a tight set of the hits both from Dre and Big Boi solo work as well. They were joined by a full compliment of horns, band, backup singers and of course Sleepy Brown wearing his signature pajamas. The stage production was top class with lasers and of course Andre's wig. Really glad I got to finally see them play.
All in all Loufest was a more focused in the number of groups and friendly (free bean bags games to play, open space for playing frisbee, free water stand) a good amount of shade and fair (when thought of in festival terms) priced food and beer. I drank $7 Schlafly's and had a big $7 pulled pork sandwich. There was plenty of room to move around and you weren't always on top of other people. It was a great festival experience for me.