Looking Back: LouFest 2010

For five years, LouFest has brought unforgettable performances, insane dance parties and even the occasional giant hamster ball to Forest Park. Over the next few weeks we’ll be taking a look back at some of those highlights before turning our attention to this year’s festival, taking place September 6 and 7.

Fans camped all day to get a good spot for Jeff Tweedy’s special solo set at LouFest 2010. Photo by Ryan Walsh.

For its inaugural year, LouFest featured a lineup just as thrilling and diverse as the city it calls home. Fans bounced between two stages featuring local legends, alternative icons, and some of the hottest up-and-comers from every genre. When has gospel queen Kim Massie taken an audience to church less than 24 hours after a punishing set from Titus Andronicus? Where else could you you enjoy a banana-Nutella crepe while taking in a set from Broken Social Scene? Only LouFest 2010.


Alejandro Escovedo turns up the heat on an already scorching afternoon at LouFest 2010. Photo by Ryan Walsh.

It’s only right that hometown heroes The Bottle Rockets played the first notes at LouFest, setting the tone for a weekend that would feature roots rockers like Alejandro Escovedo, Magnolia Summer, and the always unpredictable Lucero. Newcomers The Airborne Toxic Event debuted a few unreleased songs during their set, even busting out a rare cover of Yo La Tengo’s “Sugarcube.” But you can’t talk about covers without mentioning Carolina Chocolate Drops and their funky folk take on Blu Cantrell’s “Hit ‘Em Up Style.”


The undeniable highlight of that year’s festival was a special solo set from Jeff Tweedy on Sunday evening. The Wilco (and former Uncle Tupelo) frontman delivered stripped-down versions of songs spanning his entire 25-year career, including St. Louis-centric cuts like “New Madrid” and “Casino Queen.” Even Mayor Slay got in on the action, meeting with Belleville’s favorite son backstage and proclaiming August 29th as “Jeff Tweedy Day.”

The weekend came to an end with a so-sweet-it-might-make-your-teeth-hurt set from She & Him, whose sunny indie pop was the perfect soundtrack for a breezy summer night in Forest Park. For the final number, M. Ward took center stage and gave a tip of the hat to the Lou’s own Chuck Berry before tearing through a rowdy rendition of “Roll Over Beethoven” that got the whole park shaking. Not bad for their St. Louis debut!

Chuck Berry would be proud… M. Ward performs as part of She & Him at LouFest 2010. Photo by Ryan Walsh.

Of course, that’s just the beginning of our story. We’ll have more recap posts leading up to LouFest 2014 – the biggest and best yet! Until next time, enjoy our LouFest 2010 playlist and keep sending us your memories from LouFests past on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using #LouFest and #Flashback Friday. We’ll be picking some of our favorites and featuring them right here on the blog!