Looking Back: LouFest 2011

LouFest 2011 was a weekend none of us will forget. We had a massive night with The Hold Steady, got sweaty with !!!, and were introduced to breaking artists like Lost in the Trees and The Low Anthem. As if things weren’t already perfect, the guys in Das Racist were just a quick Metro ride away from the nearest combination of Pizza Hut and Taco Bell!

So whether you were getting weird with Deerhunter or trying to pretend like you had something in your eye during Cat Power, join us as we take a look back before this year’s festival, taking place September 6 and 7.


Somebody pass that man a towel! A very sweaty Nic Offer of !!! dances with fans during their set at LouFest 2011. Photo by Nicholas Lundgren

Hurricane Irene may have forced The Roots to cancel their headlining performance on Saturday, but nothing could keep ?uestlove from making it to St. Louis. His last-minute DJ set condensed 85 years of pop music into one hour, featuring tracks by Hall & Oates, Joni Mitchell, and Kermit the Frog. Hey, if anybody can pull off bold moves like that, it’s Questo.


Early Sunday afternoon, Austin-based noise rockers Ume unleashed one of the most inspired sets in LouFest history. It was an hour-long blur of feedback and hair whips that still has our ears ringing. Riverfront Times called them an “overwhelming rush of no-frills, all-thrills sound,” and fans agreed, buying every last copy of Phantoms in the Euclid Records tent. Drummer Rachel Fuhrer said “I’ve never met so many lovely and supportive people as we had that day. We still run into folks who come out to see us because they remember our LouFest performance!”

Ume woke everyone up with their set early on Sunday. Photo by Corey Woodruff

The weekend ended on a high note with a hard-hitting set from TV on the Radio that covered all the bases. Even though it was packed with songs from their latest album, Nine Types of Light, they went back to where it all started and closed with “Satellite,” the frenetic opener from their first EP.

TV on the Radio brings the curtain down on LouFest 2011. Photo by Corey Woodruff

If you thought 2011 was wild, just wait until you see what went down in 2012. Until next time, send us your memories on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using #LouFest and #FlashbackFriday. We’ll be picking our favorites and featuring them right here on the blog!