The Return of Ume

Playing a festival set early on Sunday is one of the greatest challenges a band can face. It takes a lot to fire up a tired, sunburned crowd on the last day of their weekend, but it’s not impossible. When Ume made their LouFest debut in 2011, they woke everyone up with an explosive performance that could have been measured on the Richter Scale. This year they’re going to make history as the first band to play LouFest more than once, and they’re not holding anything back.

Their 2011 set is a thing of legend at this point. In addition to setting the merch record that weekend, they had every music fan in the entire city buzzing about them. Riverfront Times called them “a band that breaks both hearts and hearing aids,” while KDHX lost their minds over frontwoman/guitar hero Lauren Larson, who “stirred up the humidity with kicks and showers of headbangs while wringing the neck of her guitar for muscled-up, nerve-twitch melodies.”

Lauren Larson brought the riffs and hair whips to Ume’s legendary set at LouFest 2011. Photo by Corey Woodruff.

Since their last time in Forest Park, Ume has opened for Jane’s Addiction, Helmet and Blondie, with Lauren even joining Nancy Wilson of Heart onstage in San Francisco.

Earlier this year, the band released Monuments, their highly-anticipated sophomore album recorded with Adam Kasper (Queens of the Stone Age, Nirvana) in Seattle. Alternating between punishing hard rock and shimmery shoegazing, Lauren said the goal was to “capture in a sincere and sonically heavy way that freedom we feel live.”

Ume’s triumphant return to LouFest is going to be one of many can’t-miss moments this year. Check out Monuments on Spotify and prepare to be blown away when they kick things off on the Forest Park stage on Sunday.