Best of Louder Than Life Festival Louisville, Kentucky
The inaugural Louder Than Life festival happened in Louisville, Kentucky the weekend of October fourth and fifth. The festival was further proof that rock is not dead but alive and well. The weekend had a tremendous lineup that had not been seen ever. The headliners included Korn, Judas Priest, Five Finger Death Punch, and Kid Rock. That does not even mention Papa Roach, Limp Bizkit, Alter Bridge, Volbeat, Bring Me The Horizon, Theory of a Deadman, and A Day To Remember. The best in rock and metal are just up the alley of the fans in this area of the country. Fans traveled from Ohio, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia and Florida. We met a pair of fans from Alberta, Canada and they won Best Rock List’s award for furthest traveled. The weather was colder than normal during this time of year as a cold front moved in from Canada. Maybe with those furthest traveled fans. Two major main stages were next to one another with four large projection screens on either side of the stage. A third stage was located at the other end of the grounds with food, experience, and merchandise vendors in between. The fans were out in force on Saturday despite the cold temperatures. There were issues with adequate facilities and food vendors. No one expected the tremendous force of fans that showed up. The food vendors were selling out of items but the beer and whiskey flowed plentifully. This festival had the most breasts of any festival I have been to. They were everywhere, young, old, big, small, flashed and out on display the whole time. Better than the breasts was the wheelchair surfing. I witnessed the most wheelchair surfing at a concert. There was one brave woman who kept getting separated from her wheelchair but that did not stop her from going again and again. On the menu was gourmet ribs, brisket, pulled pork, burgers, tacos, noodles, and desserts including gelato and bourbon cupcakes. There was also additional food including a foot-long corndog vendor that everyone was on the hunt for when one passed by.
The best performances of the festival:
Korn wowed everyone with their musical performance. Their first eponymous album has been out for twenty years and they are still making great nu-metal. Their last album The Paradigm Shift was released 2013. Their performance consisted of a stage set-up with a simpler lighted backdrop. It consisted of a sick microphone stand. Their set included Hater, Falling Away From Me, Coming Undone, Freak on a Leash, and Never Never. The crowd was approximately 25,000 in attendance to their set. Considering they are a calmer energy, the fans sang along to almost every song of their set.
Limp Bizkit has been considered a controversial band in the past but their performance showed their fans’ devotion and staying power. Their style of rap combined with nu-metal strikes a real chord of nostalgia with Generations X-ers who were in full force at Louder Than Life. Fred Durst thanked everyone for their support and was very humble.
Judas Priest has been making metal music for more than forty years. Rob Halford’s complaints about his voice holding up was not evident in his performance on Saturday night. He had several wardrobe changes and I have to say I like this pitchfork inspired coat the best. For my first time seeing Judas Priest, I was in awe of the legendary Rob Halford and seeing staple songs like Breaking The Law and You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’.
A Day To Remember
Many of ADTR’s fans were in force and sold their parents on Kid Rock and Five Finger Death Punch to get them to bring them to the show. A Day To Remember is the perfect blend of pop-punk and metal genres. Their story is a classic David and Goliath with the band fighting back against a heavy-handed record label. The band has gained support by speaking out about how they were treated as people. The album, “Common Courtesy” speaks for itself. Their songs Sometimes You’re The Hammer, Sometimes You’re The Nail speak to how they want to be treated. The crowd was ready for crowd surfing and there was steady stream of people riding the hands of the crowd. Their usual show antics were part of their set including shooting t-shirts with a cannon, toilet paper rolls thrown out into the crowd which every female was reaching for to make up for the lack in the port-a-potties. And at the end, a huge confetti blast was launched to the crowd.
Kid Rock was the closer for the final night Sunday. His performance was highly anticipated by everyone including Chris Motionless of Motionless in White. His show was not stale as he keeps the song list fresh and does not do every hit every show. My compadres described his music as Americana music. I have to agree that his music speaks to every American as their music. His music is relatable rock music without being categorized as country.
Every festival has bands that everyone talks about being ones that people discover and fans are gained in one set. Louder Than Life had quite a few of those bands. Fans for Louder Than Life came early and checked out the stellar bands in the lineup.
Crobot is band that has been around a few years but gaining notoriety as ultra-cool and turning heads at music festivals. They have been touring for a while and their latest EP with only four songs leaves fans wanting more. Crobot is from Pennsylvania but their sound is timeless. The power in Brandon Yeagley’s voice captivates the crowd. The retro look of the band and their powerful sound make them one of the breakout bands of Louder Than Life.
Avatar has been honing their image and stage presence. Their performance on the main stage really brought out their skills as performers. The vocalist Johannes Eckerström was drinking from a black gasoline can during their performance. More than just the visuals of their performance was their dark metal and their unique sound. They started with Hail To The Apocalypse. The sing-along song was Bloody Angel.
This was the first time many in the crowd had seen the Butcher Babies. Their gorgeous looks draw you in but their fierce vocals keep you there the entire set. Heidi Shepherd has bright red hair that looks almost looks other worldly. Carla Coates, the brunette counterpart, is the actual comic artist and author. Their name comes from their idol, Wendy O. Williams, single Butcher Baby. Their fierce metal draws in the hardcore crowd and gives girls good role models in the metal genre. Later in the day, there were about twenty people standing against the fence in the VIP area near the press tent. When I asked a fan what were all these people looking at, the reply was Butcher Babies.
Motionless in White
Motionless in White is a band from Scranton, Pennsylvania that draws similarities to Marilyn Manson. The band has a gothic look that has become mature over the years. Their sets consists a little about the costumes but more about the music. Their songs are melodic and the lyrics are thought-provoking. Many fans were surprised by their look as the vocals are strong and melodic. They performed two songs from their latest album “Reincarnate”. Chris thanked the fans for their support as well.
The theme of many of the performances of Louder Than Life Festival were of gratitude by the artists who have persevered throughout decades and those who are just starting their journey in the rock and metal worlds. The first year for the festival met with some logistical problems like enough toilets and soda. The alcohol and rock kept flowing and so the fans will be back again next year.