Concerts | Bruce Matlock

queensAlbarn masterfully recreated his Gorillaz classics alongside a few Blur tunes, and was one of the best front men I saw this year, looking every bit the British rock star he is.

 

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Damon Albarn | Rare opportunities often call my name when it comes to music festivals. Sure, Mr. Albarn toured the U.S. behind his latest album, Everyday Robots, but it was brief and didn’t feature the guest list this Bonnaroo set did. Albarn masterfully recreated his Gorillaz classics alongside a few Blur tunes, and was one of the best front men I saw this year, looking every bit the British rock star he is.

Queens of the Stone Age | It didn’t get better in rock music this year than Josh Homme and his band of desert rockers. The only bad part of this set was that it was part of Pointfest, which meant a shortened set than the band’s regular gigs. This is a band we need to get back to the area ASAP.

Outkast | Maybe it had something to do with underwhelming reviews coming from their lackluster performance at Coachella, or the 39 other festival appearances they made, but expectations seemed greatly tempered by the time the Atlanta duo came into Forest Park for Loufest. What happened next entirely lived up to the band’s stellar reputation. The set was polished, the light show was perfect, Andre 3000 showed up instead of the Andre Benjamin who appeared at Coachella, and everyone did indeed shake it like a Polaroid picture.

Portugal. The Man | One of the most underrated shows of Loufest (along with Trombone Shorty). The sun, the music, and the environment all combined for the perfect storm of festival love. The group may have been short on words, but the music was more than enough to get the crowd moving, smiling and undoubtedly looking up the band’s music or visiting the onsite Euclid Records.

St. Paul and the Broken Bones | File this under my ever-growing list of favorite new band I discovered because of a music festival. Okay, that’s probably too long to fit on any sort of file; however, this Birmingham, Ala., band completely blew me away with their soul and the incredible pipes of lead singer Paul Janeway, who said that he had once been pissed on while working as security at a past Bonnaroo. I sense that Janeway & Co. will be receiving another move up the Bonnaroo ladder next time they return. | Bruce Matlock

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