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Best Music Festival St. Louis 2009 - Live on the Levee

Readers' Choice: Big Muddy Blues Festival and Riverfront Times Music Showcase (tie)

Live on the Levee isn't your traditional music festival in the sense of a consecutive-days event, but it has become a staple of St. Louis summers. This year's edition of the concert series raised the bar with a double-barreled shot of a diverse talent pool — including college-popsters Guster, hometown country gal Gretchen Wilson and indie hip-hop fave Lupe Fiasco — and unseasonably mild weather. The highlight for us, though, came when a cool westerly breeze ushered in the light, fluffy cloudbank that provided a picturesque natural backdrop for Thurston Moore and company as Sonic Youth blasted through the most experimental performance the Landing has seen in quite some time. And when Moore commented that he wouldn't mind sticking around and maybe taking up residence inside the Arch, the audience applauded with undeniable hometown pride. Let's hope the folks at Celebrate St. Louis can continue to attract this wide range of quality acts to the banks of the Mississippi.

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