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Monday, September 9, 2013

LouFest: Fun for the Whole Family? A Study

Posted By on Mon, Sep 9, 2013 at 7:05 AM

LouFest: Kid friendly? Only one way to find out!. - MICHELLE LEBEAU
  • Michelle LeBeau
  • LouFest: Kid friendly? Only one way to find out!.

Last summer, I had one of the most unforgettable experiences of my life at Bonnaroo. As my chums and I limped off the premises I vowed to make attending a music festival an annual event. Besides just being a great time and an efficient way to pack in many shows in a short period of time, it is an excellent way for this middle-aged sore-hipped hipster to observe the youth of America in its natural habitat. Coachella came and went, I wasn't motivated by the headliners at Bonnaroo (with all due and appropriate respect to Sir Paul McCartney) and I managed to resist the urge to acquaint myself with the Juggalos so LouFest was the obvious fit.

This time, I made the bold (insane?) move of taking the whole family, including my wife Gisele and my three daughters: ten-year old Hermione, eight-year old Jasmine and five-year old Buttercup. The names may be altered to protect the innocent, but their actions and dialogue below are as unfiltered as the savory wheat beer from the Schlafly truck.

See Also: Our Complete LouFest 2013 Coverage

12:15: Jukebox the Ghost and Kentucky Knife Fight simultaneously open the festival. This reporter is watching St. Peters vs. Sacred Heart in third grade girls' soccer. What, do you think they just hand me all these Father of the Year trophies?

2:45: We arrive on the grounds, which are two or three degrees cooler than the surface of the sun. We meet up with a group of friends, including my reliable music source Baron and his fiancée the Baroness. On the Bud Light stage, something called Trampled by Turtles seems to be staging a contest for who can play their instrument the fastest.

Me: "What's the deal with these guys?" Baron: "They're a less talented, less interesting version of Mumford and Sons, who I can't stand."

Well, then.

2:46: Buttercup: "Daddy...I'm hot." Uh-oh.

4:12: Ra Ra Riot's solid set is highlighted by "Dying Is Fine," inspiring a pseudo mosh pit in the first several rows. I just hope those crazy kids are well-hydrated.

4:39: The aptly-named Fitz and the Tantrums may not be a band I listen to a lot in my car, but I sure would love to have them play at my birthday party. The large band played with boundless energy and dared the audience not to dance - an absolutely perfect festival act.

4:54: "Bring up the fucking tempo!" Easy, Fitz, there's kids here! How about an "earmuffs" warning?

5:00: Hey, free beer in the media tent!

3:15 a.m.: Whoa, what happened? Nah, just kidding.

5:45: We spend the better part of an hour negotiating the food concession area, only to end up getting slices of cheese pizza for the kids. I guess both a musical and culinary adventure would have been too much for one day.

5:53: What little we saw of Toro y Moi was enjoyable - an electronic solo act with a nod toward disco. Fun fact: Toro y Moi is Spanish for "Toro and Moi".

6:31: Easily my favorite band appearing over the two days, the National strolls onto the main stage with the confidence that they have earned it. For my money, they are one of the three most consistent bands going today, along with TV on the Radio and Arcade Fire.

See Also: "I Didn't Get Any Sex" - Things Overheard During the National's Set at LouFest

6:51: With Jasmine perched upon my shoulders, the National launches into "Afraid of Everyone", which repeats the line "with my kid on my shoulders, I try not to hurt anybody I like." I got more than a few smiles from neighbors who appreciated life resembling art.

7:01: Thinking about asking any of these neighbors if they have the number of a good chiropractor.

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