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Sunday, September 7, 2014

LouFest ReviewFest: Washed Out, the 1975, Cake

Posted By on Sun, Sep 7, 2014 at 1:25 PM

Sunny skies and perfect weather greets LouFest attendees this year. - STEVE TRUESDELL
  • Steve Truesdell
  • Sunny skies and perfect weather greets LouFest attendees this year.

By Melinda Cooper

LouFest is finally happening! With 40-some acts converging on St. Louis' Forest Park for the two-day festival, St. Louis' music fans have plenty to keep them singing and dancing throughout the weekend.

RFT Music has several operatives in the field, watching and listening and cataloging and reviewing the festivities for you, dear readers. Click here to see our full coverage!

See also: Slideshow: The People You'll Meet at LouFest 2014

  • Press photo

Washed Out

Although the group was just here not long ago, I have never seen Washed Out live, not for a lack of interest. There's this endearing and ever-present theme with their sound, akin to that moment when the girl gets the guy at the end of a John Hughes movie, circa 1987. I prepared myself for a laptop-band situation for this set, as all I knew of the band is that it is mainly Ernest Greene, singer/songwriter/producer, doing everything. I was not right about this.

Imagine looking into the input hole of a loop pedal, or maybe lifting the lid to some sort of synth-pop music box and watching the gears grind, working hard to showcase the sum of their parts. It was so different from what I knew Washed Out to be that it felt very exposed and very much like a completely different band.

In addition to the shock of this five-person effort, there was also my immediate environment to consider. Clouds of marijuana smoke wafted through the air as a large cardboard cat head bounced up and down on a pole as clusters of future lawyers, accountants and IT guys danced shirtless and barefoot throughout the duration of the set. "Surreal" doesn't even quite explain it.

Overall, Washed Out was more than just right: It was perfect. The bass held down the roots with small bits of flair while crunchy guitars carried the melody on beyond the singing. We all watched as Greene's creations manifested themselves as real-life living things, one whole from five parts, with huge swells that led to the comfort and familiarity one would expect from a group that defines its sound as "chillwave."

Continue on for more LouFest reviews.

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