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Monday, September 8, 2014

LouFest ReviewFest: Pretty Little Empire, Glass Animals, Lettuce

Posted By on Mon, Sep 8, 2014 at 10:28 AM

All-seeing cat knows of your misdeeds. - BRYAN SUTTER
  • Bryan Sutter
  • All-seeing cat knows of your misdeeds.

By Melinda Cooper

Another LouFest is in the history books! With 40-some acts converging on St. Louis' Forest Park for the two-day festival, St. Louis' music fans had plenty to keep them singing and dancing throughout this past weekend.

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

  • Press photo

Pretty Little Empire

I showed up about two minutes late for this set, hustling across the lawn to get to the Shade Stage in time for Pretty Little Empire. By the time the band started its second song there were hands in the air, there was jumping up and down, and even a couple of girls doing that weird hippie thing with their arms that always seems to happen at shows.

It would be a lie to say that I wasn't wicked biased about this particular performance. Pretty Little Empire represents home for us. Justin, Wade, Will and Jason are our Loufest ambassadors, spreading the gospel of a local band who dug in years ago and worked hard to acquire something as special as the moment they were in right then. I checked out the crowd and I'm pretty sure a good 60 to 70 percent of the people there were friends who had a similar swell of pride hit them right in the chest as it did with me. At the same time, there were people I'd never seen before in my life working their way to the front of the stage while singing along to the second song in the set, "Master Plan".

The latest addition to PLE's line-up, Bruiser Queen's Jason Potter, has added to the rock portion of the group's genre description and seems to have instantly gelled with the rest of the group. BQ's other half, Morgan Nusbaum, joined Justin Johnson on vocals for the second half of the set, which only added to the pre-existing tension builds the band is known to create. Her harmonies on "You Can Have It All" brought new life to verses that I had not noticed in a long while. Wade Durbin's perfectly executed basslines maintained order while Will Godfred's dreamy reverb leads and raw, hollered backing vocals provided the distant dichotomy necessary to contribute to the bands overall controlled chaos.

It wasn't that far off from most of the PLE shows I've been to in the past few years. Lots of pictures taken throughout the duration and lots of people's eyes glued to the stage like they're about to be asked up is kind of a standard of sorts for these guys. But on this day, in the middle of our park among a cluster of local press, photographers, and regular showgoers, it was a little overwhelming to witness, and nearly like seeing the band for the first time all over again.

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