Craig Finn of The Hold Steady | Photo by Louis Kwok
“Let this be my annual reminder, that we can all be something bigger,” sang frontman Craig Finn of The Hold Steady during their opening song, “Constructive Summer.” The band from Brooklyn became LouFest’s day one headliners after The Roots had to cancel because of Hurricane Irene, and Finn was amped. Even if you’re a undecided Hold Steady fan, watching Finn was a spectacle. Arms spread wide, gestures bold, the guy certainly doesn’t lack stage presence. The Hold Steady stepped into Saturday’s headlining spot with ease.
Before The Hold Steady’s set, Deerhunter burned through an hour plus of jams and fuzzy rock ‘n’ roll. They walked off the stage after fifty minutes, but returned when someone probably told them that their set was supposed to last for ninety. Oops. They rocked, regardless of the false stop. If our Twitter feeds were any indication, Saint Louis music fans were enthralled and oh-so satisfied with the band’s set. It was a lovely way to watch the sun set over Forest Park, indeed.