LouFest Day One Recap with Photos + Review | Wilco, Jim James, The National

Jeff Tweedy of Wilco | All photos by Louis Kwok

Before launching into “Born Alone,” a track from Wilco’s latest album, The Whole Love, Belleville, Illinois native Jeff Tweedy spoke about recent loss in the area, and expressed hope that music was as helpful to the audience as it was to himself. He then dedicated the song to the late Bob Reuter, and his brother, Greg, who passed only last Sunday.

Wearing a K-SHE 95 t-shirt, Tweedy led Wilco through a solid 90 minute set that closed out Day One of LouFest. The opening “Misunderstood,” from 1996’s Being There, sounded as beautiful and fresh as the first time I fell in love with it, with Tweedy repeatedly shouting “Nothing!” from the line, “I’d like to thank you all for nothing at all!” near the song’s end.

The set was heavy on old favorites as Uncle Tupelo’s “New Madrid” and “Give Back the Key To My Heart” (the latter written by Doug Sahm) were delivered, as well as “Passenger Side,” “Box Full of Letters,” and “Casino Queen” from Wilco’s debut album from 1995, A.M.

The night ended with a wild take on “Hoodoo Voodoo,” which featured a shirtless person (roadie?) on cowbell. Use your imagination, but it was as awesome as it sounds.

Earlier, Jim James (of My Morning Jacket) delivered on the hype that has been given to his recent solo album, Regions of Light and Sound of God, as he opened with “State of the Art (A.E.I.O.U.),” which featured James nailing his smooth dance moves (he sort of sweeps his feet across the stage like a boss). The song was sort of like a St. Louis thunderstorm: it started calmly, picked up when James started to rock some thunder with his Flying V, and ended abruptly when the stage lights strategically lost power when James sang, “the power’s going out!” What a moment, perhaps the best of the day.

The National were also wonderful, opening with “I Should Live In Salt” and “Don’t Swallow the Cap” from their latest offering, Trouble Will Find Me. Things ended with the cathartic “Terrible Love” from High Violet, which blasted everyone who was present in Forest Park.

Please enjoy Louis Kwok’s photos of day one of LouFest, and be sure to visit his site here.

Jim James

The National

Toro Y Moi

Desert Noises

Fitz and the Tantrums

Ra Ra Riot

Trampled By Turtles

Robert DeLong


J. Roddy Walston & the Business

Jukebox the Ghost

Kentucky Knife Fight

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