First Annual Louder Than Life Festival in Louisville. KYBy William Simpson • Oct 8th, 2014 • Category: Festivals, Live Show Reviews
Article by William Simpson
Louisville, Kentucky is known for its horse races and baseball bats but the weekend of October 4th and 5th, it transformed to the hub of rock and metal by hosting the first annual Louder Than Life Festival. Along with great rock music the Louder Than Life festival celebrated local whiskey, beer, and gourmet man food. And for such a cool festival, it was headlined by two legends, Judas Priest and Kid Rock.
The festival was broken into three stages and many food and beverage vendors for the thousands of fans that made their way to Champions Park near downtown on a chilly night. The first afternoon started off on the Marshall Headphones Stage with local favorite Flaw, who has been rocking Louisville for the better part of 2 decades. Next up was Wilson followed by Canadian Christian rock band Thousand Foot Krutch. The band founded by Trevor McNevan in 1995 is always a fan favorite and guaranteed to get a crowd on their feet. To close out the Marshall Headphones Stage for the day were two metalcore bands both signed to Rise Records. First, Miss May I, who have been on the festival circuit this summer in support of their recently released album, “Rise of the Lion”, then Memphis May Fire from Dallas, Texas. The line-up on the Marshall Headphones Stage was electric and created a lot of energy for the first day of the festival.
Day two was a brutal day at the Marshal Headphones Stage with openers Islander followed by the beauty Heidi, Carla and the rest of the Butcher Babies. Not many artists could follow the Butcher Babies but Motionless in White did a very good job of that. Closing out the Marshall Headphones Stage was Chiodos.
Sporting the name of one of the major sponsors of the festival, the bands alternated between the Monster Energy Main Stage North and the Monster Energy Main Stage South. Most of the day kept the crowd at both main stages busy with crowd surfers including a patron dressed as The Flash and a young lady who had lost a leg crowd surfing in her wheel chair. I have to say that was a first for me. Opening day one on the Monster Energy Main Stage South was Nonpoint, then alternating for Otherwise, Fuel, Pop Evil, The great and entertaining Steel Panther, Theory of a Deadman, Mastodon, Alter Bridge lead by Miles Kennedy, Limp Bizkit and Stone Temple Pilots with Chester Bennington. Once it got good and dark with most of the crowd wrapped in sweatshirts or blankets to combat the cold Kentucky air, Korn hit the stage with their full energy and enjoying the night as much as their fans were. With all of these “younger” metal bands, the masters of metal hit the stage last, Judas Priest hit the stage with their normal veracity. With Rob Halford sporting a variety of overcoats, he belted out hits form the past as well as tunes form their latest album, “Redeemer of Souls.” Halford may have been doing this for over 40 years but his voice is a powerful as it ever was. Priest put on a set that had the audience in awe.
The first day set the bar high but the bands came out on day two the rise above that bar. The day opened with The New Black 7, then Monster Truck, and Crobot. Then Avatar from Sweden came to the stage. I had never seen Avatar before but they played an amazing set. They definitely left Louisville with at least one new fan. Following Avatar was Nothing More, Hellyeah, P.O.D, Buckcherry, Bring Me The Horizon, A Day To Remember, Volbeat, and Papa Roach. To close out the inaugural Louder Than Life Festival was the very popular American metal band Five Finger Death Punch that really rocked the crowds faces off. And to end the festivities, straight from Detroit, Kid Rock. Kid Rock brought the house down like he always does. Like him or not he is a great entertainer and he puts on an amazing high energy live show. Rock was the perfect ending to a great festival.
The crowd of music and whiskey lovers packed Champions Park, which was great to see at an inaugural festival. The fans I talked to had a great time and every loved everything about the festival. The only complaints I heard was on the long line to use the johns. I, as well as the thousands of patron that enjoyed the festival can’t wait to see what next year’s Louder Than Life festival has in store for us.