Day 4: Louder Than Life Festival, Louisville, Kentucky

This is it, the last hoorah. One last time around the track for Louder Than Life 2021.

Virtually all the music festivals that returned this year added an extra day. I know what they are doing. They are trying to give the fans a little more because last year was so tough for everybody, missing the festival and the general malaise we all lived in. That’s great. It also requires additional endurance. Four days is a long festival. More music is better. You just have to give it that extra push. Another cup of coffee. A little yoga. A couple more beers. And then we’re ready for Day 4. It was a big one with Judas Priest and Metallica’s second set.

We learned a few things this weekend. Three quick ones. 1. The covid-19 protocols really caused almost no delays at all. There was a health check station before the box office or security, and the lines moved extremely fast. This could easily become the emergent standard for festivals – proof of vaccination or proof of a recent negative test – that allows us to gather in very large groups and enjoy music together. It worked. 2. We found out that it is inevitable in these times that the line-up will change, sometimes suddenly, but that other bands will jump right in and fill out the bill. 3. We also learned that two full, completely different sets by Metallica is a fantastic idea.

All right. That’s a wrap, Loudmouths. Another great festival under the belt. The promoter, Danny Wimmer Presents, always does an excellent job putting on festivals. Compare their festivals to any other ones and I think you’ll agree with me. The grounds are clean, safe, and well-maintained, and if any issues pop up, they get addressed. It all adds up to an exceptional fan experience. Their next one is Aftershock in Sacramento in two weeks. I will be at that one, too. See you all out there.

Photos by Wayne Edwards. Metallica set list image is from the band’s Instagram page.

Festival Info: https://louderthanlifefestival.com/

Day 4: Louder Than Life Festival, Louisville, Kentucky

Day 2: Louder Than Life Festival, Louisville, Kentucky

Metallica played their first set of the festival on Friday night and they brought the house down. But there is more to the story of Day 2 at Louder Than Life.

Rise Against

It was a good evening at the festival. Killswitch Engage, Gojira, Rise Against, and Jane’s Addiction leading up to the big Metallica Show. And nicely set up, too, by the earlier bands like Avatar, Joyous Wolf, Turnstile, and Cleopatrick.

I spent the afternoon wandering the grounds, looking at the art installations, stage hopping, and drinking. There are no shortages when in comes to drinking options with the Tiki Bar, whiskey bars, and the regular beer stalls at every turn. Hey, the summer is almost over and it’s a music festival.

A big surprise for me was how much I enjoyed Jane’s Addiction. I don’t mean anything bad by that – I just hadn’t seen them live before and had not really followed the band since their big hit decades back. The performance was amazing, from the opening eerie vocalizations to the acrobatic ending. I came away feeling a lot like I did the first time I saw Primus after not really paying much attention to them for years and years – I felt like I had really been missing out. Catch Jane’s Addiction live whenever you get the chance.

Metallica’s performance was off the hook. I hadn’t seen the band for several years and my memory of that earlier performance faded a little compared to what I saw Friday night. Thinking back on it now, I guess I do not know what I was expecting, but what we all got to see was absolutely amazing. It is incredible to think that they will be playing again on Saturday, and they will perform a completely different set. I heard (and read) many fans hoping for a front-to-back Black Album set, and that would make some sense given that 2021 is the thirty-year anniversary of its release. Whatever they do, my money is on an epic show that we will all remember for years to come.

And it is only Friday now; it’s not over yet. We are at the halfway point which means there are two more days of great music to go.

Photos by Wayne Edwards. Metallica set list image is from the band’s Instagram page.

Festival Info: https://louderthanlifefestival.com/

Day 2: Louder Than Life Festival, Louisville, Kentucky