If you paid attention around this time last year you may have caught our coverage of Louisville’s grandest rock festival Louder than Life.  If you missed that coverage you can start by checking out this article and reading through our extensive selection of band interviews of last year’s performers.

But we aren’t here to talk about the past now are we?  Lucky for us we were invited back this year and of course we were totally stoked to hear, however one big question loomed over our heads.  What is our approach going to be for this year?  Do we reach out to more bands this year?  Do we go after more getting more pictures?  Going in I still wasn’t quite sure of the direction of our coverage, but I began to think about how many concerts I have been to in my life and what excited me the most about them.  I honestly don’t think I can give you a number… I’m sure there are people who attend way more than me, but I have always loved music and have been a regular attendee of Rock shows since I was 16 years old.  I keep getting drawn back and I still get chills watching some of these greats captivate the fans and continue to master their craft.

How can you possibly relate that experience to someone who has never been to a great show?  How can you possibly explain this type of experience to someone?  This is part of the reason I chose to showcase the above image.  This almost manages to do all the work for me… Seriously though, seeing so many people of similar interest gather and enjoy two days of music and rock culture is certainly a hard thing to describe.  I know you looked at the above picture before clicking the link, but I want you to take another quick look.  Don’t worry I will wait…

Ok, you got it?  Imagine yourself in the middle of that crowd… Now imagine feeling the music on stage, feel the soul of the band pound your chest as they explode on a double bass drum.  Feel the chills run down your arm as the front man relates to everything going on in your life and feel the adrenaline forming in your body as the crowd prepares to erupt in a sea of jumping and crowd surfing when the chorus hits.  Every song is a journey and every band that takes the stage sets out to take you on their own.  The greatest part of this experience is there is roughly 50,000 people just like you that feel out-of-place in their normal working environments and in normal society that seek out this release and sense of family.  They are all here just like you and during my two-day experience I could see just that.  At any moment I could spark up a conversation with the person that was cramped up next to me and big surprise, we had a lot in common.

I have always found that there is an unexplained unity and bond between rock and metal fans.  Sure sometimes there are those who have just had too much to drink or others that may just be jerks, but more often that not you are surrounded by thousands of brethren that love the same music as you and seek that same passion and release as you.  This is what I set out to experience this year.  Nearly every set I was right in the middle of the pit and experiencing this festival how it should be… as a fan.  For those who attended the festival, I woke up just like you on Monday morning with about every muscle in my body aching and feeling the sorrows of a quiet workplace that didn’t house the intense screams that made me feel at home over the weekend.

I could only tell stories to others of holding countless people over my head as crowd surfers made their way to the stage.  I could only describe to others the intensity of the bands I had seen and I could try my best to describe the feeling of being in a mosh pit or supporting the weight of a crowd during an intense shift of momentum.  I knew they wouldn’t understand what it was like, or how rewarding emerging from a crowd after a killer set felt regardless of how much sweat you were drenched in.  That’s just it though… I can say that Slipknot was deserving of closing out the festival and try to convey to people how amazing their set was, but they won’t ever really get it without seeing it first hand.

This is where I say something like “You need to really see this for yourself!”  But honestly that is a bit too generic for my taste.  Besides this isn’t a festival that needs to be seen, this is a festival that needs to be felt.  If you have never been to a rock concert, or you are a seasoned veteran like me you are hard pressed to find another event that captures the best of this world and continues to showcase a killer line up year after year quite like this one.

The lineup this year was truly amazing.  Slipknot, Korn, Disturbed, Ghost, Sevendust, Avenged Sevenfold, Slayer, Pop Evil and a ton more.  Of course these guys were great, but I also loved seeing and experiencing the sets of much lesser known talent.  ’68, Bishop Gunn, and Them Evils were a few standouts for me.  Speaking of Them Evils, we did manage to catch an interview with these guys so keep an eye on the site in the near future for that.

Another great band that I hadn’t heard much of before now was Skindred.  I know they have a pretty decent sized following, but I hadn’t listened to much of their music before this fest and holy hell do they rock!  I was really caught off gaurd with this one.  They brought so much energy to the crowd and managed to captivate us all with their unique blend of metal and soulful groove.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qGVHusBIgj4]

Of course the main acts are the big draws for the weekend, but you are missing out if you only set out to watch these guys.  I need to make sure I give credit to the talent relations and sound team because every single set that I attended was an amazing show and sounded absolutely perfect.  I honestly can’t see how this sound team managed to nail every single act and I wasn’t able to pick up on any technical difficulties. (although I’m sure there were some.)  I seen a ton of “hungry” bands this year and the entire lineup was such a priviledge to see live.  Not only did I witness some great acts that I grew into adult hood with, but I became introduced to a ton of other killer bands that I will continue to listen to and keep an eye on their touring schedule.

Louder than Life continues to deliver and not only brings such a terrific event to Louisville, but provides an unrivaled outlet for this style of music that manages to improve every year.  If I know anything after attending this year’s festival, it’s exactly where I will be in October of 2017.

For more information on the Louder than Life Festival visit the Official Site.

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