Nothing like a weekend day in the park – especially when that day features great live music. Kicking off the first-ever LouFest properly, Saturday's lineup included bands like Broken Social Scene, Built to Spill, Airborne Toxic Event, Titus Andronicus, Lucero, and more.
Here's a set of photo highlights from the day.
LouFest – Day 1
Local alt-country heroes the Bottle Rockets kicked things off with a high-energy set, rewarding early comers and some fans who had come from as far away as Washington DC.
See more photos of the Bottle Rockets at LouFest
Stephaniesid from Ashville, North Carolina were a surprise for me. I'd never heard them before, but the band put on a very animated show that was a nice treat to photograph, not to mention singer Stephanie Morgan's great vocals.
See more photos of Stephaniesid at LouFest
So Many Dynamos
Local indie-rock darlings So Many Dynamos put on a great set, pulling out some new material for the crowd in one of the band's first performances of the summer.
See more photos of So Many Dynamos at LouFest
Local singer-songwriter Adam Reichmann had performed at Offbroadway in town just a few weeks prior, but all that seemed to do was build buzz for his LouFest performance.
See more photos of Adam Reichmann at LouFest
Titus Andronicus were great subjects, and just the mid-afternoon kick I needed at LouFest. Plenty of rocking out, complete with electric violin.
See more photos of Titus Andronicus at LouFest
Alt-country band Lucero received some beautiful light at LouFest – bright, but the kind of summery light that works well for festivals like this. And thankfully, the stage lights were up to add the perfect amount of interest at the back of the stage for close-ups like this shot of singer Ben Nichols.
See more photos of Lucero at LouFest
Airborne Toxic Event
I'd heard good things about Airborne Toxic Event, but hadn't had a chance to see them until LouFest. I thought they brought a really big, rich sound to the a-stage of LouFest, as well as one of the more photogenic performances of the day.
See more photos of Airborne Toxic Event at LouFest
Built To Spill
Indie-rock mainstays Built To Spill put on an epic set at LouFest, capping the show with “Carry The Zero,” which as far as I'm concerned was the perfect way to close out.
See more photos of Built To Spill at LouFest
Broken Social Scene
By the time Broken Social Scene took the stage, it had been a long, hot day of shooting and great music. And when they took the stage, I had my doubts about the lighting at the festival.
As if sensing my disapproval, the lights then came on full blast, and photographers were treated to some most excellent production for a festival of this size, with plenty of searing backlighting.
See more photos of Broken Social Scene at LouFest
It's been a long time coming, but it was great to see the production and booking for LouFest. The kick-off on Saturday was a great day of shooting, with lots of highlights – and great weather, too.
Arriving on-site at LouFest, I sized up the stages and was pleased by what I saw. For me, the height of the stages was just about perfect, hitting around four and a half feet or so, such that even with monitors, there were good sight lines.
For this festival, the two stages were basically identical, with a little more room in the photo pit for the b-stage. Still, the photo pits were never super crowded, and there was ample room to move around. I never felt like the pits were overcrowded, and all the shooters were very considerate.
On the first day of LouFest, I relied on the Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 and the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 for nearly all the heavy-lifting. The only real time I broke out the Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 was when Kevin Drew of Broken Social Scene came out onto the barricade on the band's third song.
Want more LouFest? Check out day 2 of the festival.