Images by Johnnie Crow
Words by Sandy Beitler and Jerry Clark
Louder than Life is in its 4th year in Louisville, Kentucky. It is still relatively new to the Rock Festival scene, but they are making improvements with every new year. One thing they always have down pat is an incredible line up of talent, from old school rock to new and upcoming bands. With two main stages side by side and a third stage on the other side of the park, there was always a great band playing. The camping area was packed full of party goers all enjoying the perfect weather.
The city of Louisville enjoys hosting people from just about every state and even from Canada. They all had good things to say about the concert, the layout, and the food. LTL highlights local culture, with local eateries and of course they have all the bourbon too! There was a Great Bourbon Bar to represent the local community & state, with plenty of festival special drinks. Where else can you enjoy a “Shot in the Dark” while listening to Ozzy Osbourne and Zakk Wylde performing “Shot in the Dark”?
The only negative was the routing of the traffic after the event, a small price to pay for enjoying an incredible weekend rocking with 30,000 friends, old and new.
One of the newer bands was Through Fire. None of the members are new to the music scene, but as Through Fire, they have been together since December of 2015. Lead singer Grant Kendrick says the name symbolized their desire to “persevere and never give up”. The trials of life won’t get them down and won’t make them quit. They have plans to be in the studio the beginning of 2018 with hopes of their 2nd album being out the same year. If you haven’t seen them live, do yourself a favor and do so. They are full of energy and their music is on point.
Lacuna Coil is a band that has been around since 1994, no stranger to music festivals much larger than ours here in Louisville. Lead singer Andrea Ferro said that he and bass player Marco Coti Zelati were heavy into skateboarding and listening to bands like Pantera, Iron Maiden & Black Flag. But when they weren’t skateboarding they filled time by playing music and jamming. They came up with their own mix of metal/hardcore music. They later picked up Singer Cristina Scabbia, who happened to be waitressing at the local bar where they hung out, to be a back up singer, but quickly learned what a great voice she had and how uncommon a female lead was for that kind of music and put her out front. Their show is not only intense, but also very theatrical. If you have not seen them live be sure to put that on your to do list.
Two of the great up and coming bands that help fill the incredible lineup are Fire From the Gods and Radkey. Fire From The Gods has a very diverse sound. From heavy to melodic, with some rap & a little reggae, they bring it. Definitely check this band out. Radkey is like old school punk meets Jimi Hendrix. Three brothers growing up home schooled listening to their father’s albums, they developed a unique sound that must be checked out.
Festival organizers released the following statement:
“The fourth annual Louder Than Life wrapped its biggest year yet on Saturday, September 30 and Sunday, October 1 with more than 60,000 in attendance over two days at Champions Park in Louisville, KY to enjoy headlining sets from Ozzy Osbourne — recently reunited with guitarist Zakk Wylde for the first time in over a decade — and Prophets of Rage — bringing together the sonic firepower of Rage Against The Machine, Public Enemy and Cypress Hill, with members Tom Morello, Tim Commerford, Brad Wilk, Chuck D, B-Real, and DJ Lord.
Louder Than Life also featured performances from Five Finger Death Punch, Incubus – returning to Louisville for the first time in over a decade — Rob Zombie, Stone Sour, Rise Against (who also helped close out the festival, with singer/guitarist Tim McIlrath and guitarist Zach Blair jumping onstage with Prophets of Rage for a rendition of MC5’s “Kick Out The Jams”) and nearly 30 other bands on three stages.
To see the Louder Than Life Aftermovie, go to:
In addition to music, attendees were able to try a taste of Louisville, sampling from over two dozen bourbons at Bourbon World presented by the Louisville Courier-Journal, with food from more than two dozen vendors including local favorites 502 Café, Baxter’s Grill, Black Rock Grill, Boss Hog BBQ, Doc Crow’s, Mike’s Kentucky Kitchen, Holy Mole Tacos, The Big Cheesy, Tumbleweed and more. With 95% of the world’s bourbon coming from Kentucky, festival producers Danny Wimmer Presents hand selected over two dozen top distilleries to create a unique opportunity to sample bourbons and exclusive one-time specialty cocktails from inside what may be the World’s Loudest Bourbon Tent.
The Student Experience(TSE)–the youth outreach program of The Music Experience–featured a backstage tour for local music students from Mom’s Music – School of Rock to see the inner workings of a festival and learn about all the jobs the music industry has to offer. LEO Weekly wrote about The Student Experience here: http://bit.ly/2hKVtEk
Louder Than Lifefollowed up the successful debut of Bourbon & Beyond at Champions Park, and marked the second consecutive weekend that hotels in Louisville were sold out thanks in part to a Danny Wimmer Presents festival.”
A full photo album from Louder Than Life 2017 can be found below: