Louder Than Life Festival a complete success in inaugural year

Summer is the season of the rock festival. As soon as May comes around you can expect a cavalcade of rock fests- Carolina Rebellion, Welcome to Rockville, Fort Rock, Rocklahoma, a plethora of radio festivals and, of course, the grand daddy of them all- Rock on the Range. The last few years, however, have seen an uprising of Fall rock festivals too, Aftershock being the most recent one. 2014 saw the birth of yet another Fall festival and a big one at that- straight from the promoters of Rock on the Range. This year they brought us the inaugural Louder Than Life festival located in Louisville, Kentucky. This year\’s forecast called for temperatures in the mid-50\’s but actually got down to the 30\’s and a frost advisory on Saturday night but that didn\’t stop the bands from bringing the heat and the fans from making the inaugural festival a complete success and a memorable weekend for everyone. The lineup for the first-ever LTL featured a heavy-hitting lineup featuring Judas Priest, Korn, Stone Temple Pilots with Chester Bennington, Limp Bizkit, Alter Bridge, Mastodon, Theory of a Deadman, Steel Panther, Pop Evil, Memphis May Fire, Fuel, Otherwise, Thousand Foot Krutch, Nonpoint, Miss May I, Flaw, Wilson, Kid Rock, Five Finger Death Punch, Volbeat, Papa Roach, A Day To Remember, Bring Me The Horizon, Buckcherry, POD, Hellyeah, Chiodos, Motionless In White, Nothing More, Butcher Babies, Avatar, Crobot, Monster Truck, Islander. Not only did it feature some of the best bands of all time, but it was more than just a rock festival. No, no, it was much more than that. We\’re talking bourbon and gourmet man food as well- as the headline Louder Than Life Music, Whiskey and Gourmet Man Food Festival would have you know. Upon entering LTL you\’re greeted by the massive Marshall Headphones side stage. Right after that and lining each side of the grounds are food trucks galore. Everything from Jack Daniels to seafood to some of the best barbeque you\’ll ever taste to noodles, gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches, gelato, and much more. As far as alcohol, not only did you have numerous brands of bourbon and whiskey, but you also had Iron Maiden\’s Trooper Beer and Motorhead\’s Bastard\’s Lager specialty brewed beers as well as other lagers and ales- something for everyone. Both main stages- unlike most rock festivals, were set up side-by-side, allowing for rapid fire rock, much to the delight and satisfaction of the fans- as soon as one band finished, it was just minutes until the next band took over on the stage to the side. Obviously, there\’s going to be a few setbacks and glitches when it comes to a first-year festival and besides numerous sound mix problems on the main stages which often made it hard to hear the vocals and included an overwhelming bass presence, parking was one of the issues. Upon leaving, security told fans to exit the back side of the parking lot- which caused a 45+=minute delay in leaving before security finally agreed to just let fans leave through the front of the parking lot where they entered. I will say this- when a problem or issue arose and was brought to the attention of the festival, it was sorted and ironed out immediately. Any issues there were on day one were almost nonexistent on day two. Instead of parking a mile away on day two, fans were allowed to park inside the festival grounds, which made things a lot easier. Some of the food highlights included bacon-ranch cut fries, footlong korn dogs, any and all of the barbeque places, the caramel bourbon-glazed donuts, gourmet grilled cheese- which included a vegetarian option with tomatoes, basil, mushrooms and smoked Gouda that was to die for and Island Noodles- which those to attended Rock on the Range will remember due to a line at ROTR that took almost half a day to get through- it was a shorter wait this time since there were so many options. Day 1 bands who brought the heat and stood out this year were Judas Priest (obviously), Limp Bizkit- who turned the clocks back to 1999 and turned Champions Park into an all-out party and madhouse, not just a concert- they may take the prize for band of the weekend, Otherwise, Thousand Foot Krutch. Day 1 bands who just didn\’t seem to deliver at all were Flaw and Stone Temple Pilots- following the riot and destruction Limp Bizkit brought was just an impossible task for anyone to follow. Day 2 bands who impressed were Islander, Kid Rock, Five Finger Death Punch, Butcher Babies, Hellyeah and Volbeat. The unfortunate set of the day was Nothing More- who put on an outstanding show but their sound mix was through-the-roof bad. The bass was so overemphasized and up so high it drowned out almost every other aspect of the set. The first-annual Louder Than Life: Music, Whiskey & Gourmet Man Food Festival was a complete success. With food that was beyond outstanding (and decently priced- ranging anywhere from $3 to $20 a serving) there was something to eat for anyone and everyone, it was just hard to see exactly what all was there in front of you. As far as music, the band lineup was one of the best you\’re going to find anywhere. With no stadium seating, the crowd was one long sea of people- very similar to a European festival like Download, Wacken Open Air, etc. Hats off to the promoters, bookers, media staff and everyone else who made the festival possible and for putting together one outstanding event- one which we need more of. May this be the beginning of a beautiful new festival season for many years to come. -Reggie Edwards Click here for exclusive photos of the entire weekend Nonpoint interview with Rasheed and Adam: Theory of a Deadman interview with Joe: Thousand Foot Krutch interview with Trevor: