Concert Review: Way Back Point Fest 2019
The weather may have failed, but Way Back Pointfest marched on and Goldfinger was the leader.
105.7 The Point hosted Way Back Point Fest 2019 at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre over Labor Day weekend. The line-up went back and forth as usual from the main stage and North stage which was near the entrance of the venue.
The festival commenced with an in-your-face performance by Cowboy Mouth. There was definitely no “easing into” the show when this is your first band in the line-up. The crowd was all in and responded in kind to the rock love shown to them.
The Gin Blossoms were a relaxing start to the show on the main stage. The chiming guitars went well with the breeze flowing through the crowd. All of the 90’s familiar favorites were packed in the 35 minute set along with a tribute to Tom Petty.
The second act to perform on the North Stage was St. Louis’ own, STIR. Lead singer Andy Schmidt connected well with the audience telling jokes about being old. His slightly raspy voice morphed well into Roger Daltry’s as they ended the set with The Who’s ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again’. Even the little ones were dancing around for this one on their parents shoulders.
Everclear held down the main stage as the fourth act of the day. My initial reaction to the set was great! They were tight and sounded just like they did upon the release of Sparkle and Fade. On the contrary, a few concert goers disagreed, stating that their sound quality was subpar and they seemed to be out of key at times. Ultimately, I feel that a solid performance was brought and so many memories stirred.
Goldfinger was by far the highlight of the show.
The third to play on the North stage, they came on dressed in suits and got the crowd super hyped with a punk-ska version of The Cure’s ‘Just Like Heaven’. Frontman John Feldmann happily reminisced over when they were there on the same stage 2 years ago. Moon Valjean from Greek Fire joined the band in 2016 and was on lead guitar and backup vocals. Just as the mosh pits and crowd surfing started taking place, lightning and rain began. They were ordered to leave the stage for safety and Feldmann promised that they would return to finish. This delay put the rest of the acts on hold and pushed set times back about 30 minutes. The break did not stop most concert goers from sticking around in the rain to see if the promised finale of the set would be able to happen. With it still pouring down rain, they came back and gave a face melting finale of 99 Red Balloons, The Blur’s ‘Song 2’ and the theme song to FRIENDS. As they marched off the stage in a single line playing their guitars, drumsticks were tossed into the crowd.
It was a perfect punk rock ending to a rainy and wet mess.
Back to the main stage, where long-time Point DJ, Donny Fandango, made the stage announcement and ardently declared that it was time to ‘PLAY THAT MUTHAFUCKIN’ URGE SHIT’.
The Urge has been tearing your shit up for over 30 years. 30 YEARS!!. At a glance, the guys in the band seem as though they must have been 6 years old when they formed the group. The energy level over the years has not even remotely been compromised. The lively stage presence displayed by every single one of their players was invariable, lending the element of affirmed consistency to Urge die hards. Thus, completely annihilating their performance as always.
The legendary Living Colour was the last to perform on the North stage. They delivered the rock, soul and funk that their fans were expecting and enjoyed doing so. It was a unique, vibrant and energetic performance.
Collective Soul rounded out the festival with all of the recognizable hits and one very special, super duper, exciting highlight when Robin Wilson (lead singer for the Gin Blossoms) graced the stage to join the band in a cover of R.E.M.’s “The One I Love” from their 1987 record, Document.
Wilson’s performance was exceptionally authentic, as he sounded exactly like Michael Stipe. The cover was doubly delicious as Stipe has roots in the area and R.E.M. was vital in their contribution to the time and genre for which we call “Wayback”.
Collective Soul’s current lineup brings an overt sense of cohesion. Jesse Tripplet was extraordinary on guitar and the brothers Roland continue to cultivate the essence of what was and is Collective Soul.
Unfortunately, the band did not have the chance to perform an encore due to the rain delay. However, overall they vastly made up for it by delivering a remarkable performance.
Hats off to 105.7 The Point for another great Way Back Point Fest. Keep them coming!
Thanks for making me feel like a giddy teenager again.