The Saint Louis tradition that is Pointfest put on an exciting blend of music on Saturday with a Lineup that produced top notch results all around. The all-day music festival at the Hollywood Casino Amphitheater put on by local radio station 105.7 The Point was a sold out event, spurred on by a lineup that was much more exciting than last year’s event.
Granted much of the excitement came due to the headliner, Breaking Benjamin, who had a few years before broken up as a band. But along with the reunited Breaking Benjamin the lineup was solid on every stage. With veteran artists like Seether and Chevelle accompanying Breaking Benjamin on the main stage, newer artists on the side stages were not content to just be a side attraction.
The side stages were stocked with exciting talent that provided memorable performances that ranged from interesting to stunning. Among the more interesting ones was hip hop artist Yelawolf, with his high energy- in your face- devil may care attitude inciting the crowd to a frenzy. Included in his set was possibly a first for Pointfest: a sing along of a country song – Garth Brooks’ “Friends in Low Places”.
One of the funnier moments came when someone tossed a joint on stage. Yelawolf picked it up, talked about it for a moment and asked if anyone had a light. At that point he had to avoid the barrage of a couple dozen lighters thrown, not tossed, onstage. And somehow, he seemed surprised by such generosity in the Gateway City.
Meg Myers set picked up after a slow start letting her music move her throughout the latter half of her set, and others like Young Guns and Shaman’s Harvest played solid, lively sets. But the act that stood out in the side stages (again) were the local boys of Greek Fire.
While some not in the know would think it preposterous to have an unsigned band close out the side stages over well established “signed” artists, they haven’t seen Greek Fire perform, especially in Saint Louis. With a high intensity set that includes catchy riffs, and harmonies that have you dancing along, their music and performance is infectious. If you don’t get excited during a Greek Fire set then check your pulse, something’s wrong.
Lead singer Moon played in the crowd more than he was onstage, literally. And there was a point that all four members (Moon, guitarist Ryan Phillips, bassist Mark Joseph Roth and drummer Johnny Venus) were playing off the stage and in with the crowd as well.
Moon is fearless, from climbing a fence to couch surfing (crowd surfing on a backless couch) to doing backflips all while getting up close and personal with the fans, he is the epitome of a front man. The songs appeal to just about every taste from heavy rock anthems (“Doesn’t Matter Anyway”) with thought provoking lyrics (“A Real Life”) to radio-friendly songs that could be Top 40 material (“Top of the World”).
The main stage had everything fans wanted from alt-metal in The Used (though vocalist Bert McCracken could not be heard, at least in the front rows and photo pit), to post grunge of Chevelle to mainstream hard rock in Seether.
Seether’s set was exceptionally solid and strong. Filled with fan favorites like “Country Song”, “Remedy” and “Fake it”. Playing their final show on this tour the band from South Africa sounded as tight as I have ever heard them. Vocalist/guitarist Shaun Morgan didn’t say much but when he did he displayed his love for playing in Saint Louis and claimed they should just move here.
Breaking Benjamin’s set was a strong and diverse with selections that included “Polyamorous”, “Failure”, “I Will Not Bow” and “So Cold”. It also included a pretty great cover of Metallica’s “Through the Never”. Vocalist Benjamin Burnley was solid in his delivery and the band was as well. Burnley even tried to stop a fight in the audience midway through the set, calling out two guys apparently fighting over a girl. He chastised them after yelling for them to stop and never missed a beat in the song.
The show as a whole was much more entertaining than last year’s semi-yawner. The bands were electric and the crowd was into the show consistently from front to back this year. Good luck topping this year’s Pointfest next time, but we hope you can.
Meg Myers Setlist:
A Bolt From the Blue
Heart Heart Head
Greek Fire Setlist:
A Real Life
Break Me Down
Under the Stars
Snakecharmer (Rage Against The Machine cover)
Doesn’t Matter Anyway
Dreaming in Déjà vu (With covers of Cool Kids by Echosmith and Can’t Hold Us by Mackelmore included)
Top of the World
The Used Setlist:
Take it Away
Bird and the Worm
I Caught Fire
The Taste of Ink
Hats Off to the Bull
Send the Pain Below
I Get It
Face to the Floor
Rise Above This
Words as Weapons
Same Damn Life
Breaking Benjamin Setlist:
Break My Fall
Blow Me Away
Give Me A Sign
Through the Never (Metallica cover)
Imperial March/Schism/Heart Shaped Box/Walk (Covers from Star Wars, Tool, Nirvana and Pantera)
Until the End
I Will Not Bow
Dance with the Devil
The Diary of Jane