Pointfest 34 @ Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre, Maryland Heights, MO

Words and photos by Duane Clawson
Three hours of sleep, a 12-hour day of photographing and hearing live music?  Give me some caffeine and point me toward the stage, it’s Pointfest time again in St. Louis!  Pointfest is one of the few remaining annual music festivals in our area.  Local radio station, 105.7 The Point, makes sure St. Louis has at least one music festival they can look forward to every year.  A beautiful day greeted music fans as the music got underway on the side stages with Common Jones, Isabella, Silver Snakes, and the Hush List.  Common Jones, Isabella, and the Hush List all have ties to the region.

As festivals are designed, there are high and low points throughout the day.  Pointfest was about to experience its first high-point from the Australian band, Sick Puppies.  After the recent departure of lead singer, Shimon Moore, the band found themselves scrambling to continue but found a suitable replacement in Bryan Glass.  The core sound of the Sick Puppies remains the same and Glass has no problem covering the music that was produced prior to his involvement with the band.  And as always, it’s a real treat photographing overly-animated bassist, Emma Anzai.

The afternoon fun continued with regional favorites, Story of the Year.  Although I had never seen Story of the Year live, I have seen their sister project, Greek Fire. A s with Greek Fire, Story brings a high-energy show to the stage.  Lead singer, Dan Marsala, and guitarist, Ryan Phillips, find themselves defying gravity throughout the band’s all too short 40-minute set.  Marsala, to delight of those in attendance, finds his way into the audience during “Our Time is Now”.

Flogging Molly closes out the afternoon of music on the side stages with their rousing brand of Irish blended rock.  I gotta admit I am a new Flogging Molly fan and their set was a welcome addition to the Pointfest lineup!

The main stage opens with an unexpected singing of the national anthem by local singer, Charles Glenn, who happens to sing the anthem at a majority of the NHL St. Louis Blues hockey games.  Glenn’s rendition of the anthem was a huge hit as the St. Louis Blues were in the midst of a playoff game, while bands performed on the main stage.

After Glenn’s national anthem, English glam rockers, the Struts, kick the music on the main stage with their, “retro-fetishist classic rock” sound.  Lead singer, Luke Spiller, a cross between Alice Cooper and Freddie Mercury, gallivants across the stage while he sings crowd favorites, “Kiss This” and “Put Your Money on Me”.

Coheed & Cambria and Bring Me the Horizon follow in rapid succession, bringing us to the last two bands on this long day of rock and roll merriment.

A somewhat smaller audience, noticeably smaller than years past, made a whole bunch of noise for the no frills rock of Chevelle.  Chevelle leaves all the gimmicks at home as their set design is simple and their sound straightforward.  “Hats Off to the Bull” and “Face to the Floor” were a couple of the highlights in the band’s downsized festival setlist.

Deftones were chosen to close out Pointfest 34, a most fitting band to close out the show as 105.7 the Point’s slogan is “Everything Alternative” and the Deftones certainly qualify as alternative.  Since 1988, the Deftones have been a band, through perseverance, that have remained intact and released their eight album in February.  Those that stayed until the end sang along with lead singer, Chino Moreno, as he covered a wide range of Deftone’s classics including their set closer, “Engine No.9”.  Photos of the festival are below:

The Hush List
Holy White Hounds
Sick Puppies
Highly Suspect
Story of the Year
Flogging Molly
The Struts
Coheed & Cambria
Bring Me the Horizon
Contributed by Duane Clawson
Pointfest 34 @ Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre, Maryland Heights, MO Pointfest 34 @ Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre, Maryland Heights, MO Reviewed by Scott Rowe, Editor on May 31, 2016 Rating: 5
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