Pointfest 2019 @ Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre, Maryland Heights, MO

Words and photos by Duane Clawson
Pointfest by the numbers:

13,000+ steps logged on the FitBit.

1,184 images taken.

90 degree temperatures.

25 bands (no, I did not see them all).

10 hours of concert photography.

2 gallons of water consumed by me.

1 tired guy!

The above numbers may seem a bit staggering, but it was oh so worth it...for the most part! The positives, I got turned on to some really cool new music by bands such as Dirty Honey and Palaye Royale. The bad expecting a great set from one of my favorite bands and being highly disappointed.

The festival did not waste time getting into high gear with Battle for Pointfest winners, Bleach. This threesome of teenagers from St. Louis performed at level that some seasoned band’s fail to attain! Thanks to fellow photographer, Steven Money, for recommending I get to Pointfest early to catch Bleach’s set!

The Pointfest setup is two side stages, parallel to each other for the afternoon sets. As the sun sits lower in the skies, the evening’s festivities move to the main stage. The band Dirty Honey was an early, pleasant Pointfest surprise. Their name is a direct a direct reflection of their sound. Frontman Marc Labelle seals the deal with his charismatic stage swagger. Also thanks to Marc for the camera mugs!

No festival would be complete with what I call, filler bands. For me they were entertaining but not something that really held my attention or the attention of those in attendance. Unfortunately the bands Badflower, Friday Pilot’s Club, and Andrew W.K. fell into this category. But fear not seasoned veteran performers, Greek Fire and P.O.D. made up for what others were lacking. More on these two here in a bit.

The Glorious Sons lead singer, Brett Emmons, received some immediate attention, strolling onstage in a full length, wool coat. He must have thought he was back in his Canadian home. Regardless of what Mr. Emmons was wearing, the Glorious Sons put on a great, high energy show! On par with the Sons performance was another Canadian formed band, Palaye Royale. Now relocated to Las Vegas, Palaye Royale delivered a pop-punk hybrid vibe that had Pointfest bouncing in the early afternoon sun!

105.7 the Point DJ, Moon Valjean, pulled double duty fronting Greek Fire and later on guest appearing during the unique set by The 2SG. Moon, for those in the know, he used to front the band Story of the Year. Now he concentrates his musical career on Greek Fire. Their time on stage is only rivaled by their time interacting with the audience. Be it, standing atop the barricade, couch crowd surfing, or performing from a pedestal in the middle of it all, Moon is a top-notch showman!

After joining Greek Fire for a tribute to Chester Bennington, P.O.D. leader, Sonny Sandoval, moved over to the black stage to guide P.O.D. through a rousing, late afternoon Pointfest romp! Sandoval picks up where Moon and Greek Fire left off. Moving about the stage whipping his mic cord, Sonny turns the audience into a whirlwind of energy. For a brief moment he even helped security bring crowd surfers over the barricade.

Closing down the side stages was maybe one of the biggest disappointments of the day, Filter. The potential to ignite the fading afternoon was squandered by lead sing Richard Patrick. Patrick chose to spend time bashing his former band, Nine Inch Nails and Trent Reznor. To further the audience’s discontent guitarist, Jonathan Radtke, had a squealing guitar pedal that interrupted an already ugly performance. Not what I was hoping for. Shame on you, Filter.

The action on the main stage was slow to start with a canned performance by Fuel. A bit of rejuvenation came with a follow up by Coheed and Cambria. After their set I had to seek out this next act, Clownvis! To see Clownvis, I had to stroll the width of the Pointfest grounds. Along the way I noticed this year’s attendance may have been down a bit. Maybe it was the scheduling of the festival on Memorial  Day weekend?

WTF is a Clownvis you ask? Imagine a clown and Elvis Presley love child and you’ve got a Clownvis. Complete with a couple of intimidating looking security gents, Clownvis mixes Elvis and humor to the audience’s delight. It was a hard act to follow but Seether did an admirable job with their always powerful, dark metal set. Back to the Pop’s stage for an, “I’m not sure what I just saw” act, The2SG. The2SG was comprised of members of The Point on air staff, and guest appearances by Moon Valjean, Clownvis, and Santa Claus.

Live closed out the night with a couple of awesome covers of The Stones' “Paint It Black” and R.E.M.’s “Losing My Religion”. Of course, the band would end their time on stage with their biggest hit, “Lightning Crashes”. To coincide with day’s theme, Live left the stage with no encore. Outside of the few bright spots on the side stages earlier in the afternoon, this year’s Pointfest felt a bit like day old bread! Somewhat satisfying but something was just a bit off.

Photos of the show are below:

Dirty Honey
Friday Pilot's Club
Andrew W.K.
Greek Fire
The Glorious Sons
Palaye Royale
Contributed by Duane Clawson
Pointfest 2019 @ Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre, Maryland Heights, MO Pointfest 2019 @ Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre, Maryland Heights, MO Reviewed by Scott Rowe, Editor on June 03, 2019 Rating: 5
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