Jason Koerner

Louisville Rock Lowdown
By Jason Koerner

LRS Fest and the Rest

As anticipated, LRS Fest 2001 took Louisville by storm this year, featuring national acts such as Saliva, Stroke 9, Tantric, Cold, Dope, and more. The concert had a great turnout and took away some of the doubts - due to recent concert violence - about the Waterfront as a venue. To the best of my knowledge, no serious incidents occurred, and the overall atmosphere was relaxed - except in the pit.

The security guards near the stage had their hands full with the crowd, literally! Body surfers had their hands marked this year as a distinction for making it over the rail. Unlike baseball, these fans did not get the `3 strikes per out' rule, and ejection from the show was eminent after a few trips into the arms of a guard. This was just one of the ways the crowd was managed as to prevent injuries and chaos.

I arrived mid-afternoon, just as Dope was performing "F#&k the Police" but I could only enjoy their set from the line entering. It was a slow mover, but well worth the wait. After gaining access to the show, I was stopped by a group of complete strangers, who apparently felt compelled to explain Dope's set to me, as though they were frantically reciting the details of a crime they had just witnessed. This eliminated my need to ask around any further. I concluded that they had put on quite an impressive performance.

Cold gave me a new respect for their talent. The stage show was awesome, and they still managed to be spooky in broad daylight and in an outdoor arena show. Last time I saw them, I was too far away to be able to know what I was looking at. I was lucky enough to see them up close this time, and really pay attention to their movements and music. I think this band has grown tremendously and will become a bigger force in music in the time to come.

Also appearing that night was Tantric. These guys, as you know, are mostly from Louisville and have been extremely successful on both a local and national level. The band put on a good show, and the crowd took to them well. It is great to see a band helping to put Louisville on the musical map. A few new singles have been released for radio airplay since the number 1 hit, "Breakdown," and are doing very well as I write.

Stroke 9 made a return visit to LRS Fest this year, but I was not as happy to see them again as everyone else was. The crowd response was great, but my feelings seem to differ. Mosh pits broke out during some of the more pop-driven songs and it just didn't fit. I am just not impressed with the whole pop-punk-mainstream image they portray. What they do have is very catchy melodies, great vocal harmonies, and "the look."

For whatever reason, the crowd was there for Saliva. I like this band, but I only know two songs from them. Outside of a couple hits, I am not impressed by anything they do. They are talented, but I was just very surprised at the way the audience longed for them. Maybe I am out of the loop. Hats off to them though, because they must be doing something right. If you like rap-core, you'll love Saliva.

LRS Fest 2001 as a whole was run very well, and I think it is something that will continue to draw more popularity as it becomes an annual event for the current station at 105.1 FM. Thanks to all the bands for coming out and doing a cheap admission show for all of us here in Louisville, and all of those involved with putting it on.

News... what else is gong on?

Flagrant commercial pitch section: Since I can't write a review on my band (for obvious reasons) I would like to invite each of you reading this to come and see us for yourselves. Our name is Nemesis, and you can check out our concert dates on www.pollstar.com by searching (by artist) for Nemesis. Our October appearances include a killer weekend of metal mayhem for Halloween. Friday, October 26 we are playing at Tek World with One with Misery, Absence of Faith, and My Own Victim. This is a Halloween show, mind you, so come in costume! Otherwise, you won't have a chance at any of the prizes being given away for best costumes. For more info, go to www.tekworldshows.com.

Saturday, October 27 (the next night) is Hallopalooza 2001, an event I put together. I swore I would never do it again. I love Halloween. This show will be held at the new Extreme Scene teen club (Preston and Gilmore) and will feature Nemesis along with Ded End, Filth Porn, and Fall With Me. Didn't win a prize at Tek World? Dress up at Hallopalooza! Prizes will be awarded there as well! Look for more of our show dates and hear samples at www.geocities.com/wearenemesis. For more info on Extreme Scene, visit booking promoter Terry Harper's site for Sen, then scroll down on the left for Extreme Scene at www.musicispower.com.

I hope everyone will get a chance to come and see the shows. We have some merchandise coming out in the form of T-shirts and bumper stickers, as well as CD's. Local shows have been abundant lately, and I am loving every minute of it.

I want to take a moment to thank all of you who have contacted me recently to share your feelings about other publications `jumping on the bandwagon' when it comes to Louisville music. It seems that the some of the articles I write for Louisville Music News turn up again in a later editions of other papers: rephrased and discussed like a major archeological discovery that they then take full credit for. I don't think anyone reading my column right now needs an overdue article full of regurgitated facts to tell us we have great local music in this city. Period. Enough said.

Go to local shows. Go to national shows. Go to see music performed - live.

Contact me for show or band info, great ideas, cooking tips, the meaning of life, where babies come from, or whatever at JJKSLACKER@cs.com.