In its 10th year, St. Louis’ Open Highway Music Festival has returned in a big way. The four-day event features some of the newest and also biggest names in rock, Americana, country, and indie music. The most notable change is its location. All previous years were held at Off Broadway in St. Louis City but this year it trekked across town to be housed in one location at Chesterfield Amphitheater. Which also means it’s outside and is beholden to the elements — which, so far, have been quite pleasant considering it’s August in the midwest. It’s also opened up to a host of vendors and food trucks on site so bring a little extra cash or your debit cards to support some local merchants.
Arch City Media picked day two to head over and see what was up and we weren’t disappointed. You’ve still got time to check out one or two more days of this festival before it’s over on August 8 for another year.
Day two featured St. Louis’ Katarra and Maness Brothers as well as Seattle’s The Dip and headliner Marcus King Band from South Carolina. While the majority of the good-sized crowd was there for Marcus King Band, all the band performing were stellar in their sounds and each garnered several new fans.
Katarra’s groovy lounge sounds kicked off the evening greeting those lined up when the gates opened right at 6 p.m. Featuring a little scat, a little jazz, a little soul her sounds are equally perfect for sitting by a beach or on a cozy, classy date for two.
The Maness Brothers‘, 35-minute set started straight up at 7 p.m. These two wail and wallop their hard, driving deep rock ‘n’ blues. And yes, they are brothers IRL.
Next up came the classic soul-filled stylings of The Dip who feature their horns as much as their guitars and bass in this 7-piece band. During their instrumental pieces, this listener likens them to a lighter, happier Medeski, Martin and Wood. No matter what, their sound will get you off your duff and on your feet to sway and rollick.
The Marcus King Band took the stage at nightfall bathed in red lights to bring an hour of “swaggering rock to supersonic soul.” With a little strut in his step, King and his band filled the night air with soulful, funky, bluesy rock. Songs bled into one another making for some long jams featuring horns, guitar, drums, and more.
The entire event was perfectly designed for either dancing or lounging on the well-manicured, mosquito-free tiered lawn at Chesterfield Amphitheater — whichever mood your heart desired.
It’s no small feat to pull of an event like this so hats off to John Henry and all of those involved in creating and continuing this festival.
More photos from day two of Open Highway Music Festival: https://bit.ly/OHMF21cz