“Dues Paid” Feature From The Kick-Off To Third Annual Rock U Fest


On Sunday, April 28th of 2013 Rock University Festival and Number Six Media presented a show at Lemmons which was also a benefit for Play It Forward. The show raised enough money for a school’s instruments to be repaired for use, another example might be for purchasing drum sticks for a large drum line. Either way, Samantha Fisher will put the money to good use where it is needed in St. Louis’ public school’s music programs. This show was designed to kick off awareness for the third annual festival happening later this year and to also help raise money and awareness for this non-for-profit. It featured artists from Rock U Fest 2011 and also 2012. This was also put together in the spirit of unity and celebrated the third anniversary of the Saint Louis Musicians Unite Music Blog.


Banks And Cathedrals kicked off this rare all-ages event at Lemmons, don’t let the name fool you. Christian Knobloch is actually the man behind the name and this is his solo act’s name. He performed acoustic and has a soulful, pop-rock , folk style. On his last song, he even played a ukelele.


Next up was Gemini Hustler. Originally having played the festival acoustic, it was nice to hear a full-blown electric set from them. This trio has Zach George on lead vocals and also guitar, Justin Level on bass guitar and vocals, plus Thomas Bales on drums. This indie rock artist blends styles of rock, funk, blues and more. They call their sound,”Western Funk-a-delic”. Zach’s vocals and style reminded me a little of the singer for Radiohead. George really brings in some cool, funky bass riffs and even gets as intense as Primus, at times. He was fun to watch. They didn’t disappoint.


The third act of the night was Since 1902. These almost twenty-somethings showed they had further tightened their musical skills since I last saw them and I felt more energy portrayed. A couple of years ago, they played the “Area K” stage at LouFest after having won a competition to play it in 2011. They also played the outdoor stage at the first annual Rock U Fest event. Justin Enoch is the lead vocalist and is also a guitarist. He totally “geeks” out and I love it. I mean that in a good way. Him and the drummer Pete Holohan are the best to watch, they even switched roles on a song towards the end of their set. Which I must add, I had almost totally forgot about them doing that. They did the same a couple of years ago at Off Broadway when I last saw them. Of course, the group also consisted of Caleb Hill also on guitar and Nathaniel Endicott on bass.


The final band of the night was Unifyah. This reggae-rock act is a blast and are about the only of their kind around town with a full horn section. Fitting all nine of them on Lemmons stage was quite the task, but Brian Fleschute did accommodate them and they sounded good for the space. It was actually the best sound I have heard there that I can recall. These guys played last year’s Rock U Fest inside the “Foxhole” which is now newly transformed and updated to the new monicker, “The Demo“. The group features Kevin Griffin on lead vocals. Colin on guitar and vocals, Greg plays bass, Tommy plays the drums. They have a conga player named Trevor, a trumpet player named Reggie, a saxophonist named Jessie and Bryan plays the trombone and also does vocals. A few of the horn players also are in The Murder City Players. The hits just don’t stop with songs like “Light ‘Em Up“, “Good Lovin” and “Over You“. If you haven’t seen these guys before, then you need too!


The second of three events that Rock U Fest is putting on this year will happen on June 9th at Fubar. It’s a Sunday and it will be an all-ages show with two stages of music featuring high school bands battling it out for spots on the third annual festival. Two of them will for sure secure spots on the festival and one will get to play immediately before this year’s head liner. The line up will be announced soon on the Rock U Fest website. Save the date, the festival happens on Saturday, Sept. 28th at Atomic Cowboy!


*Watch out for the full show review on STL Music Press this fall.

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