Louder Than Life 2022 Ends With Weird Wellness And Celebrity Art
Sunday morning was “Thunderstruck” before Louder Than Life started, but as the festival rolled around, sunny skies lit up the array of stalls and stages where the final day’s action would take place.
Sunday’s lineup included big names like Papa Roach, Alice in Chains, Incubus and headliner Red Hot Chili Peppers, but people started lining up behind the scenes for smaller acts like Dirty Honey and The Warning in the early afternoon.
As the evening hours approached, the line for ice cream numbered in the dozens on a sweltering 80 degree day. Louder Than Life definitely brought some of the most interesting outfits of the season: zebra jumpsuits, beards galore, a few kilts, and probably hundreds of band t-shirts from past and present acts that graced the stage.
The vibe certainly didn’t disappoint: Crowds raised their horns during each show and sunbathed on inflatable lawn chairs as fans young and old jumped in joy for British band The Struts and threw hearts for the Oxymorrons.
If you couldn’t make it to the Highlands Festival Grounds, here are five other things you missed:
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Weird and Wild Wellness
Hellflower Soap Company started “on a whim” after owner Carrie Simpson said she was spending too much on Lush products. Soaps, scrubs, CBD tinctures and ‘Holy Water’ hand sanitizer lined the tables at Simpson’s booth on Sunday, and Lance Dixon says the Los Angeles couple’s products are designed to help you enjoy of the cleansing ritual after a long day at festivals like Louder. Than life.
“Cleansing yourself with a good product and treating your body well should be part of that,” Dixon said. “You’re outside, you’re fighting, you’re in the sun all day. You’re dirty.”
Hellflower products are as unique as their namesake, mostly based on the music the couple enjoys. They have a blood soap called “Drain the Blood”, named after a song by The Distillers, another called “Lemmy” named after Motörhead and “Out Comes the Wolves” named after the album Rancid.
Trippy, celebrity art
Some of your favorite artists may have secret talents, and it should come as no surprise that some creatives are foraying into the world of visual arts. Punk Rock and Paintbrushes is an artist collective that showcases art shows by career musicians like Lzzy Hale of Halestorm, Jay Weinberg of Slipknot and Sunday’s headliner, drummer Chad Smith of Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Smith’s art pairs beats from her drums and her own paintings, owner Emily Nielsen said. His paintings are bright and abstract while Weinberg’s are decidedly darker, and they feature something inspired but outside of the artists’ music, Nielsen said.
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Exclusive bourbon selections
Chris’ Picks was a stand in one of the most remote corners of the festival, but its contents did not go unnoticed by bourbon connoisseurs. The bourbons at this stand are “single-barrel picks,” said Nathan Crespo of SoHo Concessions, which means you can’t find them anywhere else.
When buyers visit a distillery, they can taste and choose which bourbons they want to present to customers, Crespo said. They bottle the ones they love in their entirety, making them exclusive to events like Bourbon and Beyond or Louder Than Life.
One of Crespo’s favorite bourbons on the stand comes from Huber’s Starlight Distillery in southern Indiana. It is aged in a cognac cask, he added. “American white oak casks from three different cooperage companies and four different cask styles” add complexity to the whisky, according to Huber’s website.
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Woman’s forehead rock
It was Faelin Landy and Elizabeth Belanger’s first time at Louder Than Life, and they said they were very excited for the lineup of Sunday artists like The Pretty Reckless and headliner Red Hot Chili Peppers.
But the pair were caught dancing to The Warning, a trio of sisters from Monterrey, Mexico, who can only be described as “incredible” by Belanger. The band caught the attention of Bélanger and Landy because they are touring with Halestorm, another of the couple’s favorite bands.
The Warning combines “stunning riffs” with “unpredictable, stadium-filling beats and infectious vocals”, according to their site. They began with a cascade of “viral” moments, like the band’s cover of “Enter Sandman” ― which they performed at Louder Than Life ― on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in 2015.
The Next Big Rock Star (Maybe)
Rows of rockers (including the next Slash, maybe?) could be found shredding in the back of The Music Experience tent.
The experience allows festival-goers to try out unique and, at times, unreleased instruments that local music stores might not have, said Justin Press, artists and repertoire representative for the company. This year, a guitar made from bourbon barrels was at the center of the tent.
“It’s an acquired taste to be a bourbon lover, and it’s an acquired talent to be a guitarist, so how do we marry the two?” is the question that inspired the guitar, said Press.
The world needed a crossover, he added.
You can also experience exclusive Lzzy Hale from Halestorm and Gene Simmons from KISS as well as attend the “30 Second Shred” where rock stars of all ages can compete with festival attendees as audiences at The Music Experience.
Contact reporter Rae Johnson at [email protected]. Follow them on Twitter at @RaeJ_33.