Everybody Wants To Be Closer To Free(dom Fest)

Sorry, I got no movie review this week. I have no interest in Melissa McCarthy’s latest attempt at humor and less interest in that ET remake and who wants to watch a horror movie on the Fourth of July?

But hey, it’s Independence Day! What are you doing hiding out in a dark movie theater anyway? Today is a day for festivals and free entertainment and fireworks and too many people trying to cram themselves into too small a space and parking? Oh hell, forget about parking…

The big festival around these parts in Fair Saint Louis, which this year is taking place at Forest Park. It’s got it all — parades, music, food, fireworks. This year’s lineup includes Bonnie Raitt, the Ozark Mountain Daredevils (oh, I wonder if they’ll sing ‘Jackie Blue’) and several other acts I know nothing about but you might — The Fray, En Vogue, Musiq Soulchild, Matt Nathanson, Gavin DeGraw — something for everyone, I guess.

I highly recommend everyone in the St. Louis area head to Forest Park this weekend for Fair Saint Louis. If you only go to Forest Park once this summer, make it Fair Saint Louis. In fact, I’m begging you to go to Fair Saint Louis this weekend and then never return to Forest Park the rest of the summer.

As you may have guessed, I am not going to Fair Saint Louis. Never have, probably never will.

But seriously, if you’re looking to be entertained this weekend, I recommend you make your way to O’Fallon, Mo., late afternoon for a performance by the BoDeans at the Heritage and Freedom Fest. These Milwaukee-based “roots rockers” are one of those great bands that never got the success they deserved. I mean, why are these guys playing the 3:30 p.m. gig while Survivor and Switchfoot (seriously? Switchfoot?) are headlining?

Did Switchfoot or Survivor record such awesome tunes as “Feed the Fire,” “Closer to Free,” “Fadeaway,” “Good Things,” “You Don’t Get Much,” “Good Work” and “Go Slow Down?” How do you put “Eye of the Tiger” up against that set list? Bad call, whoever runs the O’Fallon Heritage and Freedom Fest.

On the other hand, the HFF might not be as crowded at 3:30 and you can always leave once the band finishes and get home in time to watch the fireworks from Fair Saint Louis on TV. And then sit on the couch and laugh at all the poor suckers trying to get out of Forest Park at the same time.








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