One of the best mother’s day traditions in St. Louis is the annual art fair at Laumeier Sculpture Park. The sculpture park is already a creative hot spot for the area, but this weekend it comes alive with music, food, and endless stalls of art. The 30th annual art fair was put on with help from various local sponsors including Edward Jones, KDHX, and St. Louis Public Radio. When attendees weren’t joining in impromptu drum circles or browsing the pop up galleries, the food was the place to be. Along with a City Wide from 4Hands you could treat yourself to area favorites like Capitalist Pig and Mission Taco.
Still yet to play this weekend are The Funky Butt Brass Band and Trixie Delight, but we headed down for The Vanilla Beans who played a noon set on the stage near everyone’s favorite giant eyeball after singer songwriter Johnny Fox. The three piece band is made up of Andrew Garces, Todd Anderson, and Ani Kramer.
You may have heard of The Vanilla Beans from their title of RFT Best Pop Band 3 years in a row, or you might have seen their vinyl on the shelves at Vintage Vinyl. Their full studio album Wavey is available on some very lovely marbled colored-vinyl. Despite their tangible success, they are completely low key and accessible as a band. At one point Andrew took some time to roll around on the grass in front of the stage during a solo. Their entire set was filled with some extremely deep deadpan humor. The amusing moments of awkward silence were a lovely juxtaposition to the pure jams that came in between.
If you like bands like So Many Dynamos, who we covered earlier this year, you’ll enjoy the synth filled goodness of The Vanilla Beans. Andrew and Todd provide a solid Pop-Rock base, but the signature of their sound truly comes in with Ani’s well timed additions on the Synth.
This is not a band that worries about being self-serious and well-polished, and it’s better off that way. Truly the fourth member of the group is a laptop which helps them provide backup percussion and synth lines. The raw trade off vocals between Ani and Andrew give a sort of early 2000s indie vibe that works well with their sometimes fumbling vocals and moments of dyssynchrony.
Each song they played was described as either a “love song” or a “sad song”, but each track carries the same catch up kid attitude and upbeat energy. The lyrics in their love songs are earnest and classic, with a humorous tone that keeps the vibe fun and silly. Some bands get together and have a well-planned vision for themselves as artist, it’s clear The Vanilla Beans just want to get together with their friends and have a good time making some really good music. You can check out their album at Vintage Vinyl or for those without a record player their entire discography is available on their Bandcamp.
Make sure to go check out the final day of the fair this Sunday. Admission is $10.00 but free to members.
More photos from this afternoon: