Join WTTS bloggers Rob Humphrey and Josh Lantz this weekend at the Forecastle Music Festival in Louisville, Kentucky. They’ll share stories, pics, and more right here in the Forecastle blog courtesy of Karma Records, Indy’s place for vinyl, CDs and more since 1970.
Forecastle Blog: Day One
The early part of Day 1 started with rain. As soon as we got out of our vehicle…the rain started to fall.
The first stop after entering the gates was the Mast Stage to see Benjamin Booker. The crowd was sparse to begin with but it didn’t take long for him to grab everyone’s attention. For a three piece band, these guys know how to make some noise, the best kind of noise.
After seeing Benjamin it was a short walk over the the Boom Stage to catch The Black Lips. The crowd was into these guys from the moment they took the stage until the moment they left. The Black Lips bring a ton of energy in their live show.
After seeing The Black Lips it was off to the Port Stage to catch the last half of Foy Vance‘s set. The crowd was really into the Irish singer’s music, singing along and enjoying the more laid back vibe that he brought to the festival.
When Foy Vance finished I had the opportunity to talk briefly with Benjamin Booker. We talked about the excitement and nervous energy surrounding the release of his debut album.
After chatting with Benjamin it was back to the Mast Stage to see Gary Clark Jr. and then over to the Boom Stage where I was scheduled to talk with Jim Eno of Spoon.
While Rob was listening to music and interviewing bands, I was walking around soaking in the Forecastle atmosphere. From a giant boat being painted to row of art galleries the Festival is full of music, art, and all kinds of random sightings. Friday was full of different combinations of music. I was excited to see Outkast later on that night so I positioned myself near the middle of the crowd for the last part of Gary Clark Jr. on the main stage (Mast Stage). Thankfully I did. Just as expected when Gary finished I was able to move even closer for Twenty One Pilots. Having never seen or heard their music, I was shocked by their set. A two piece band brought intense sound and crazy energy that eventually led to the entire crowd jumping and singing. Promising to give the crowd everything they had, the 75 minute set ended with a bang. Hoisted up by the crowd, the drummer and lead singer played separate drums that propelled liquid off of them.
Having grown up listening to Outkast, it was a show that I would not miss. Once Twenty One Pilots finished I quickly made my way through the crowd to the second row. In for the long haul like others around me I quickly made friends to create a “Great Wall of China” -like barrier. There would be no storming by to get closer from others behind us. What felt like an eternity quickly turned to heavy beats and guitar riffs. The set started with B.O.B. and ended with The Whole World with all the hits in between.
I am going to be completely honest. Making my way back into the media tent after the Outkast set and sitting down after a long day of standing and carrying equipment was heaven. It was the best 10 minutes that I could have asked for at that moment. 10 minutes quickly flew by before Rob and I realized that it was time to make our way to the late show at Headliners featuring Curtis Harding & St. Paul & The Broken Bones.
Forecastle Blog: Day Two
The second day at Forecastle has been all about music and interesting sights. Bands we’ve seen today: Boy & Bear, Spanish Gold, Lord Huron & Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings.
Boy & Bear put on a solid set this morning on the Boom Stage. Spanish Gold was the biggest surprise of the day for most of the crowd. They had everyone in front of the Mast Stage jumping and dancing. It was fun to watch the area in front of the Boom Stage fill up as Lord Huron starting playing and grabbing the attention of people walking by. Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings put on an incredible show. Everyone was dancing and smiling the entire time they were on stage.
It’s off to the Mast Stage to see Band of Horses next….
Day 2 for me was a little bit different from Day 1. I was able to walk around and interact with a lot of people in attendance. Got a chance to meet a gentleman by the name of Joe who was a huge Dead Head. He and I talked music for almost half an hour after the Sharon Jones and The Dap Kings set. Found out that he and I attend another music festival at the same time earlier this year. Thanks to Joe, I have some new books to pickup to learn more about marketing, music and The Grateful Dead.
My second encounter was with a young lady by the name of Joy. Talk about a huge Jack White fan. She had been to Nashville and Third Man Records a thousand times. Literally had seen Jack White hundreds of times. I am pretty sure it was borderline between fan and stalker. That said, she was super friendly and nice. I respectfully declined the brownie she offered me.
After a quick stop at the media tent to reload on Red Bull (thank God for that this weekend), I was off to have my face melted off by Jack White. Rob took my strategy from Day 1 and positioned himself correctly to get close to the front as possible. Myself, I stayed back (helpful tip to all those who attend a music festival, ladies make the best blockers when moving through giant crowds). I feel bad but I did not get the lady’s names who helped me position myself in the middle of the crowd about 20 feet back from the stage. Having only listened to Jack White and the White Stripes, I became a huge fan in 2.5 seconds of the first song. Amazing musician and great performer. I don’t know about Rob, but I will definitely try to see him again the next time he is close to town.
The night ended with Rob and I heading back to the hotel for a good night’s rest..NOT! While in Louisville it would be rude not to check out 4th Street. Talk about an area that is fun, loud, intense, energetic and full of passion for dancing. One could compare it to KOK (Kilroy’s on Kirkwood) and Broad Ripple times 10.
Last stop of the night, FOOD. Nothing like late night Steak N Shake to cap off a day/night of fun. Can’t wait for Day 3…
Here are some of the sites from around the festival.
Forecastle Blog: Day Three
We’re back for day three of Forecastle. Tonight’s headliner is Beck and we’re not leaving until he walks off the stage. We’ve been looking forward to this show all weekend long. Ray LaMontagne also plays tonight, along with Brett Dennen and Trampled By Turtles. It’s going to be a busy Sunday.
Last night we took in Band of Horses and Jack White. Band of Horses may have been the best show of the weekend, so far. Another highlight of the festival was Dwight Yoakam’s cover of Jackson Browne’s “The Pretender”. Jack White closed out last night’s festivities. His 90 minute set included songs from his new solo album Lazaretto as well as The White Stripes catalogue and The Raconteurs. He brought energy and excitement to the stage and he seemed to be enjoying it himself, I wouldn’t swear to it, but I think I saw him smile once or twice.
Lucius is starting…that means it’s time to hit the Mast Stage.
Well the sun finally showed it’s bright face today for the first time all weekend. HOT! Water was key for survival. I was able to bounce around again today checking out Lucius, Brett Dennen, Trampled By Turtles, Jenny Lewis, Nickel Creek, The Replacements, Ray LaMontagne, and Beck (heading there). My feet are cooking from all that walking. Of the 8 artists I was able to see, Trampled By Turtles was my favorite. It was the mandolin player’s birthday day (Erik Berry). Super cool to see and hear thousands of people sing “Happy Birthday” to him. Well, like I said, Beck is getting ready to start so I am hustling over to catch it. More of an update and photos to come later.
…Later Simply wow. Like Jack White, I was familiar with Beck’s music but had never seen him live. He was no disappointment at all. From start to finish he entertained the crowd and put on a tremendous show. The music, the crowd, the lights, the visual background screen behind Beck, the jokes that Beck told, were all just super cool. Sunday was a long hot day and it was well worth it once thousands of people started singing “Where it’s at. I got two turntables and a microphone”.
Photos of Day 3
Forecastle Blog: The Monday After
It’s lunch time on the Monday after Forecastle. Rob and I elected to make the drive back home Sunday night after the show. We were both really jacked up on adrenaline thanks to Beck so the first hour flew by. It wasn’t until I dropped Rob off in Bloomington that I got a chance to really collect my thoughts. The drive from Bloomington to Indianapolis is a peaceful journey at 2am. Thinking back over the weekend I was thoroughly impressed with the Festival. Not that I am a festival expert by any means. This one was different from other festivals I have been able to attend in the past. The music was great don’t get me wrong. Getting in and out was very easy. The crowd each day was friendly. Let me explain on that. I’ve been to festivals where people constantly push through because they HAVE TO BE upfront. Not the case here. People allowed you to move through the crowd until it was obvious there was no where else to go. People were happy. I never encountered the overly intoxicated drunk you normally see at shows. I also didn’t encounter too many people on drugs either (which was different). I got offered a brownie once (like I said before I respectfully declined), saw some young adults take a hit of acid, and some here and there were smoking (non-cigarettes of course). But overall that was it. This festival seemed more family friendly. Saw a ton of kids. Even little babies with headphones on which you can see in some pictures. I called the babies future rock stars in training all weekend. Which all of this leads me to the final ultimate question, “Would I attend again next year?” For the price of admission, cost of food and drinks, quality of music, crowd assessment, staff friendliness, quality of cleanliness, flow of traffic…Yes. Yes I would come back and encourage others to do the same. Bonnaroo is Bonnaroo. Hangout is on a beach but expensive. Coachella is a hike to try to get to from Indiana. Forecastle is a great festival for those looking to get a solid 3-Day music festival experience, and enjoy it!
Lastly I would like to thank the staff at Forecastle Festival for allowing me to attend and supplying me with Red Bull all weekend. Gracious hosts. I would also like to thank Karma Records who helped make this blog possible. I hope you enjoyed our coverage and photos of Forecastle Festival 2014. Thank you for joining Rob and I every step of the way this entire weekend.