Join WTTS bloggers Rob Humphrey and Jim Ritter this weekend at the Forecastle Music Festival in Louisville, Kentucky. They’ll share stories, pics, and more right here in the Forecastle Festival blog, courtesy of Brothers Floor Covering.
SATURDAY – 3:31PM
Here we are. Ready for Day Two at Forecastle 2016.
Day One was eventful and hectic. It all started with the festival being evacuated, due to weather, a little over an hour after it started. Forecastle was evacuated last year on the first day as well. That happened late in the evening during Sam Smith’s headlining set. Both evacuations went smoothly and without incident, this years was a little more confusing because no one was sure when we would be let back in and how the lineup was going to be affected. Turns out they reopened the gates after an hour and a half or so. All of the performers played with a slightly modified schedule.
On the topic of the performances, if the festival is being scored like a competition, Bully won the first day. The relatively new band from Nashville took the Port Stage right around sundown and delivered a blistering set. Other highlights included the headlining set from The Avett Brothers and Dr. Dog’s late night show.
Can’t wait to see what today has in store.
Saturday – 6:26
It’s been an amazing day and a half of music. After being evacuated last night (due to weather) it has been show after show of jaw dropping. Hands down the best show so far was Bully. They played last night at 8:45 and as the sun went down the band kicked it into another gear. The veracity of Alicia Bognanno howl is perfectly complimented by the aggressive playing of the band.
I just got done watching The Arcs and the Dan Auerbach led group knows how to entertain a crowd. Dan had the aura of a Rock star from the moment he took the stage and he even tried to moon walk. It’s been so much fun to see all of these amazing musicians and I’m looking forward to catching Nothing, Local Natives and Alabama Shakes tonight!
SUNDAY – 1:13PM
The heat arrived in Louisville for Day Two of Forecastle. It wasn’t the punishing heat that was here last year but it was hot enough. Staying cool and hydrated was the order of the day.
Highlights from Day Two included a solid set from Shakey Graves during which he brought Kelsey Wilson of Wild Child on stage to sing “Dearly Departed” with him. The set from Philadelphia band Nothing was without a doubt the loudest that I have ever heard at a festival and Local Natives were great on the Mast Stage.
The best performance of the festival, so far, came in the middle of the day from The Arcs. When Laura Duncan spoke with Dan Auerbach about the band, he was hesitant to call it a new band because they have all been playing together for quite awhile, which showed when they were on-stage. Festivals are full of distractions for the audience. You have four stages of music going at once, food trucks, tons of vendors and booths (this year you can literally do everything from buy a turntable to take a virtual reality adventure), the heat beating down and the beautiful setting of Waterfront Park. If a band can take the stage and make me forget all of that and focus solely on them, they are killing it. I didn’t move an inch while The Arcs were on-stage.
The headliner last night was Alabama Shakes. If you were at WTTS Rock On The River last year, you know how great they are live. Last night was no exception and they would have been a strong contender for the best show of the day but their set was marred by a bit of a sound issue. The band was tight but their set was quiet. The Mast Stage sits at the front of a massive open park area, the interstate runs right behind the back of the park. Even halfway back, I could hear the traffic on the interstate as the band was playing. I’m not sure why they didn’t crank it up a bit louder.
One final thing about yesterday and then it’s off to enjoy the shows. This is the third straight year I have attended this festival and every year I’m surprised by at least one band. I found that band yesterday. I had heard about Nashville’s All Them Witches a couple of times but wasn’t super familiar with the band. I had an open spot on my schedule for the day and saw that they were getting ready to play on the Port Stage. I walked over there and saw the largest crowd that I have seen at that stage. The band came out and I realized why everyone was there. They put on an energetic live set and I can’t wait to dive into their music further. Short notice but I did see on their schedule that they will be playing the Hi-Fi on Tuesday. If you want to see a great show, get on it.
Time to go see what there is to see today.
Sunday – 4:15
This has been the best three days of my life. The music and atmosphere of Louisville has been so positive. Every time I come to reflect on the performances it gets better and better. Last night, Big Gigantic won my heart. Every time the singer/saxophones told the crowd to throw your hands up, the crowd put their hands up. Every time he told us to jump, the crowd went wild. For being a duo they defiantly knew how to involve the crowd and get a big sound.
Alabama Shakes was a close second. They brought members of the Louisville’s Orchestra up on stage to perform songs from their second album Sound And Color. I could not believe how in sync they were. If you saw them last year at our first Rock On The River you know the spectacular sound they produce. It was the perfect way to end the night.
As for today, The Suffers got it all started for me. I had never heard of them but they brought funk and soul to the festival. Also performing at the same time was Anderson East. I jumped over to catch the second half of his set and I have to say, he sounds exactly like he does on his album. If you haven’t seen him live, check out his performance last year in Sun King Studio 92. The rest of the day has another great lineup of music. White Denim is next followed by Unknown Mortal Orchestra, followed by Death Cab For Cutie and Ryan Adams. My only compliant about the festival is that the musicians can’t play longer.