Forecastle Festival came and went Amidst a sea of Louisville’s finest bohemian culture and a whole lot of marijuana smoke. Seriously. A lot. It’s hard to walk through the crowd and not pick up a contact buzz. Love it or hate it, it’s just the way it is.
Let’s get one thing straight though… JK McKnight’s brain-child, Forecastle, is still, hands-down, one of the best music festivals in the midwest. Here are our picks of the best sh!t that went down on Day 1.
1. Twenty One Pilots
Yes, I realize Outkast also played, closing out the day and I still don’t care. Twenty One Pilots were insane. I’ve heard amazing things about their shows, but have never had the privilege of seeing one live. It was worth the price.
From drum-kit crowd surfing by drummer, Josh Dun, to a crowd-walking bout by vocalist Tyler Joseph, they put on the show the audience wanted to see. Some may call it gimmicky, but the performance itself was not. Best part, they pretty much played their entire album. Not like they had much of a choice though seeing it’s their only one to day.
Here’s the deal… It’s Outkast, they’re 20 years old now and still putting on shows like they’re trying to win over a crowd for the first time. It’s magical. Apparently Outkast just returned from a few week stint in Amsterdam, flush with kush. Ganj so important, they had to have a 2 minute conversation about it on stage, pretty much to the entire crowds approval. Sidenote: Apparently, Louisville is dying to get some of the same love Colorado did.
Andre 3000 rocked a jump suit that read, Obviously Oblivious, with a giant sold tag on it. It’s almost like he’s mocking the American media consumption state-of-affairs. Or maybe I’m just projecting my own opinions. Oops.
Even though Spoon pretty much rose to fame from their feature on The O.C. (which is potentially one of the worst shows I’ve ever seen) they’re still a band that feels very small. They played through all their hits with a sense of nostalgia mixed with renewed enthusiasm. Of course, “That’s The Way We Get By” was the crowd pleaser. All in all, an awesome show.
4. Local Natives
Because we’re a bunch of assholes we didn’t make it in time for this show. Which I’m incredibly bummed about. Local Natives always put on an amazing show, especially acoustic ones. Hopefully this video makes up for our mistake.
After getting our faces melted off from an incredible opening day at Forecastle Fest, it was hard to imagine how day two could measure up. The crowds, the shows and the sheer energy made for an even killer second day. Here’s what you missed:
1. Spanish Gold
Talk about a group with some smooth sounds, Spanish Gold gave Forecastle a taste of Southern soul. Featuring Patrick Hallahan of My Morning Jacket, Dante Schwebel of City and Colour, and Adrian Quesada of Brownout, it was the perfect trio of talent to start the day. Spanish Gold kept it cool even in the scorching heat.
2. Jalin Roze
This man straight from the streets of Louisville put on a crazy show for his hometown crowd. With j’s lit and smoke lifting, Jalin Roze somehow got everyone even higher to his Hip-Hop beats. He even payed homage to Outkast’s SpottieOttieDopaliscious… You can imagine what happened during that classic track. Jalin owned the stage and made everyone an honorary Louisvillilian.
3. Lord Huron
As if the hoopers, ribbon dancers and bohemian fashion wasn’t hippy enough for you, Lord Huron added to the mix with his patchouli laden tunes. Seriously, if nature could talk it would sound like these guys. It’s all about peace man…
4. Band of Horses
If you missed experiencing Ben Bridwell’s breathtaking vocals live, shame on you. Band of Horses played a show that made the couples kiss, ladies sway and Ben light a well deserved cigarette. He made love to the crowd that night and we all took it with open arms.
5. Jack White
Closing out the night as a rock star should, Jack White gave the people of Forecastle a bat shit crazy performance complete with him chugging champagne during the entire show and smashing the drums with his guitar.
In typical form, Jack was joined on stage by a full ensemble including brooding fiddler and vocalist Lillie Mae and a man with electric white hair playing the invisible synth. There wasn’t a body in the sea of people who weren’t screaming his lyrics and/or moshing to crowd favorite Lazaretto. The highlight of the show was of course the encore performance of Seven Nation Army. Properly buzzed, Jack tore it up on the guitar giving everyone what they came to see and more. Jack White is not a man… he is a legend.
With knees aching, heat blazing and running on fumes, we made it to day 3… at least some of it.
These two chicks played just as rough as the boys did with their high-octane set. Drums, keyboards and brightly colored dresses were all Lucius needed to get the crowd jumping to their unique sound. Seriously, they’re like a mixture of indie, electro and americana packaged in gift wrap. They haven’t been around long, but I have a feeling they’ll be on your radar soon enough.
2. Brett Dennen
Have you ever seen a ginger wiggle his hips and sing to you sweetly in 80% humidity? That’s exactly what Brett Dennen brought to his fans at Forecastle. Don’t let his boyish looks fool you, this guy is full of attitude and is a master of his sound considering he’s been around since 2004. Plus, he performed barefoot. How cool is that?
We were again assholes and missed the latter part of day 3 because it was too hot, but enjoy these random captures from around the festival grounds:
This guy just couldn’t stop prancing in his quite… decorative costume. Stare for too long and he might’ve seduced you.
Who doesn’t need a dancing lifeguard to help guide you to the main stage?
Hunter S. Thompson kept a watchful eye over the crowd making sure Louisville stayed weird. That or he’s tripping balls…
Your friendly neighborhood crop-top wearing bear who would’ve indeed “cuddle you so hard.”
Whoever said fake eyelashes weren’t made for glasses obviously didn’t meet these girls. Fear not glasses wearers, your new trend is around the corner.
Speaking of trends, the head dress seemed to be a vital accessory to many. Cultural appropriation was such a festival must have this year!
I don’t even know what was happening here. We’ll just call it art.
Not every show could be your favorite and Forecastle knew this, so they gave festival goers a chance to pass the time with a classic game of outdoor ping pong.
Whether you call Forecastle the Coachella of the Midwest or Hippy Fest, one thing is for sure that it makes for one badass weekend! Other festivals could learn a thing or two from this Louisville staple. See you next year on the waterfront.