We reviewed Winter Wednesdays this season, and while those have certainly been on the rise, it’s amazing to me how big Waterfront Wednesdays have been getting over the last few years. We haven’t lived in Louisville since the inception of this free concert series (would have loved to have seen Dawes in 2010!), but even since 2012, the caliber of the bands and the size of the audience has grown tremendously. When we talked with Stacy Owen beforehand, she filled us in a little on the behind-the-scenes work that goes into making these events the successes that they are (check out the full interview here). From what we gathered, she puts a ton of thought into the choosing of specific bands, focusing especially on those who can connect with the audience for an engaging performance.
For the first Waterfront Wednesday of 2015, Stacy and WFPK roped in Nicki Bluhm & The Gramblers, JD McPherson, and headlining act Shakey Graves. Our hectic coaching and teaching schedule didn’t allow us to make it to the Big Four Lawn for Nicki Bluhm, but we’ve been told it was a great opening set. We’ve heard WFPK play a few of JD McPherson’s newer tunes, including the catchy “Let the Good Times Roll” that they sang to close out their set. JD and the band played with a feel-good energy that radiated off the stage, infiltrating the audience, keeping the fans through the middle part of the evening.
Shakey Graves was just recently in town for the official Avett Brothers after party along with Willie Watson. His return to The Ville was much anticipated after that Mercury Ballroom performance, and he did not disappoint. The set featured a variety of full band ensembles, solo tunes, and guest duets (it’s not a complete Waterfront Wednesday without a performance from at least one member of Houndmouth), all of which had the audience singing along.
WFPK – you’ve got us geared up for one hell of a Waterfront Wednesday season.