Hey guys. I think we’ve officially recovered and wanted to share a few thoughts from Forecastle weekend. Keep scrolling for our favorite sets and photos from each day. Shout out to all of the partners who always help keep everyone On Board, and to Do502 for the chance to take some bomb photos.
65,000 is hella people.
I wrote down in my Festi-notes (phone) that it felt like there were a lot more people than usual. When all was said in done, my astute observations were actually true – this year’s Forecastle was the biggest yet. As has become the norm, a large portion of the crowd was made of the youth of Louisville out to take advantage of there not being an age requirement.
I’ve read a couple of reviews from some very respected humans now calling this year’s lineup safe, so I thought I’d add my 2 cents in (for whoever might care). In reality, this year’s lineup was pretty sound in both caution and concept. If you think of the major headliners, about half can easily be considered Louisville favorites and are in town fairly regularly, while the other half are less so. One review threw around the 2014 headliners, which in retrospect are that three-eyed sea monster that may never show its head again, so I think it is unfair on that front. That being said, this year’s Avett appearance included entirely new music (and lots of it), Brandi Carlile literally brought everyone to tears, Ben Harper is such a chameleon of an artist that no show will ever appear the same, and Death Cab made up for their missed Iroquois Amphitheater appearance last year. Keeping that in perspective, I think that there is a lot to be said about who came to Louisville this year, both attendees and artists. Could there have been more diversity and risks? Absolutely. But clearly AC Entertainment and JK McKnight’s picks spoke to lots of people.
Louisville looked damn good
With no major killer storms or terrifying flooding (see the previous two years’ reviews/photos), the Waterfront grounds were on point. Similarly, with bridge/highway construction moving towards completion, the Ohio River and views of downtown were hard to beat.
TSA Pre-Check and other cool free experiences
We decided to spend the $85 on getting a 5 year pre-check thing to fly, which involved little effort and resulted in a dope viewing area for the Mast Stage. For the first time, we stood in line for the Chaco free swag area and even tried on some shoes. The surprise of the weekend was the Newport RV thing. We really just wanted to go hang out with a friend in their viewing area but also were into checking out (for the first time ever) the cigarette promotion shiz. Well, an FYI for the future, they “can’t” let you in if you are not a regular smoker, so when they ask you, say that you smoke all the damn time or else you can’t go explore. Tito’s was as always a top choice, but we foolishly didn’t take advantage of the Bloody Mary bar like we usually do. Boo hiss.
After parties/shows on fleek
You could have chosen to not attend a second of the festival itself and still seen a lot of great music. Even better, a lot could have been for free. The Forecastle late-night shows aside, Vectortone Media made Haymarket and Galaxie HOT. Friday night was Dr. Dog and, as always, miraculous. We went for the trifecta Saturday night and stopped at Haymarket, outerSPACE, and Headliners before heading home. The music was fantastic (I can’t pass up chances to see Spirit Animal, The Pass, or 23 String Band) and the atmosphere was fun and local in spirit. Though I wish there would have been more people out to see these phenomenal bands, I can understand the role fatigue plays – spending 12 hours on your feet drinking beer and listening to music can be a lot. No hard feelings.
Aubrey: (Side note, I was not here Friday, so these are just Saturday/Sunday picks)
- Unknown Mortal Orchestra – So for some reason I woke up Sunday morning after a loaded Saturday singing their song, “So Good At Being In Trouble.” Clearly I was super pumped for this Sunday evening set.
- Sylvan Esso – The anticipation of seeing Sylvan Esso again and for longer than like 15 minutes was extreme. The pair works incredibly well together – Nick is bumping and Amelia is crafty.
- Teddy Abrams & Friends – Teddy pulled out all of the stops showcasing all the obnoxiously talented area has to offer. It was one of the larger crowds I saw this weekend at the Port Stage, and hopefully out-of-towners came by to see what this city has going on.
- AlunaGeorge – I had a good feeling about this set and my short meeting with the English duo was satisfying. Aluna Francis is a babe (called that one) and has a funky, anomalous air to her. I left the set feeling cool.
- Brandi Carlile – MFING QUEEN. I predicting sobbing for Brandi’s set and that premonition absolutely came true. Her overt joy while performing was felt, absorbed and then emanated from the entire crowd.
- Liz Vice – Her soulful voice provided all of the chills in the hot Friday afternoon sun, including when she called upon Louisvillians to take a stand against injustice.
- Wild Child – Possibly one of the most fun sets of the weekend. Kelsey and Alexander definitely brought a panty rocket on stage and shot multi-colored undergarments into the crowd. Multiple times.
- Bully – Homegirl is a bad woman. And with that epically gorgeous sunset as the backdrop, it was a pretty incredible set.
- Alabama Shakes – Being so close to the goddess that is Brittany Howard was an experience that I won’t be forgetting any time soon.
- Teddy Abrams & Friends – I have to second everything that Aubrey said. I’m sure we’ve said this before, but Teddy does an incredible job of incorporating so many local artists into every production to showcase their talent. Like, no one got enough of Carly Johnson’s crazy pipes.
- Spirit Animal – Saturday was a super long day, not only because of the extensive list of fantastic daytime sets, but also because the plethora of nighttime shows forced our tired behinds to stay out late. Luckily, the Spirit Animal show at outerSPACE got that second (or maybe third) wind kickstarted.
- The Suffers – Ok, admittedly we missed their 1:30 Sunday afternoon set, but we saw snippets on Snapchat AND we got to sit down with them to talk about spicy ketchup, fab clothing, and new music finds. (PS – interview is coming soon!)
-Aubrey & Brittany