Forecastle Festival 2015

Forecastle Festival

Friday, 7:13PM – Roughly halfway through the first day of the festival. Forecastle 2015 has been fun so far, extremely hot however. So far I have discovered a new band, Fly Golden Eagle, taken in a bit of Cold War Kids and watched St. Paul & The Broken Bones wow another audience. I highly doubt those guys will ever come across an audience that they can’t win over. There has also been some delicious tacos and crazy good doughnut holes glazed in a local stout and covered in Fruity Pebbles, you have to love life on a festival diet. Cage The Elephant is taking the Mast Stage soon…which is my cue to get back out there. – Rob

Nathan Willett of Cold War Kids
Cold War Kids

St. Paul of St. Paul & The Broken Bones
St Paul & The Broken Bones

Click Here to see all the photos at Forecastle Festival 2015.

Saturday, 2:09PM – Last night was interesting, to say the least. Cage The Elephant put on a fantastic show. Lead singer Matt Shultz attacked the music, the stage, the crowd and anything that came near him and it was fun to watch. I saw the last part of Houndmouth’s performance on the Boom Stage after Cage The Elephant had finished. Houndmouth is a great live band and the huge audience that they drew was a testament to that.

Sam Smith was the headliner last night, and this is where things got interesting. He opened his set with “I’m Not The Only One” which engaged the crowd as everyone sang along. He was personable with the audience….marveling at the fact that this many people in Louisville, KY even know who he is, he told the story of a tough breakup that lead him to write most of his first album and he had the crowd say hello to his father, who was in attendance. There was a fireworks display to the right of the stage, over the Ohio River during his set. Night one of Forecastle 2015 was headed towards a perfect ending. Then the winds came. Seemingly out of nowhere, strong wind just started blowing dirt and dust around the grounds, there was an announcement on the loudspeakers that heavy storms were moving in and the festival site was being evacuated. Twenty minutes later, we were in our car. The staff of the festival deserves a tip of the cap for doing a great job in getting everyone out of harms way in a quick and calm manner.

There were three after shows last night. One of them was planned on-board a boat, so the weather forced it’s cancellation. The other two went off as planned. We went to a club called Headliners to see Lord Huron. I was concerned that I wasn’t going to be into the show. It had been a long hot day and the music wasn’t starting until after midnight. Turns out I had nothing to worry about. Lord Huron’s new album Strange Trails is one of my favorites of 2015 so far and as good as the band sounds on the record, they sound even better live. Their stage show is full of energy and everyone in the club was having a great time. No one seemed to be bothered by the fact that it was nearly 3AM when the show wrapped up. Based on the energy in the place, the band could have played as long as they wanted and no one would have complained.

It’s off for Day 2 now….let’s find out what else Forecastle 2015 has in store. – Rob

Matt Shultz of Cage the Elephant
Cage The Elephant

Matt Myers of Houndmouth

Click Here to see all the photos at Forecastle Festival 2015.

Robert Randolph of The Word
Robert Randolph

Cary Ann Hearst of Shovels and Rope
Shovels And Ropes

Sunday, 2PM – Day two of the Forecastle Festival was full of great performances, with a couple of surprises thrown in. The day got off to a late start. There was some prep work that needed to be done to the grounds from the storms on Friday night, which delayed the opening of the gates by an hour and a half or so. This delay caused the schedule of performances to be shuffled around slightly.

The first band that I took in was Desaparecidos, the political punk band fronted by Conor Oberst. Their show was high energy throughout and full of political themes. The crowd seemed to be right on board.

After Desaparecidos, there was a little time to kill. I was able to utilize this time to get a strawberry-banana smoothie. Can’t beat that, especially in this heat. I was also able to take a bit of time and walk around the grounds, checking out some of the local art that is on display before making my way back to the Mast Stage for the start of The Word.

The Word is a super group of sorts. Made up of Robert Randolph, John Medeski, Luther Dickinson, Cody Dickinson and Chris Chew. The performance was pretty much what you would expect from musicians of this caliber. They tore though the songs, flawlessly.

Once The Word had finished it was time to make it to the Boom Stage for Shovels & Rope. This is when it occurred to me that there wasn’t going to be any down time between shows with the new condensed schedule. Shovels & Rope put on a fun show, they drew an amazing crowd.

Adam Granduciel of The War On Drugs
The War On Drugs

Click Here to see all the photos at Forecastle Festival 2015.

Sturgill Simpson
Sturgill Simpson

After Shovels & Rope, The War On Drugs took over the Mast Stage. I enjoyed listening to them, although I was surprised that their set was as laid back as it was. I really expected more punch from these guys.

The next stop was the Boom Stage to take in Sturgill Simpson. I had heard a lot of good tings about this guy and he lived up to every one of them. I expected to like the show, I didn’t expect to like it quite this much. Sturgill lives in a realm somewhere between alt-country, Americana and jam music. The package comes together wonderfully and the audience never stops dancing.

After Sturgill Simpson I found myself with a little time to kill and I wandered around until something caught my ear. There was a sound coming from the Ocean Stage that had just a hint of funk to it and I had to check it out. What I found was the biggest surprise of Forecastle 2015, so far. Cherub was on stage. A duo that is part electronic, part dance, part funk and part 80’s pop. As their set went on the crowd continued to get larger. There was an intense party atmosphere around the stage and no one was standing still. Cherub, as of this moment, put on the best show that I have seen here at the festival. A huge surprise considering I hadn’t heard of them until stumbling across them playing the smallest stage on the grounds.

Almost the minute that Cherub wrapped up, My Morning Jacket took the Mast Stage. Nothing fancy about their show, just amazing songs played perfectly in front of a rabid hometown crowd. There wasn’t a lot of banter between songs either, although Jim James did stop down long enough to talk about the great arts and music scene here in the city of Louisville.

Jim James of My Morning Jacket
Jim James

Click Here to see all the photos at Forecastle Festival 2015.

Day two at Forecastle 2015 was a wonderful experience on all fronts and I expect great things from this third and final day. As I’m typing this in the media tent, I can hear Noah Gundersen on the Boom Stage playing a hauntingly slow cover of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” That means it’s going to be a great day, right?

Kanene Donehey Pipkin of The Lone Bellow

John Gourley of Portugal. The Man

Isaac Brock of Modest Mouse

Click Here to see all the photos at Forecastle Festival 2015.