The lineup at Forecastle Festival spoke volumes to Louisville’s eccentric culture. Southern enough to get down with some country (and of course, bluegrass) but hip enough to party to Griz or Big Boi. There was a ton of awesome music that went down on the riverside of Waterfront Park, and some of it is still in my head almost 2 weeks later! We broke down the list of those songs that I’m still playing on Spotify, because the performance was just that polarizing.
The Flaming Lips – “Race For The Prize”
The spectacle that the Lips put on is really unlike any other act. The glitz and glamour and lights and lasers should be reserved for a Beyonce concert, but somehow these indie rock weirdos pull it off nicely. Their set came to a peak during a slow-then-fast version of my personal favorite, “Race For The Prize.”
String Cheese Forecastle Incident – “Rivertrance”
No stranger to the blog, we were proud to see SCI thrice during Forecastle. While all three sets offered something a little different, the biggest impression was left when the boys were joined by members of the Travelin’ McCourys, Leftover Salmon and the one and only Sam Bush for what they called a “pickin’ party.” The 10 members of this superjam were in high spirits during their set, with each musician soloing and passin’ it to their peer in a bluegrass cipher. “Rivertrance” was one of the highlights, but the entire set was really incredible.
Jim James – “A E I O U”
The soulful singer of My Morning Jacket really proved that this isn’t just a half-assed solo appearance. When you go to a Jim James show, you can expect something different in the best possible way. From beginning with this neo-masterpiece to covering “Let It Be,” James is not a show worth missing.
Outkast – “Ms. Jackson”
A broken leg didn’t stop Big Boi from rocking a fat crowd at Forecastle. Rapping from his throne, the ATLien busted out old-school cuts and new-school flavor to please the concert-goers.
Nosaj Thing – “Eclipse Blue”
One of the best feelings in the world is when you walk up on an artist playing your favorite song. That is how Nosaj Thing was when I crept up on him just before he dropped “Eclipse Blue.” The melancholy electronica beat was accompanied by LEDs on a stage under the highway (that’s right…) He would go on to play everything from Flying Lotus to Kendrick Lamar in a truly unique DJ set.
Old Crow Medicine Show – “Cocaine Habit”
Well it couldn’t be Kentucky without a little country, right? These guys put on an awesome show, and it wasn’t just because of 10,000+ people screaming “Wagon Wheel.” The song “Cocaine Habit” saw each member taking turns with a verse about whiffing the white stuff, and I loved it!
Avett Brothers – “I Killed Sally’s Lover”
The Avett Brothers’ set wasn’t my favorite of the festival, but when they’re playing their good songs, it’s hard to deny the group. This is the one that really stuck in my head from the set; a tale of exacting revenge on a love triangle. The high energy made engraved it in my mind.
Datsik & Excision – Swagga (Datsik’s Trap VIP)
A little thunderstorm nearly cut Datsik’s set straight from the final hours of the festival. Luckily enough, the dubstep producer was able to drop his bass bombs on some ecstatic young’ns who nearly has their good time washed away. The crowd who stuck around really wanted to see it, which made Datsik’s “Swagga” VIP go off like an alarm clock.
Matt & Kim – “Daylight”
Boy-oh-boy was it fun watching Matt & Kim play “Daylight” to a sea of crowd-surfing, screaming, dancing, singing humans. I’m not saying these guys are setting any sort of bar when it comes to musicianship, but I’ve seen a couple artists who could take notes at that little thing called FUN that is going on up there on the stage. This duo has that part down, if nothing else…
Led Zeppelin – “Going To California”
Robert Plant is old. He can’t sing quite like he used to and naively enough, I hadn’t given any real thought to the idea he may not be able to hit the notes like he used to. Plant and his Sensational Space Shifters played a mix of their songs with reworked Zeppelin classics; some of which were great and others were lacking. “Going To California” was nice though, and the group’s weirdness slowly ushered in a storm that would cut their set a little short.