The Pitchfork Music Festival is one of my summer highlights year after year, so choosing to head out of town during it to check out another fest, the Forecastle Festival in Louisville, Kentucky, was not an easy decision. However, the decision was made easier given that the Forecastle lineup was completely awesome, largely due to the fact that hometown heroes, My Morning Jacket, helped to curate this year's festival. So, was it worth it? Emphatically: YES. Simply put, Forecastle is, in my opinion, the biggest hidden gem of a music fest in the country. Bold statement? I don't think so - and I will devote my next three posts (one for every day of the fest) to showing you why I'll be returning to Louisville in order to get my Forecastle fix for years to come.
Aside from the music, Forecastle showcased Kentucky. It gave local establishments opportunities to share their art, sell their crafts, promote their causes, and feed the attendees. We'll see more of that in my upcoming posts, but I had to begin where I began Forecastle: at the bourbon lodge. It was love at first sight.
All bourboned up, I kicked off my musical weekend with Brooklyn's Tanlines (pictured: Jesse Cohen).
Tanlines (pictured: Eric Emm) has a indie rock/dance vibe. Promising sound.
Louisville locals, Nerves Junior, was a band on my radar before Forecastle so I was looking forward to checking them out. Apparently they've had some recent, um, personnel changes, but I was impressed regardless. They remind me of Radiohead, which I think is a major compliment (to say the least). Take a listen to their awesome debut album by clicking here.
Nerves Junior (pictured: Christopher Snow)
The Head and the Heart fans
The Head and the Heart put on a really beautiful show. Lots of harmonizing, lots of folk instruments, lots of ladies grooving in the audience, and at one point, Ben Sollee offered up his cello skills for a song.
I'm guessing his girlfriend dragged him to The Head and the Heart.
Atlas Sound (Bradford Cox) is always amazing. For more on him, check out my photos/brief review of his show at Lincoln Hall in March.
Another Forecastle bonus? The setting. Pretty incredible, especially at sunset. Right on the Ohio River.
There were graffiti artists creating art all weekend long. It was really neat to watch - and every time I walked by the area there was a different scene unfolding on and off the canvases.
Minnesota's Atmosphere brought their old school hip hop (and some new stuff, too!) to the main stage on Friday evening. The crowd dug it and so did I.
Beach House put on their typical dreamy set at sunset. Their music makes you want to lay in a hammock and stare at the clouds...or make out with someone. It's gorgeous.
Beach House (pictured: Alex Scally)
Beach House (pictured: Victoria Legrand)
Sleigh Bells was my Friday surprise. Having seen them a couple times previously, I thought I knew what I was in for when they walked on stage. However, they put on their most impressive performance yet (at least that I've seen). It was a hardcore, head-banging, crowd-surfing hell of a show.
Sleigh Bells (pictured: Derek Miller)
Sleigh Bells (pictured: Alexis Krauss)
I adore Flying Lotus so he was a clear festival highlight for me. Chill beats on a hot night.
Bassnectar finished off day one of Forecastle with some serious - you guessed it - BASS. I literally thought my eardrums were going to bust at one point.