On day three of the Forecastle festival, things kicked off with a performance by The Wild Feathers on the WFPK stage with Tennis picking up around 2:45 to bring their slightly-reminiscent-of-No-Doubt sound to a scorched waterfront. Temperatures were high, but things really picked up when Grace Potter and the Nocturnals took the Mast Stage, opening with Stop the Bus from their '07 album, This is Somewhere. The Nocturnals played through a lot of their self-titled album and The Lion The Beast The Beat for their set and, while I didn't expect too much from them, I have to say their leading lady can tear a guitar up. The band even covered Hank Williams' Devil's Train halfway through their set while the audience was in full participation.
I'm not entirely sure anyone knew what to expect when Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters sauntered out onto the Mast Stage, but I'm certain that nobody was disappointed in the music. The band got through nine songs, including four Led Zeppelin tunes, with Plant sounding nearly as good as he did the first time he sang Black Dog. The nostalgia of the old hippies in attendance didn't last long, as rain blew in, forcing a very angry group of British men off of the stage.
Thousands of fans gathered under the overpass to seek shelter from the rain that started during Robert Plant's set, forcing the band off stage. The rain continued for nearly a half an hour before crews took back to the stage to remove the tarps they had set down to protect the musical equipment. As soon as the rain let up, the crowds rushed back out to get as close as they could for the Avett Brothers, who started an hour later.
Despite earlier cancellations and thousands of soggy shoes, The Avett Brothers started on time to dive head-first into an energetic and audience inspired performance. Taking songs from their entire discography, the band hee'd and hawed and jumped up and down, taking breaks occasionally to cover traditional songs like Just a Closer Walk With Thee and Blue Ridge Mountain Blues. The music stopped at eleven o'clock on the dot, just as scheduled. But after only five minutes backstage, the boys came back out to thank the audience for "using their love to push the rain away" and played a four song encore that began with Townes Van Zandt's No Place to Fall and ended with their own fan favorite I and Love and You.