Saturday, July 19, 2014

John's Forecastle 2014 Day One Review

Lovely Mermaids (ART side of Forecastle)

Although the weather was dark and rainy,  to the thousands who attended the first day of Forecastle, it sure beat the overwhelming heat of Forecastle Past. It was a little too chilly maybe for the Mermaids and Dancing Lifeguards placed around Waterfront Park, but they didn't show it if they were cold, and these little living art installations added to the atmosphere as well as larger than life sea-creature puppets that roamed the grounds.

Against Me! brought in a large crowd despite being on the boom stage, and despite playing at 4 pm, and was a huge success. Possibly not intentionally there as part of he "Activism" side of Forecastle, transgender front woman Laura Jane Grace (born Thomas James Gabel) spoke frequently about tolerance and acceptance for the LGBT community to great support from the crowd.
Spoon also played on the Boom stage to a large crowd at 7:45 pm. Being around for more than 20 years, it's no surprise they drew in a crowd. I remember several Forecastle's ago, there was a wooden half pipe by the entrance with people skating to I Turn My Camera On (my favorite Spoon song) and thought this is a band i'd like to see at Forecastle.    So i was pleased to see them on the roster this year, and they played I Turned My Camera On! I will say they sounded just like their albums, they were technically perfect, which may be a compliment, but for a live performance it would have been nice to see something with a little more pageantry.

OUTKAST killing it!
The pageantry came in droves with OUTKAST who played for more than a hour and a half with all the fervor and excitement of FREAKNIK past. also celebrating 20 years, Outkast opened with an amazing version of Bombs Over Baghdad  and blazed through their impressive catalog including Miss Jackson, ATLiens, Speakerboxxx, She Lives In My Lap, Caroline, Rosa Parks, and Hey Ya! while bringing up girls from the audience to dance along with them. They also had  video to go along with the songs, including footage of a woman stripping along to Ghettomuisck. Big Bio played last year at Forecastle from a chair due to a leg injury and slayed it, so it was amazing seeing him in full force! He brought with him some of the same musicians from last year's performance including  the uncompromising drummer Omar, and Debora Kelly on bass. They also brought a horn section, dancing girls, and back up singers Kesha Jackson and Joi: the Neutron Angels (complete with black angel wings). Despite lack luster reviews of this tour I can tell you Outkast has not skipped a beat, and if you missed them yesterday be sure to catch them at another fest such as Lalapalooza (Chicago 8/2) or OVO Fest (Toronto 8/3) before they head overseas or take another hiatus that may last waaay too long. And that was DAY 1!  

Big Bio (Photo by NA James/Eleven Music Magazine)

Andre 3000 (Photo by NA James/Eleven  Music Magazine)

Special thanks to Kristen Luther and Na James of Eleven Music Magazine for sharing images of Forecastle 2014.

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