One much needed change that Forecastle made this year was shrinking the VIP section at the Boom Stage. In years past, the front of this stage was divided in half by VIP ticket-buyers and regular ticket-buyers. This led to a tighter crowding of people not on the VIP side where I watched a few people get hurt. This year, the VIP section was smaller and further stage right so that the whole front barrier was occupied by non-VIP ticket buyers, who weren't as packed together as they had been before. It didn't seem to make much of a difference for the VIP concertgoers either. There were about the same amount of them as previous years, showing about the same level of engagement. Altogether it just looked like a safer environment for everybody.
|Portugal. the Man|
That being said, Portugal. the Man's performance was full of surprises. I was planning on skipping the second half to catch the beginning of Modest Mouse's set just because I've seen Portugal so many times, but halfway through their opener "Hip Hop Kids," when I noticed that Nick Reinhart (of Tera Melos, Bygones, and more recently Death Grips fame) was standing in on second guitar, I got comfortable. Though they did mostly pull from their latest album "Evil Friends," they threw a couple surprises into their set like "Floating," from In the Mountain in the Cloud, and "Chicago," from Waiter: You Viltures! and even "Day Man" from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Over the past few years I've seen them focus more and more on stringing their songs together so they don't have to stop as much during their set. When they closed, they covered "Another Brick in the Wall" into their recent single "Purple, Yellow, Red, and Blue."
|Modest Mouse... all of them|