Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Forecastle in Review

What a three days! I had a great time out in the blistering sun, soaking in as much of the music coming from the four stages as possible. Although I didn't go to any shows at the Ocean Stage or what I referred to as the BOOM! CHE! BOOM! CHE! Stage, the other three stages had a ton of great music to offer. Here are some of the acts I checked out:

Sandpaper Dolls

The three-piece a capella group from Louisville opened the festivities with a great version of “My Old Kentucky Home”.

23 String Band

I was not familiar with these guys before the show but loved their set. The fiddle player, who also played with Arnett Hollow, was quite impressive. Great bluegrass!


I hadn’t planned on seeing this high-energy band from Colorado, but as I was getting some “concessions” they started into Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” and I became drawn to the stage.

Maiden Radio

I love this band! The harmonies are tight and the songwriting is definitely there. We’re looking forward to the new album.

Drive-by Truckers

I was not really impressed with this band. I had seen them open for My Morning Jacket years ago and decided to give them another chance to no avail. How many songs can one band write with the same G-Cadd9-Dsus4 chord progression?

Yard Sale

It’s really too bad these guys are breaking up! I really enjoyed their set. I hope to catch their final show at Vernon Lanes on Saturday.

Arnett Hollow

Unfortunately I was not able to get good shots of the band because there were technical difficulties with the lights and the band played in the dark. Unfortunately Cheyenne was not with the band, but the rest of the guys picked up the slack.

Widespread Panic

Again, another band I just don’t get. They seemed bored on stage and the music didn’t move me, as much as it seemed it should judging by the people around me. I don’t know how they got the following they have. But, hey, that’s just one guy talking.

Lucky Pineapple

The Pineapple put on a great set with eyeballs abounding!

Modern English

I didn’t get to hear the one song I was hoping for, but these guys put on a pretty good early set on Saturday.

Black Diamond Heavies

My biggest surprise of the festival and in my top 5 performances of the entire weekend was the Black Diamond Heavies out of Nashville. It’s too bad they were saddled with a 30-minute early set on Saturday. I’m definitely going to catch these guys again!

Umphrey’s McGee

I was pleasantly surprised with these guys. Since I got three songs in the pit I ended up being there for about a half hour. Not bad for what they are.

Mucca Pazza

This 30-piece marching band was a ton of fun. I don’t own a lot of music by marching bands, but this is not your normal marching band. If you get a chance to see them, do it!

Shelby Park Soul Stew Kitchen

Chef Tim Tucker and the guys from A.M. Sunday are doing something really original. As the chef cooks, the band, led by Ray Rizzo, plays behind the sounds emanating from his cutting board. The band played tunes fittingly called Popcorn, Watermelon and Bourbon, and Catfish.

Wax Fang

What can I say about these guys that hasn’t been said before? They played three songs from their upcoming album, which all sounded good, especially the last song. I got a chance to interview Scott Carney on Sunday. The interview will be posted here soon.

Grace Potter and the Nocturnals

This lady’s got some pipes and some legs to boot. Any gal who plays a Flying V and can pull off “White Rabbit” has my full attention.


Cake put on a fun set, but what else would you expect from this band? I was pleasantly surprised to find out that they are very environmentally conscience and that their new album was recorded totally on solar power.


I got to sit in on an interview with lead singer Mark Mothersbaugh. I was taken aback by the seriousness this guy spoke with when his band, on the surface, seems like a “silly” band. There are obviously more layers to DEVO than I knew about. I enjoyed the interview and the set.

The Tillers

I was originally bummed that I couldn’t catch these guys’ first set because of schedule conflicts, but was excited when I heard they were offered a late night encore performance on Saturday. They play straightforward Bluegrass straight out of Cincinnati.


I was really impressed with these guys. They were joined on stage by Cheyenne Marie Mize and pulled out a great version John Prine's "Paradise" as well as a great set of original tunes. These guys are certainly worth checking out.


Although they only played with a two-piece I can’t help but be pulled in by Shauna’s performances of their beautifully crafted songs.

Sarah Watkins

Mrs. Watkins has a beautiful voice. I realized when watching her perform that she always was the best thing about Nickel Creek.

Whistle Peak

This is certainly one of the most interesting bands to come out of this area, possibly since Wax Fang. Whistle Peak put on a great set to a pretty good crowd at the North Stage.

The Pass

Now I see what the hype is about. Although these guys are a little more “dancy” than I’m used to I really enjoyed their set and have now jumped on the bandwagon.

She and Him

I had a great time watching She and Him up close. Yes, Zooey is a knockout and yes, M. can play that guitar.

The Ravenna Colt

It was great to see Johnny Quaid back on stage rocking out, this time as a front man. He hasn’t lost any of the energy that he used to bring to My Morning Jacket shows.

The Flaming Lips

The best was definitely saved for last. What a way to top off a great weekend of music! Part circus, part beautiful psychedelic trip, part rock show, the Flaming Lips brought beauty and positivity to a very thankful audience.

Although it was hot and I didn’t care for the amount of narcs in attendance, the festival was, by most accounts, a complete success. There were whispers that this year may be the last, but I think that rumor has been around since Forecastle began and J.K. always seems to find a way to make the next year the biggest and the best yet. Here’s hoping next year will be no exception.

More photos here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dylang37

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