Saturday, July 13, 2013

John's Forecastle Day 1 Review

For anyone keeping track, Thursday I listed my hopes and concerns about this year's Forecastle, in What To Expect When You're Expecting (A Big Weekend). And now just a mere few hours after DAY 1, while lying in bed yawning and writing to you, I can I say I had a great time so far, and was more than pleasantly surprised when It came to some of my concerns.  The four stages were closer together, making it easier to run from one act to another.
Also in the past I had issues with the No Outside Water  Allowed; all but one park water fountain was turned off, and a 12oz bottle of water cost $3 (and drink tix came in $10 packs).
View from Forecastle's one water fountain in 2010

This year I was pleasantly surprised to find a free water station where anyone could fill up any container they brought with them. Of course it doubled as a sales vendor offering up Camel Bak hydration systems; but i'll take a win where I see one.
View from Camel Bak's 'Freshly Filtered' water Station this year 

Instead of a local stage this year they have a WFPK stage, and it broadcast live on 91.9 for those Louisvillians who may have not been able or afford to see the fest. Granted the headlining bands where on the other larger stages (and therefore were not broadcast), the WFPK stage held mostly hometown heroes (The Pass, Night Beds, Moon Taxi).
The first band to kick off the WFPK stage was Louisville darlings The Pass. I had actually been looking forward to seeing this performance due to rumors of special guest appearances, and they did not disappoint.
 The show began with an explosive version of Prince's I Would Die 4 U with guest vocals from Sarah (of The Ladybirds), J Perry (of The Deloreans) and Scott Carny (of Wax Fang), and they all returned with local hero Jalin Rose a little later in the set for When Doves Cry. I wonder if this wasn't a small hint from The Pass to the curators of Forecastle that more local artists needs to be included (the number of local bands being about 5 compared to 2010's  25).  It was a great show all around with some of Louisville's finest representing.
The Pass with J Perry, Scott Carny and Sarah Teeple

Another of the area's favorites,Houndmouth, were slated for the WFPK stage but got moved to the 'bigs' (due probably to they're recent explosion on the national level and also to some of the Forecastle headliners canceling at the last minute such as Animal Collective).  I caught the tail end of their show on the main stage (mast stage) but couldn't get very close due to the massive crowd that had showed up to cheer them on. So it shouldn't be a surprise that after their show I met them and had no idea who they were. I saw Louisville champion Sean Bailey (Louisville Music Culture) talking with some folks about a very strange vegetable drink that was available at Forecastle: Carrots, Ginger, and an entire jalapeno. A very lovely girl (who as it turns out is Katie Toupin the keyboardist) said despite it not being pleasant she couldn't stop drinking it and insisted I try hers, which I reluctantly did.. and i gagged and said it tasted like spicy dirt, all had a laugh.  It's nice to see hometown brothers and sisters do well, and maintain a humble personality to boot.

The Best part of Day 1 for me was BIG BOI on the boom stage. Before the show a large throne was placed in the middle of the stage and a long intro summoned Big Boi who seemed to be taking his time, which caused some speculation.. but when he did appear he had two crutches and a massive full leg brace on. "Don't know if y'all heard but had surgery six weeks ago.. getting stronger by the minute, but wouldn't miss Forecastle for the world" brought massive cheers from the crowd. He went on to explain that after sitting around watching TV after the surgery made him realize he needed to get back to work. He even did a call and response with the crowd, that was a message for himself: "Stop Watching TV! Bitch read A Book! Stop Watching TV! Bitch read A Book!" Even confined to his throne with his leg elevated Big Bio delivered with enthusiasm. In fact the entire stage was filled with singers, dancers, and musicians.. and children.. who all seemed very excited to be there. I can't imagine the show he puts on when he is fully mobile.
keep that leg elevated

 You know it's a good time when the folks who have to be there, such as the EMTs and stage security, are enjoying themselves! Watching the EMS team sing along and dance was great fun! And that was DAY 1!

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