Saturday, July 15, 2017

Review: Forecastle 2017 Day One Review

Forecastle hit the ground running with an action packed day 1, on Friday, July 14th,
starting at 3pm with Louisville psychedelic group Twin Limb on the Mast stage. Despite a cascade of equipment failures the band, consisting of Lacey Guthrie, Maryliz Bender, and Kevin Ratterman, toughed it out and played like champs to a crowd of nearly 1,000 people. With a crowd of this size, and before 5pm on a friday, it would be an easy assumption to make that local bands do have a draw and could be a major facet to this Louisville Fest, instead of being stacked up early on friday.

Quiet Hollers

Jim Bob & Aaron of Quiet Hollers

At 4:15 the Quiet Hollers hit the WFPK Port stage,  with a slightly smaller crowd, but still impressive for a local band, and even more impressive that the medium sized crowd sang along to Mont Blonc from their 2015 Self Titled album.  The band played several songs from their Amen Breaks released last week, including Broken Guitar and Wheel, in which frontman Shadwick Wilde addresed the crowd with "I don't make the 808s, I make the heartbreak'.

Jaye Jayle

Todd and Neil of Jaye Jayle

Jaye Jayle with Emma Ruth Rundle

The local music spotlight continued on the WFPK Port stage at 6 pm with Jaye Jayle, playing favorites from their album 'House Cricks And Other Excuses To Get Out' as well as songs from the Jaye Jayle/Emma Ruth Rundle split EP, as well as the occasional appearance onstage from Rundle herself.  Included with the band on stage was Louisville artist Rita Cameron creating a painting on stage, causing frontman Evan Patterson to say to the crowd "if you don't already know, art and music will save the world" perhaps a commentary on the shrinking display of visual art at Forecastle; once a festival of Art-Music-Activism.

A frequent guest of Forecastle, Cage the elephant, while not being local in the sense of Louisville, but from Bowling Green Kentucky, hit the stage with a fervor rarely seen in rock these days.   Singer Matt Shultz, in patented tight pants and no shirt stalked the stage (and climbed through the ecstatic crowd while singing) sounds like jack White backed by the pixies and looking like Sid Vicious with his extremely high voltage stage presence like a fire ball (and also sometimes employing actual fire balls) that was routinely interjected into the crowd  with songs like "Punchin' Bag" and ''Ain't No Rest For The Wicked' as well as a flawless cover of Wreckless Eric's 'Whole Wide World' got the whole audience singing along to Cage the Elephant favorites like 'Cigarette Daydreams'.

 At 9 pm the whole festival ran to the Boom stage when Queen's We Are The Champions' roared out of the P.A. and fell straight into 'Talk To Me' as Killer Mike and El-P hit the stage with the expressed mission to bring an upbeat and positive party vibe to Forecastle. Frequently addressing the crowd with compliments to Louisville and to the energy of the crowd Run The Jewels mesmerized a massive crowd with mostly favs from their December 24th, 2016, album '3' including 'Call Ticketron'.

Killer Mike (L) & El-P (R)

 El P and Killer Mike moved constantly all over the stage. Dressed more like dads than rock stars with Killer Mike in an old t shirt and jeans and El-P in reading glasses and cargo shorts gave the feeling of hanging with friends than mega stars that really added to their positive and uplifting stage presence. The crowd chanting R-T-J between every song with Run The Jewels prompting the largest audience of the night to chant and yell, exclaiming to the crowd "this is what friendship looks like, every fucking day" and ending the set with favorites such as "Report To Shareholders/Kill Your Masters" before jumping into "Down" with the introduction 'This was written for the person who wakes up everyday and feels like the whole world is out to get them' for memorable set before the finale. In a rare move for a fest RTJ answered the chanting of the crowd for a high energy finale consisting of the title track of their self titled album.

Teddy Abrams and Friends

In a return to the local theme for the first day of Forecastle 2017 Teddy Abrams and friends took to the WFPK stage spotlighting local heroes like White Reaper and Kevin Ratterman (covering David Bowie's I'm afraid of Americans), as well as other friends and Louisville favorites Scott Carney, Jecorey '1200' Arthur, and Cheyenne Mize. Teddy Abrams and Friends have become a constant at  Forecastle every year, and put on one hell of a popular show, but it almost seems like a catch all response to those who complain that local musicians have an ever decreasing presence at Forecastle. While the rest of the weekend looks light on local entertainment, Friday at Forecastle was covered front to back with Louisville's finest giving this year a completely unique and memorable first day; and that was Day One!

Teddy Abrams

Scott Carney

Photos by Marife Bautista & John King

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