This weekend thousands will flock to Louisville’s waterfront for three days to see talented musical acts from across the country perform at the 18th annual Forecastle Festival.
One of the most exciting weekends in the Bluegrass, it’s impossible to have a bad time at Forecastle (unless you forget to drink water; bring refillable bottles for the hydration stations to stay in the game). I am in no way shape or form a music expert, but I dabble. Like many others, I do not have the time, energy or funds to traverse the country for dance festivals. Forecastle brings the acts to me, and this year there are a few I’ve been wanting to see for quite some time.
I’m not the biggest fan of purely electric music. That’s exactly why I love the falsetto that defines Jungle’s (Ocean Stage, 8:30) groove. Like Busy Earnin, most of their videos are one-cut choreographed wonders. If their shows are anything like their videos, it’s going to be a thrill.
Chromeo (Boom Stage, 6:15) is not too different in genre. You’ve probably heard Jealous at some point, but I think their grooviest song is Old 45s. After their Friday evening show, they’re hopping on the Belle of Louisville for a midnight DJ-set on the Ohio River.
Judah The Lion (Boom Stage, 8:15) and Portugal. The Man (Main Stage, 7:15) are the final warm-ups before The Killers take the stage at 9:30. Who would’ve thought when Mr. Brightside debuted ten years ago it would be a favorite amongst high schoolers?
Between you and I, Friday is the weakest sauce. Things kick into fifth gear for Saturday and Sunday.
The greatest band in all the land will grace the Main Stage at 5:15. From Cosmic Charlie’s to the NFL Draft, I’ve never had a bad time at a Moon Taxi show. It’s hard to pick a favorite song — the Whiskey Sunsets/Blinded by the Light mashup probably takes the cake — but I have a feeling you’ll enjoy it whenever they get saxy.
It will still be pretty Hot in Hurr when Nelly takes the Boom Stage at 6:45. Even though I didn’t hear the greatest reviews when he went to Whitaker Bank Ballpark, you can’t miss the chance to stomp in your Air Force Ones.
A bucket list group will be checked off my list when Anderson .Paak and the Free Nationals take the Main Stage at 9:30. A combination of jazz, funk and hip-hop, I can never pick one song, so I typically just throw on their Tiny Desk, one of the most watched NPR YouTube videos of all-time. It’s not as cool as the video for Bubblin, which turns a ‘What If’ into reality.
Things get a little more twangy on Sunday. CHVRCHES (Boom Stage, 8:30) and Anderson East (Boom Stage, 4:30) provide a little something different away from the Main Stage, but you can’t go wrong with Dawes (Main Stage, 5:15).
Our fearless leader’s favorite musician will get a chance to shine in front of a massive audience. I’m fully prepared to drink the Tyler Childers Kool-Aid when he begins picking away at his guitar on the Main Stage at 7:15.
The final act of the weekend is one that will get you off your feet. I need a good Avett Brothers show every three or four years to inject the life back into me. An exciting brand of bluegrass, they also like to throw in an electric guitar and really tear things up. Listening to an album isn’t the same as seeing them live. Like their old Tiny Desk, they go from nice and easy to 100 mph real quick.
These are just a few suggestions. Not everybody shares the same taste in music, but now you’ll know where to find me before I depart for SEC Media Days. Click here for a complete schedule of concerts and prepare yourself by listening to Forecastle’s Spotify playlist.