Louisville, KY (July 12-14, 2019)-Forecastle Festival at Waterfront Park in Louisville, Kentucky
Forecastle, the annual summer celebration of the diverse and eccentric tastes of this unique city delivered on all fronts. From the hard-hitting rock’ n roll, to the blues, hip hop, soul and all the way to folk-style music, Forecastle had it all for a city that deserves it all….Michael Deinlein
The Forecastle Festival, a summer mainstay and destination for many from Louisville and far beyond celebrated its 18th anniversary supporting Art, Music, and Activism. What began as a small festival in 2002 has grown into a highly anticipated annual event, featuring more than 60 bands and DJ’s across 5 stages while drawing more than 60,000 fans to Louisville’s Waterfront Park in the heart of the city. Proceeds from the Festival go to The Forecastle Foundation, whose mission is to protect endangered areas of the planet.
With cumulative contributions totaling more than $500K, The Forecastle Foundation has helped protect and preserve more than 50,000 acres of land and 300 miles of waterways.
Friday, July 12, 2019: Opening Day
Headliner The Killers closed out the opening night of the Forecastle Festival with a rousing set in front of a jam-packed Mast Stage crowd complete with booming fireworks, drawing plenty of Ooh’s and ahh’s. Their set opened with ”Jenny Was a Friend of Mine,” “Somebody Told Me” and “Spaceman” along with several fan favorites like “The Man” and “Runaways”.
Midway through the Killers set frontman Brandon Flowers spotted two guys holding up a sign offering their musical skills to the band which Flowers took them up on. It turns out they weren’t just any two guys; they were Nick and Sam Wilkerson of the Louisville punk band White Reaper and the guys tore into “For Reasons Unknown” off the aforementioned band’s 2006 album Sam’s Town creating a memorable moment for everyone. Clearly drawing the largest crowd of the day, The Killers closed out opening day of Forecastle in style with huge hits “Human” and “Mr. Brightside”
Friday highlights started early on the smaller Port stage as local Louisville rockers GRLwood simply brought the heat to an already hot day. Locals who knew what was going on jammed around the stage as Rej and Karen rolled through a self-described set of “Scream-Pop” with a fire and tenacity that set a high bar for the rest of the day and festival.
A little later in the afternoon, while still clearly in the heat of the day, Chromeo took their places on the Boom Stage and laid down a high energy set that had the whole area jumping. Chromeo’s set opened with “Don’t Sleep” and “Night by Night” ultimately ending their time on stage with “Must’ve Been”. Pulling double duty today, Chromeo also was the DJ at the late-night party on the Belle of Louisville
Providing the main support on the main stage were Portugal.The Man. It seems things didn’t go that smoothly for the group getting to Louisville as their luggage ultimately didn’t make to Louisville as bassist Zach Carothers said, “This will be the first show that I have ever played wearing sandals”.
While their lead up to the Festival wasn’t great, you wouldn’t have known it as Portugal.The Man opened with a hard and heavy cover of Metallica’s “For Whom The Bell Tolls”, and “Purple, Yellow, Red & Blue” with elements of Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall” worked in for good measure, and really never let up.
Last but definitely not least of the Friday highlights had to be Judah & The Lion. As the guys were hitting the opening chords of their opening song “Pep Talk,” Frontman Judah Akers made a beeline for the front crowd barrier and started crowd surfing while tearing through the opening part of the song. Things never really slowed down from there with a wild set marking as one of the day’s best.
Also performing on Friday were The Mattson 2, Spazz Cardigan, Leikeli47, The Band Camino, Hop Along, The Midnight, Lucius, Cold War Kids, Snakehips and Jungle.
Saturday, July 13, 2019:
One of the hottest days of the summer in Louisville greeted festival goers to Saturday’s events and it seems everyone is talking about tonight’s headliner, Anderson.Paak & the Free Nationals.
With the sun setting over the Ohio River creating a dramatic backdrop, Anderson.Paak & The Free Nationals didn’t disappoint the huge crowd gathered around the main, Mast Stage with a fantastic set. Opening the evening all guns blazing, beginning with “Heart Don’t Stand a Chance” followed by “Saviors Road” from their 2018 critically acclaimed Oxnard album and huge fan favorite “Come Down” from the 2016 Malibu album, Anderson.Paak gave the fans exactly what they wanted.
With everyone clearly in a partying mood Anderson.Paak rolled through one high energy song after another before closing out the evening and the middle day of the festival with “Am I Wrong,” “Lite Weight” and the final song of the middle day of the festival the Mac Miller cover of “Dang!”.
There were several hot performances that exceeded the outside temps including Maggie Rodgers, Nelly and Moon Taxi.
Providing the main support on the Mast Stage was Maggie Rodgers. Dressed in white with a flowing yellow scarf draped around her neck, Maggie came out rocking with a fun and dynamite performance.
One of the day’s performances that was clearly circled on many fans schedule today was Nelly over at the Boom Stage. The crowd started cramming around the stage almost an hour before Nelly’s set time and by the time Nelly started fans were stretched all the way under the freeway overpass, a good football field from the stage. While Nelly worked the crowd, going from one side of the stage to the other, it was great to see what appeared to be the entire festival crowd jumping and singing with every song.
A bit earlier in the day, on the Mast Stage was Nashville, Tennessee rockers Moon Taxi. With an infectious, feel good set Moon Taxi rolled through an almost hour-long performance beginning with “Not Too Late,” “Let the Record Play,” and “Run Right Back” that had the sun-drenched fans moving and shaking.
Also performing on Saturday were Playboi Carti, Midland, Big Wild, Cautious Clay, Smino, Chelsea Cutler, Teddy Abrams & Friends, PJ Morton, CAAMP, Penny & Sparrow, Israel Nash, The Marias, BBLasian, Nightly, Hannah Dasher & H.A.R.D.
Sunday, July 14, 2019: Closing Day
Another hot and cloudless afternoon greeted Forecastle Festival goers for the final day of the festival. While the buzz early in the day centered around the incredible performance by Anderson.Paak and the Free Nationals to close the prior evening, all sights were set on the Sunday headliners The Avett Brothers.
Festival goers jammed around the main stage as close as possible to fully take in the final performance of the festival as the Avett Brothers took to the stage. Opening with “Vanity”, followed by “Satan Pulls the Strings” and “Trouble Letting Go,” The Avett Brothers made sure everyone would remember the final performance of the festival.
On a day where the outside temperatures were sweltering, there were several blazing performances on the final day of the festival.
Providing the main support for the day on the main stage was Lawrence County, Kentucky based Tyler Childers. Opening with fan-favorite “Whitehouse Road,” Tyler set the tone for what was a barn burning set.
A couple of hours earlier, over at the Boom Stage, Athens, AL based Anderson East easily delivered one of the most powerful and soulful performances of the entire festival. Anderson is no stranger to Kentucky or to the Forecastle Festival, celebrating his birthday with fans during a Forecastle festival performance a couple of years ago, but today was one of his best to date. Starting out quickly with a Willie Nelson cover of “Somebody Pick Up My Pieces” followed by “Devil In Me” and a George Jackson cover of “Find ‘Em, Fool ‘Em and Forget ‘Em,” Anderson East was H.O.T. from the word go and never let up.
Earlier in the day, over at the Ocean Stage pure magic occurred as Yungblud took their turn on the Forecastle Festival stage with what was easily the most explosive and energetic set of the entire weekend. Dressed in a black dress, Yungblud blasted on to the stage with a fury that immediately had the entire crowd jumping. For the next 45 minutes fans poured out as much energy as was being dished out from the stage in a dynamite performance that festival goers were lucky to be a part of.
Starting off the main stage performances on this closing day of the festival was a wonderful set by New York City based rockers Sunflower Bean. Fronted by the provocative singer & bassist Julia Cumming, Sunflower Bean rocked the early Sunday afternoon festival crowd with a set that left everyone wanting more.
Also performing on Saturday were Chvrches, Lettuce, Andrew Bird, Whethan, Dawes, Denzel Curry, Johnnyswim, Mt. Joy, Erin Rae and Evan Gha.
With the final song of the festival, the Avett Brothers cover of John Denver’s “Thank God I’m a Country Boy,” another hugely successful edition of the Forecastle Festival closed with a bang. Over the festival’s 3 days, there were 60+ bands and DJ’s with more than 70 separate performances across 5 different stages leaving this year’s Forecastle Festival goers tired and sunburned yet thoroughly satisfied. This year’s Forecastle was well run and organized, with plentiful food and Bourbon selections along with ample amenities making the entire weekend a pleasure to attend – the question is Who’s ready for 2020?
Click HERE for information on The Forecastle Foundation
Judah & The Lion:
Anderson.Paak & the Free Nationals:
The Avett Brothers: