hissing lawns | a music blog in Savannah, Ga.

Who are the kids listening to? A lot of them are listening to Twenty One Pilots, the duo of Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun who know a few things about putting on a show. They walked onto the hands of the audience, floated the drum kit into the crowd, leaped from whatever they could climb, defied security by asking for everyone to put someone on their shoulders — some of the kids around me were so excited I didn’t think they’d get through the show in one piece.

Kind of a gray afternoon, as you can tell from the photos, but oh so fun. A couple here and more after the jump.

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I knew Forecastle Festival 2014 was going to be something special when Against Me! electrified a large crowd at the Boom Stage early on Friday afternoon. The band tore through their set, young and old in the crowd sang along, and Laura Jane Grace’s amazing voice was probably attracting attention as far away as Louisville’s Main Street.

I’ll confess to knowing just about nothing about Against Me! before Forecastle, but I’ll be following them from here on. What a fun band to hear, see, and photograph.

Lots of pics after the jump, including the set list and a cameo by Laura Jane’s daughter.

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The consensus around the grounds of Forecastle Festival at Waterfront Park in Louisville over the weekend was that the 3-day event isn’t nearly as widely known as it deserves to be.

But this year’s lineup — including Beck, Outkast, Jack White, and The Replacements — obviously brought more acclaim and attracted more media attention than in previous years. And if the folks I met are any indication, Forecastle has already established itself as an important destination.

Beck

Beck

The trio next to me at Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings had come down from Cincinnati. The man next to me at The Replacements had driven to Louisville from Minnesota. At Beck, I chatted with a couple from West Virginia. Before Jack White, I struck up a conversation with a 34-year old man from Detroit who happened to be wearing a Kylesa t-shirt — even when I manage to leave Savannah for brief trips, reminders are everywhere. I also ran into a friend from Kingsport, Tennessee, and into a former Savannahian who now lives in Birmingham.

Forecastle 2014 used a huge swath of Louisville’s sprawling and beautiful Waterfront Park, a public space that has been 30 years in the making. A pedestrian bridge over the Ohio River has just been completed upriver from the festival grounds, and Forecastle even manages to make good use of a highway overpass, which provides some shade on hot afternoons and functions as a surprisingly good backdrop for the smallest of the four stages.

The three larger stages have the slow-rolling Ohio River and bridges to Indiana as a backdrop. The Louisville skyline is just off to the west, and it’s only a short walk from one stage to the next. There are few spots where the sounds bleed together.

The Port Stage - 3rd largest of the 4 stages

The Port Stage – 3rd largest of the 4 stages

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There was far more being offered on the festival grounds than I have room to describe here, but I was especially impressed by the presence of some excellent local food trucks (I ate at the Holy Mole Taco Truck all three days), by the short lines at most of the bars even when the park was swarming with huge crowds, by the inclusion of a Kentucky craft beer tent and the Bourbon Lodge, by the booths selling beautifully printed posters, and by the sheer number of places to lounge, relax, socialize, and — above all — listen.

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The scene was all pretty chill, too, with little for the ample security to do.

As much as I loved the headlining acts that I managed to see, I was also thrilled by some of the earlier sets by bands that I already follow — like Hurray for the Riff Raff, The Weeks, and Matrimony — and by bands whose music I wasn’t really familiar with, especially Against Me!, JOHNNYSWIM, Willie Watson, and The Soul Rebels.

I indulged in as much of the festival as I could and have already posted quick takes plus a few photos of day 1 and day 2.

Despite the relative ease of getting around the grounds and the unusually pleasant summer weather, I got a little weary of the large crowds on day 2, so day 3 was especially refreshing. The crowds seemed slightly tamer and older — no surprise given that fewer really young people seemed to turn out for the Sunday night headliners Beck and The Replacements, both of whom were flat out fantastic.

The Replacements

The Replacements

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Just a quick post about day 2 of Forecastle Festival in Louisville yesterday. I covered as much ground as possible on Saturday and caught a number of bands that I wasn’t familiar with. And I didn’t get quite the diversity of photos that I got on day 1, but more on that later.

It’s a remarkable festival — great music, reasonably priced, fantastic setting, right in the heart of the country.

I caught all or part of sets by Hurray for the Riff Raff, Anwar Sadat, The Soul Rebels, Boy and Bear, Goodbye June, Young & Sick, Jalin Roze, Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings, Johnnyswim, Band of Horses, Dwight Yoakam, Slint, and Jack White.

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The first day of Forecastle Festival in Louisville offered on and off drizzle and some of the coolest temps one could ever expect to have in July in Kentucky — and it offered some tremendous performances in a glorious setting.

I’ll have more to say about the festival in an upcoming post, and I will have a lot more photos too, including full sets of The Black Lips, Against Me!, Twenty One Pilots, and Outkast.

In addition to those performers, I also caught all or part of energetic, well-attended, great-sounding sets by Benjamin Booker, Foy Vance, Willie Watson, Local Natives, and St. Lucia.

So this is just a sampling of photos from day one.

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Hey guys,

What can I say? Plenty of good music last week. Plenty more this week. Come on down and see the talent and camaraderie in the music scene downtown. There are so many bands to listen to, something for everyone’s tastes. Lately, I have noticed that our punk scene seems to be growing. There are several local punk bands that I that I try to catch whenever I can, and I am seeing more out of town punk acts lately. Interestingly, I have seen three female-fronted punk bands in the last couple of weeks. The punk show on Friday looks like it could be a fun affair. I have not seen them, but I am also looking forward to the Barrelhouse show on Saturday, Major & The Monbacks. I always enjoy a big band, and this is an 8-piece band from Norfolk. Here are those shows and more of my recommendations for shows downtown this weekend.

Thursday 17th
The Jauntee (4-piece psychedelic-jazzbluesfunk from Boston) – Barrelhouse South
TimeCop vs DangerSnake (Matt and Zac from the Accomplices) – Molly MacPherson’s
Velvet Caravan (amazing gypsy-jazz band from Savannah) – Lucas Theater

Friday 18th
Danielle Hicks & The 8-Ohm BandRail Pub (6p)
City HotelBlowin’ Smoke (7-9:30, all ages)
American HologramMoon River (6-9p, all ages)
Matt Wixon’s Flying Circus (Detroit punk), Wave Slaves (Savannah surf-rock), Cbj (Detroit ska-punk) – The Jinx ($6)
Kota Mundi (Savannah reggae) – Molly MacPherson’s
Mystery Men?, Mensa Bullies, MoonbaseWormhole (surf-punk, $donations)
Versatile (dance, R&B) – Congress Street Social Club
KidSyc@Brandywine (Savannah rap) – Ampersand (12mn, $5)

Saturday 19th
Cocker Spaniels, Real Live Tigers (Austin bluesy) – Graveface (7p, all ages)
Major & The Monbacks (8-piece garage soul from Norfolk) – Barrelhouse South
Omingnome, Wet Socks, Crazy Bag LadyAmpersand
Salt Flats (Athens rock), Darnell Boys (Athens county, blues, R&B) – The Jinx
Aquaducks (Nashville funk/jam/reggae, with saxaphone) – Congress Street Social Club

Tuesday 22nd
Clouds & SatellitesFoxy Loxy

Wednesday 23
Thomas Wynn & The Believers (Orlando soulful rock n’ blues), Black Cadillacs (blues-rock from Knoxville) – The Jinx (9p, $10)

Sometimes midsummer weeknights release a little punk and garage rock fury in downtown Savannah. At Hang Fire tonight:

Downtown Boys, the punk band with sax and a political edge from Providence that got a big writeup in Do this week:

Crazy Bag Lady has all kinds of things going on, including a record contract with Retro Futurist.

The garage rock duo Wet Socks is back at work after a hiatus while the drummer John Zimmerman was working in India. And Boy Harsher is also on the bill. Cover is $5, 10:30 p.m.

Anna has already previewed Lazer/Wulf‘s palindromic album The Beast of Left and Right, but now it’s available for streaming, purchase, and download via Reto Futurist’s Bandcamp page. (Retro Futurist is the label started by core members of Kylesa.)

For a taste of the dizzying breadth of Forecastle Festival in Louisville this year, check out these three Spotify playlists, one for each day. There were a few bands that I couldn’t find on Spotify, and the playlists run more or less from earlier in the day into the night.

Click here for hissing lawns’ Forecastle preview.

Saturday and Sunday playlists after the jump:

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