The Forecastle Foundation seems both idealistic and pragmatic in its approach to environmental preservation and stewardship. I chatted for a while with board member Doug Weede, who explained that the mural in progress reflected the foundation’s work with the Kentucky Natural Lands Trust on the Pine Mountain Wildlife Corridor. The foundation website calls the Pine Mountain Project “the largest conservation effort ever undertaken in the state.”
It was blazing hot again on Sunday — and I say that as someone who grew up in central Kentucky, lives in Savannah, and likes the heat. The three days of hot weather definitely posed some challenges for the festival, which also had to cope with a very high Ohio River that changed the position of the main stage, a vicious storm on Friday night that cut short Sam Smith’s headlining set and knocked out the projection screens on either side of the stage, and site prep difficulties that delayed the opening of the gates on day two.
But organizers, volunteers, bands, fans and everyone else persevered to make Forecastle an impressive, varied, and hugely successful festival. I was actually less interested in the this year’s headliners than in the acts that played earlier in the day and delivered one great set after another. That was certainly the case on Sunday.
The graciousness of Waterfront Park can’t be overstated — the location is a key factor in making Forecastle so successful.
I started my final day of Forecastle 2015 with Noah Gundersen — what a great choice. I loved the mix of soulful folk and much heavier stuff. I’m really looking forward to the upcoming album.
Then I headed to the WFPK Port Stage — my favorite venue of the festival — for Louisville’s own Twin Limb and their eclectic lyricism.
I caught a bit of The SteelDrivers too — the talented bluegrass and Americana band surely has a big following down here in Savannah.
And then I headed back across the festival to the Boom Stage for Cincinnati-based Over the Rhine. It was my first time hearing the melodic duo (performing on Sunday as a trio), but I’d love to hear them again too.
White Reaper killed it over on the Port Stage. The Louisville band capitalized on the energy of the many fans baking in the sun, but I’m betting that the foursome brings it like that every time they play. I got a ton of fun photos, so I’ll for sure post more later.
First Aid Kit — the up-and-coming duo of Swedish sisters — obviously has a big following already in the Louisville area. The great lawn was packed with fans.
The Lone Bellow, who many readers of this blog might remember from their Savannah Music Festival performance, brought real emotional power to their set on the Boom Stage.
I only caught a little of Tweedy, but they seemed another really strong midday act on the main stage.
Portugal. The Man packed a huge throng of fans at the Boom Stage.
Field Report was awesome on the WFPK Port Stage. Playing now as a foursome, Chris Porterfield and company channeled the intensity and beauty of the recent album “Marigolden” and did gorgeous renditions of “I Am Not Waiting Anymore” and “Fergus Falls” from their fantastic self-titled debut album.
After Field Report’s compelling set, I listened to some of Modest Mouse’s high-energy performance. And then I decided to drive on back to Frankfort where my people are and listen to King Tuff live on WFPK on the way. (If I had had photo pit access, I’m sure I would have stuck around for Tallest Man on Earth and for at least some of headliner Widespread Panic, but it seemed like there were a ton of photographers from publications exponentially larger than this one.)
I sure hope circumstances work out so that I’ll be able to cover Forecastle again in 2016.