Last weekend I attended my first ever out-of-town multi-day music festival, the ones that are all the rage with the youngsters, what with their Coacharoos and Lollabons and Pitchellas. (By the way, get off my lawn!) I went to Forecastle in Louisville, and I loved every minute of it. The lineup was what inspired me to take the plunge on a weekend pass… I would’ve spend that price just to see the Replacements alone. But the rest of the lineup was stacked with bands that I either:

A. knew and liked

B. had heard about and wanted to hear more

The festival didn’t disappoint – 4 stages, well-spaced out, staggered starting times so you could sample a bit of each stage’s music rather easily, plenty of shade, decent food and beverage options, plenty of water refill stations, and even an arts/crafts area.

I went to the concert solo, which didn’t bother me in the least, as my musical tastes tend to stray far from the mainstream crowd, and there aren’t as many folks willing to tag along to see the “weird” bands I like. But I ran into a few folks I knew down there, and they’d ask “Who are you here with?” When I replied, “I’m by myself” they gave me a sad look, like I was Lil’ Orphan Annie or something. Trust me, I like being the lone wolf because then I can just chart my own course over the 3 days and 4 stages, picking out the bands I want to see and flitting from stage to stage like a butterfly on Red Bull.

The Replacements did not disappoint, it was great to see Paul and Tommy on stage together. Here’s a nice review with the set list.

Replacements at Forecastle 2014


Other highlights:

Dwight Yoakam – fantastic set list, nothing but the hits/favorites, in rapid-fire fashion, which is perfect for the truncated sets that artists get at a festival. Other bands should learn from him. He crushed it out of the park.

Lucius – love this band, think their album Wildewoman is one of the best of the past year, and in a live setting they have so much energy and their voices are stellar. Check out the album and then go see them, and thank me later.

Spoon – great energy, really looking forward to their new album.

Jason Isbell – his most recent album, Southeastern, is one of the best of the past year. Had seen him in Cincinnati but enjoyed seeing him again.

Sun Kil Moon – Mark Kozelek’s album’s are definitely “mood” albums and I thought his set would be a bit sleepy but it was quite intriguing.

Reignwolf – Has the Hendrix power trio and deep bluesy voice thing down pat. Played on the smallest stage but had the crowd screaming for an encore by the end.

The Districts – a Philly band I had only heard one song from, they really rocked.

Mt. Moriah – another band I didn’t know much about going in, definitely worth checking out.

I’m already looking forward to next year’s Forecastle. If the lineup is half as good, it’ll still be worthwhile.