As I sit here piecing the bits of my mind back together in my bland campus apartment, I can hardly process the events of the past weekend. My first Forecastle was an experience of a lifetime. I met so many amazing people and witnessed some of the greatest performances in the history of this earth! What more can this lucky girl ask for? I can only express my genuine gratitude and how much this life amazes me.
The Day Before
I arrived to Louisville International on Thursday morning, ready to conquer anything that the derby city could throw at me. It was my first time in Louisville (and it certainly won’t be my last), so I took an entire day just getting to know the city (also known as getting lost and randomly and luckily finding my way back). The evening brought some special events – meeting a host of new and amazing fellow jacketheads, mostly from the forum – and listening to some local Louisville music at The Monkey Wrench! A hell of a night to kick off what I will remember as one of the best weekends in my life.
After being lucky enough to be a member of the Forecastle media (forever indebted, Jason!) and interviewing the band Sleeper Agent (more on that soon), I headed over to catch the first act of the day: Abigail Washburn. For those of you unfamiliar (I was until last Friday), she’s an Americana songstress, banjo player, and the wife of the great Bela Fleck. A surprisingly interesting act, Abigail wowed the crowd with her versatility. She definitely seemed like a kooky, fun, and likeable person with a very beautiful and controlled voice. She spoke what seemed like excellent Chinese to the crowd and even sung a bluegrass song entirely in Chinese, titled “Taiyang Chulai” (The Sun Came Out). Needless to say, this was a surprise and a wonderful bridge between genres.
Next, I decided to stay at the “Boom Stage” to hear The Head and the Heart. This group really blew me away, and it caught me completely by surprise how incredibly great they are live. They play with so much heart and intensity that it’s no wonder why MMJ booked them to play Forecastle! My favorite song from the set was “Rivers and Roads,” of which I cannot find a version as good as the one I heard live. Charity can SANG!
After The Head and The Heart, well-established Beach House played a dreamy and sometimes spooky set. A much more relaxed, lower-tempo set, Beach House was the most laid back act I saw all weekend. Victoria stood completely still singing almost the entire time. I was still in spellbound by the black-and-white-striped backdrop and excessive amount of smoke. I loved hearing their dreamy songs brought to life.
Later, while avoiding hearing any of Bassnectar’s set (my apologies to dubstep fans!), I got the chance to see the band I had interviewed earlier in the day – Sleeper Agent. What an exciting way to end my day! A very upbeat and edgy show that was short and sweet – reminded me very much of my all-ages-venue-hopping high school years. Annnnd… I was spent.