In keeping with the entire weekend, the final day of Forecastle greeted festival-goers with sweltering temperatures and a sunshine possibly too bright for any Kentuckian. But there was music to be heard, and thousands showed up to hear it.
But unlike Saturday–which prominently featured Louisville’s My Morning Jacket above all others–Sunday offered a few potential highlights, depending on the listener’s tastes.
Feel like dancing? Well, RL Grime got dancing a packed crowd underneath Interstate 64 on the Ocean Stage. Something a little more stripped down? There was the Tallest Man on Earth. Indie rock? You couldn’t go wrong with genre stalwarts Modest Mouse. Jam band? Widespread Panic provided their dedicated fans with what they needed, as they’ve done at a few Forecastles before.
Back to the heat for a moment. Fans trying to escape the sun and heat packed underneath the interstate for the hottest parts of the afternoon, choosing the way-back view of the main stages instead of the up-close look they would have probably chosen if they weren’t worried about their skin melting.
This is what happened, for example, for Tweedy, a side project of Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy. Tweedy (the music) was folksier than what one normally expects from Tweedy (the person), and the pace was overall slower. High quality, but the pace seemed a little slower than what this sweating crowd needed to keep them going. That said, Tweedy (both the music and the person) had a strong crowd around the stage–but a large crowd watched from a distance too, in the shade under I-64.
One of the highlights was Lizzo, a Minneapolis-based rapper who kept a decent crowd moving through her set while dropping fun and clever lyrics. Lizzo had stage presence, too, and her music provided plenty of energy on the Ocean Stage.
Though not in a headlining spot, Modest Mouse was clearly a band many festival-goers came to see. Modest Mouse just recently released a new album, “Strangers to Ourselves,” and it’s a rare treat for Louisville to see a band perform so soon while an album is so new. Isaac Brock and company performed songs stretching back through their long career, though, playing favorites and keeping the crowd pleased throughout.
Soon after, Los Angeles-based musician/DJ RL Grime had a huge crowd moving on the festival’s smallest stage. The crowd received RL Grime well, dancing along to the beats and samples like it was the closer of the evening (and for them), it probably was unless they have seriously eclectic tastes. One issue with the set, though: a colleague told me she heard a few people in the predominantly white crowd using a racial epithet while singing along with sampled lyrics. Throughout the weekend, multiple artists spoke about the need for diversity and understanding in communities, referring to current events. A few in that crowd could have used another reminder.
For others less interested in dancing, Tallest Man on Earth performed a demure set as the sun began to go down and the temperatures cooled off, giving Forecastle a soft landing for those who weren’t into dancing or jam bands.
And that was a wrap for Forecastle 2015.