Saturday was a much more comfortable day than Friday—no rain, lots of gain.
I decided I needed to get to Forecastle early to watch The Wans and I wasn’t disappointed. The three piece rockers from Nashville scored many fans that were kind enough to show up early by playing through their debut EP. “Want You” is a stud of a song. Louisville can get the chance to see these guys again when they come back to play The New Vintage on August 14, almost a month before they release their debut album.
Next was The Soul Rebels, whom I had never heard before, but I trusted Forecastle’s New Orleans horns band bookings having seen Preservation Hall Jazz Band and Galactic in previous years. Forecastle got it right again as The Soul Rebels brought a high energy, beat stomping set that included a cover of Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” New Orleans style.
Moving over to the Crab Shack Stage (as Erin Keane of WFPL has wisely named it), I saw Boy & Bear, a band who could open for Mumford & Sons in the foreseeable future. Spanish Gold was after that and for a band that was playing at 3:30 p.m. they had an abnormally large crowd because of the local connection in drummer Patrick Hallahan and because their set at Waterfront Wednesday this summer was a wash out.
While what I saw of Spanish Gold was good, I couldn’t stay long because of a highly anticipated set from local rapper JaLin Roze. Roze’s set was his coming out party. He said on Great Day! Live this past week that he was most excited to play in front of his family and friends, but he will come to find out that his set (which included a live band and appearances from The Pass and Nerves Junior) got the attention of a big crowd in his biggest set ever. The crowd was jumping and hanging on his every word. Roze knew his opportunity and ran with it.
If it wasn’t for Roze’s set, I would have caught all of Lord Huron. While their “desert rock” won’t blow you away, I could close my eyes and let them play forever.
When it came time after dinner to see Jason Isbell, I was underwhelmed. I understand that those that like him believe he is true country music (a cause I would advocate for) and he might be, but he’s just not my scene.
The penultimate set on site on Saturday was Band of Horses. While the ninety minute set wasn’t flashy, it was impressively gritty. It could have been singer Ben Bridwell’s distinguishable voice, the meshing of three guys playing a power chord, or maybe Bridwell’s control the mic like a teacher giving a focused lecture, but Band of Horses played a great set.
Then it was Jack White’s turn—a set of many possibilities. I felt like Jack White was literally trying to impress us in a similar way that a nervous, adolescent boy would impress the hot girl in class. His skills were on level of their own on both his acoustic and electric numbers, but at times the songs bled together and he lost me. What was admirable was his shout out to Dwight Yoakam and his salute to Kentucky as he played “Blue Moon of Kentucky.” He also had seemed to have some James Brown ringleader-like qualities in that sense that while his set looked like a mess, it was a perfect mess and calculated to a T. His headlining set was as if not more entertaining than Outkast’s the night before.
Finally, my night ended as I made my way to Mercury Ballroom for an official Forecastle late night show.
Chancellor Warhol was great and all, but Moon Taxi had the greatest Forecastle after show of all time! I’ll admit, I’m a bit partial. Saturday night was the fifth time I had seen Moon Taxi. I consistently see them because I never get tired of hearing the same songs because in fact I feel like they aren’t the same songs. Moon taxi slips into the jam band genre, changing the composition of many songs and jamming on that throughout the tour. A medley of Wings's “Live and Let Die” plus The Who’s “Baba O’ Riley” didn’t hurt their case. It was a beautiful way to end day two of Forecastle.
I’m looking forward to folk focused day three on the waterfront.
Photos by Josh Lee
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