|Pictured Above: Big K.R.I.T. rocks the Ocean Stage|
For me personally, Forecastle set the bar incredibly high last year. The lineup was the festival’s finest they’d ever assembled, the weather was bearably cool, and everything seemingly ran to perfection, at least from my vantage point. When this year’s roster of bands/artists was announced a few months ago, I heard plenty of groans and complaints, and I can certainly understand why. The “headliners” are questionable: Why My Morning Jacket and Widespread Panic..AGAIN? Do they just play Forecastle ever other year now? Whether you like those two bands or not, do you really want the same two bands to be the selling point of your annual mega-fest? And why Sam Smith? I mean, seriously, why, Forecastle?
While I was a bit underwhelmed with the headliners myself, I was incredibly excited about getting to watch some of the “undercard” bands. My most memorable, intimate experiences at Forecastle in the past have all been had at smaller stages, anyway. Because I’m a huge fan of good times, I’m going into this festival with an open, optimistic state of mind. How did day one hold up (for me)? Read on, friends..
WARNING: The shitty pictures you are about to encounter were all taken by me from my vantage point. If you want quality photography, go here.
My Forecastle 2015 experience started with a fun, toe-tapping set from Milo Greene. As I expected, multi-instrumentalist Marlana Sheetz was the main attraction as her smooth, velvety voice works to perfection served over this particular brand of head-bobbing indie-pop.
|Jeff The Brotherhood|
The last time I watched Jeff The Brotherhood, they were still a two-piece that made fun-as-hell music that fused Ozzy-era Black Sabbath riffs with Weezer hooks. Since then, the band has recruited a pair of new members and have released a fucking awesome new record called Wasted On The Dream. Their performance at Forecastle truly was something to behold, as they played a mix of new and old jams. The addition of a bass player and second guitar player worked to perfection as the band sounded HUGE with harmonized guitars, thick bass, and wah wah solos that would make Kirk Hammett cream his pants.
|People Under The Stairs|
Admittedly, I don’t know much about People Under The Stairs other than they are an established hip hop group from L.A. I don’t know if I could have asked for a better introduction to these dudes than the one I received yesterday, as they truly slayed. Their fun-loving, positive energy was infectious, and because of this, throughout their set I couldn’t stop smiling. Seriously, I was grinning like a four-year-old watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for the first time (the original one, duh). I can’t wait to get more familiar with these guys.
The debut self-titled record from Alvvays is one of my favorite albums of 2014, so naturally I was fucking stoked to see these folks at Forecastle. Unfortunately, whoever was in charge of sound had the kick drum turned up so loud that it was sometimes difficult to interpret the noise coming from the P.A. I couldn’t have been the only one that felt that my chest was going to sink in every time the bass drum was hit. Anyway, I still sang along to my favorite songs, tapped my feet and had a great time.
There’s no way to get around this: As far as Forecastle day one is concerned, Big K.R.I.T. stole the show. His brand of southern, trunk-bumpin’ hip hop sounded so damned good under the bridge at the Ocean Stage as he blasted through an assortment of older tracks and a few songs from his latest Cadillactica record. As a suprise, midway through his set, he welcomed Talib Kweli onto the stage for one song. Fuck yeah.
Watch a video a friend of mine took of Big K.R.I.T. below: