Photo of 1200 by Jennifer Montague

I don’t intentionally seek out mega-fests like Forecastle, but considering it happens every year in my town I always feel semi-obligated to check it out. As in year’s passed, this year’s foray into pseudo-hippyism boasts a nice buffet of musical options, although I must say I don’t give a shit about any of the “headliners” this year. I’ve heard a lot of folks around town complain about Forecastle 2016’s bland selection of  “top tier” offerings (myself included), but from my vantage point, if you squint hard enough you’ll notice the slew of quality “undercard” bands/artists that are playing at the smaller stages.

Read on as I tell you about my own personal Forecastle experience complete with pictures, videos and snarky commentary.  If I didn’t talk about your favorite band, sorry.  I only have one pair of eyeballs and one oversized set of ears.

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.

1200 gets the ball rolling at the “” Stage.

I made it to the Waterfront just in time to watch 1200 perform. As expected, he was fucking fantastic as he flawlessly guided us though a setlist full of familiar favorites such as “OZ” and “Rambo” and also played a few newer tracks that I wasn’t overly familiar with. I wasn’t sure what to expect this go-around, as seemingly every time I have the opportunity to watch this guy play he manages to throw in an unpredictable twist. On this go-around, he chose a more conventional hip hop set up with a DJ, but to make this set a bit more memorable, he brought a few of his students (dude is a teacher, if you didn’t know) to sing choir-style backing vocals. I’m not sure if there was a better way to kick off this year’s rendition of Forecastle.

Watch a video of 1200 performing below:

Phosphorescent performs at the Mast Stage.

Next up on our agenda was Phosphorescent, a band I know next to nothing about that was heavily recommended by fellow Never Nervous-ite Jake Hellman. Although their brand of folksy alt rock isn’t necessarily my cup of tea, I enjoyed their set, at least until a massive black cloud began to creep up behind the stage they were playing on.

Soon after, a quick moving storm blew through downtown Louisville causing a mandatory evacuation of Forecastle.  It became evident quickly that this delay would last a while, so I fled to Against the Grain for a quick beer, then headed over to Jake’s hotel room for more beer.

This is what happens when Forecastle stops happening.

After a few more beers, we were notified by our trusty Forecastle app that the festival had resumed with a delayed schedule.  At first I was a bit annoyed when I realized that I was going to have to stay up a bit later than I wanted, but that feeling was quickly vanquished by good times with friends and of course, more alcohol.

Baauer made me “dance” or at least something close to it.

We made it back just as Baauer‘s set was getting started.  Cheesy EDM isn’t normally my thing, but I was having too much of a good time to not dance at least a little bit.  We stayed just long enough to watch him perform “Harlem Shake” before heading over to the WFPK stage to watch Bully.

Bully at the WFPK Stage.

BULLY.  Holy shit.  Going into this three day event, I was more excited to see this grunge/punk band more than any other act, considering their absolutely brilliant 2015 record Feels Like is one of my favorite albums of the last decade.  I knew I’d enjoy their set, but had no idea that they’d put on such a captivating, energetic set.  Singer Alicia Bognanno is about as badass as a fronting guitarist/vocalist as I’ve ever seen.  Her voice can quickly turn from quaint, and almost innocent to abrasive, screeching howls; I gotta tell ya, her voice gave me the chills.

Watch a video of Bully performing below:


When Bully was finished, I decided that I was too, so I headed over to Impellizeri‘s to have one last beer, then got an Uber and headed home.  I would have liked to have stayed longer, but I really wasn’t interested in any of the other bands that were left on the bill.  Adding to that, I wanted to go home and listen to records, then go to bed at a reasonable time in order to be fully rested and ready to go for Forecastle day two.