I’m going to be completely honest: I woke up Sunday morning mostly unexcited to get back to Forecastle. I don’t know if it was the unforgiving heat or the abuse I put my body through with greasy food and booze the last two days, but I was mostly uninspired to endure in another long day of standing around watching a bunch of bands I (mostly) don’t care about. Spoiler alert: I didn’t stay very long.

The one artist I knew I couldn’t miss out on was indie folk singer Joan Shelley who was playing at The WFPK stage early on around 2PM. Despite the fact that she’s from Louisville and I love her music, for whatever reason I’ve never actually seen her perform live. Her latest Over and Even record is fucking brilliant, so I was delighted to hear her perform a few of my favorites from that album as well as a few older tunes. The only problem I had with this experience was out of her control as whatever jam band was playing at the nearest stage was way too loud invading Shelley’s delicate, quieter aesthetic. Nevertheless, she was amazing.

Watch a video of Joan Shelley performing below:

Soon after watching Joan Shelley, a friend I was with had an intestinal requirement that apparently would be too intense under the confines of a port-o-poty. We retreated to Against The Grain to utilize their clean bathrooms and get a quick beer. Afterward, we made our way back to the Waterfront to watch a few bands, hoping that there’d be someone or something to captivate me or convince me to stay a little longer. I’m not going to mention who failed to hold my attention just to avoid sounding like a presumptive dick that thinks that everyone that enjoys those bands is stupid. Thousands of people were obviously having a good time watching bands they were really into and I want to make it clear that I think that is fucking awesome.

Jake and I coping with the sweltering Forecastle heat.

After wondering around aimlessly for a few more hours, I decided to call it a day. I wanted to stay later to watch Washed Out and Speedy Ortiz (who happened to be playing at virtually the same time) but I had to be at work at 6AM, so yeah. Before leaving, I asked myself “Should I stay later and watch a couple bands I’ve seen before or go home and unwind in my blow-up pool in total privacy while listening to music that I actually like?” Yeah, I chose the second one:

Awwww yeah.

In closing, this year’s Forecastle go-around was just fine for me. While the line-up was mostly full of bands/artists that I had no desire to see, there were a few performances I witnessed that I’d consider to be truly unforgettable, most notably from Bully and Danny Brown. I had a great time with friends, made some new ones, all while eating lots of delicious food and drinking way too much alcohol. Sure, I wish the line-up was tailor-made for me, and me only… but whatever. Like I said before, this year’s rendition was just fine, and I will more than likely be at next year’s Forecastle as well.