The 15th go-around of Louisville’s biggest and longest running music festival is upon us, whether you like it or not. That’s right, folks — Forecastle is back, in all it’s glory aiming to please the masses with a pretty diverse, if not safe roster of bands and artists. For me, this year’s lineup is similar to last year’s as far as it’s appeal as I’m not overly hyped on any of the “headliners” but am drawn to several of the “undercard” acts.

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. (If you’re looking for our recap of day two, go here or our day three recap, go here)

EDITOR’S NOTE: If you’re looking for the photos we took from Forecastle, go here.

Twin Limb

We arrived just in time to watch Twin Limb play at the Mast Stage (or the big stage, if you will). Despite their technical difficulties they were experiencing due to the relentless heat wave, they still sounded awesome. They played a few familiar tunes as well as a few new ones that I’m excited about. Twin Limb is a band that I never get tired of watching, and this time was certainly no different.

Quiet Hollers
Quiet Hollers

When their set was over we grabbed some beers and made our way to the Port Stage to catch Quiet Hollers. In short, they fucking killed as they performed a bunch of their newer material from their Amen Breaks record such as “Broken Guitar” and “Medicine” as well as a few older jams like “Aviator Shades”. This was a special performance for us personally as Never Nervous staff member Jake Hellman is the QH bass dude. That guy is a brother to me, so naturally it was especially nice to watch him do his thing with a group of also-awesome dudes in front of a giant crowd.

Watch a video we made of Quiet Hollers’ performance below:

Jaye Jayle

We stayed at the same stage to watch Jaye Jayle, a band I hadn’t seen in a while but listen to often. A friend I was with that wasn’t familiar with the band asked me “what do these guys sound like?” I told him “It’s the kind of music you listen to while burying a body in the dessert.” After their set, he agreed. Their set was a bit of a trip featuring a bunch of slow-grooving, cinematic toe-tappers leaving me in a pleasant bit of a daze at times.

In addition to their ever-changing band lineup, they also brought out a painter that worked on some sort of avant garde piece throughout their set. It was pretty interesting to watch, although I didn’t notice much of a difference in the painting when the set was over. Whatever, I’m not much of an aficionado for that sort of thing so I’m sure whatever the point was flew over my head.

Watch a video we made of Jaye Jayle’s set below:

After Jaye Jayle was finished making Forecastle as weirdly cool as possible, we wandered to the Ocean Stage to watch Waka Flaka Flame‘s set, which was pretty bogus if you ask me. I watched for about 20 minutes, and the most he did (aside from stand behind his DJ booth) was occasionally yell out some stupid shit like “Y’all better call security, it’s getting crazy in here!” The younger folks were having a good time, so there’s that. Speaking of the young lovelies, it was pretty awkward when the DJ was hyping the crowd with Kendrick Lamar’s “m.A.A.d city” and seemingly the entire crowd (which was at least 95% white) were audibly screaming the N-word along to the music, which was especially audible because the DJ kept cutting the music off at the right (or wrong?) time. Yuck.

Capital Cities

We then made our way to the other side of the fest to watch some of Capital Cities, a band I’m not overly familiar with, but Run The Jewels was playing at that stage next and we wanted to get a good spot (more on that later). While they weren’t really my thing, I enjoyed their set, especially when the band played not one, but two awesome covers. The first was a fun, slowed down version of Porno For Pyros’ classic “Pets” and second was a more faithful rendition of Madonna’s dancetastic “Holiday”. It was a bit of a strange coincidence because I swear that was the last record I listened to before heading down to the riverfront. Weird.

Run The Jewels

Now, onto Run The Jewels. I saw them at Forecastle a few years ago, and while they had a good crowd then, it was nothing like the mass of fans that watched them this year. To keep this brief, I’ll just say they were really really really really fucking good (I feel like I left out a few “really’s”).  They were tight, on point and full of energy as they blasted through a loaded setlist that contained bangers from all three of their killer records, as well as that collaborative track with DJ Shadow (“Nobody Speak”). The crowd was into it, maybe too much at times but things never got out of hand.

Watch a video we made of Run The Jewels’ set below:

Immediately after RTJ we headed straight to Against The Grain for a snack and a bit of booze-fueled recollection. The beers were great (as usual) as was the beer cheese we ordered.  Hell yeah. This was a great way to close out Forecastle day one — and now it’s on to day two