The third and final day of Forecastle ’17 arrived way too fast, surely as the result of the massive amount of fun we were having. Although we were all dragging a bit from all of the booze and fried food we’d been shoving into our faces, we were ready to experience day three full on. Read on as we collectively limp to the finish line spending another full day watching bands and hanging out with awesome people. (If you’re looking for our Forecastle day one recap, go here, and/or our day two recap, go here)

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

Photo by Jennifer Montague
Photo of Charles Bradley by Jennifer Montague

Thankfully we arrived to the waterfront just in time for Charles Bradley who proceeded to weaken my knees and melt my heart and soul with his warm, raspy voice and glowing positivity. I’m not overly familiar with his catalogue, and I’m certainly not any sort of connoisseur of soul music, but that didn’t matter for a second. His band The Extraordinaires flawlessly grooved as Bradley energetically sang and howled through an hour long set. At the end of his set he hopped down from the stage and climbed the gate making his way deep into the packed crowd as he handed out roses and hugged a bunch of surprised spectators. It was fucking awesome.

Photo by Jennifer Montague
Photo of Big Thief by Jennifer Montague

Next up on our personalized schedule was Big Thief, a vocally driven alt-rock band from Brooklyn that makes beautiful noise heavily driven by the delicate voice of singer/guitarist Adrianne Lenker. I was only recently made aware of these folks, but I gotta say that their new record Capacity has quickly become one of my favorite records from 2017. Highly recommended listening, folks.

Photo by Jennifer Montague
Photo of STRFKR by Jennifer Montague

Back to the bridge we went, this time to see synth-pop noise makers STRFKR who entered the stage with a group of dancers fully dressed as astronauts. Adding to the weirdness, singer/guitarist/keyboarder Joshua Hodges was apparently dressed as a 90’s house mom, or at least that what it looked like to me. Although I wasn’t able to watch the band’s entire set (had to get a spot for PJ Harvey!), I had a blast grooving to the beat as the band danced their way through a few familiar tunes.

Photo by Phillip Olympia
Photo of PJ Harvey by Phillip Olympia

While I’d definitely consider myself to be a PJ Harvey fan, over the years I never made the leap into super-fandom like a lot of my friends have. Sure, I’m really into a few of her early records (namely Rid of Me & To Bring You My Love) but admittedly I’d not given any of her newer records much of a shot until a few weeks ago. That all changed on Sunday, as I’ve since removed my toe from the water and dived in head first.

Going into her set, there was a lot of hype as I’d been repeatedly told that she puts on a killer show, and holy shit, they were absolutely right. She’s got a powerful stage presence unlike anyone I’ve ever seen as my eyes were glued to her every move she made. She mixed in a set with mostly newer songs but with a few classics peppered in. Watching her perform “Down By The Water” and “To Bring You My Love” was especially riveting. 

Photo by Jennifer Montague
Photo of Weezer by Jennifer Montague

Closing out the three-day mega fest was Weezer, a band that I was excited to finally see, but not to the point of fighting my way through the hordes of glitter-covered 18 year old children to get a better view. In short, they were fine. Yes, they played a few songs I really liked in high school such as “My Name is Jonas” and “Undone,” but the set was mostly jam-packed with Weezer songs that make my skin crawl like “Beverly Hills” “Hash Pipe” and even an awkward cover of Outkast’s “Hey Ya” for good measure. They played a silly medley with short snippets of older songs I like, but medleys are stupid. Play a whole song, or don’t play it at all. You aren’t Metallica, your songs aren’t 8 minutes long.

Watch a video of Weezer playing “Buddy Holly” below:

I actually became bored watching them play to the point deciding to leave before their set was over, something that 16 year old me would never forgive me for doing. I was tired and had just eaten my third corn dog of the weekend and was more than ready to go home. Although watching Weezer was sort of a bummer for me, the weekend as a whole was such a good time for not only the Never Nervous crew, but seemingly all of our friends we had the chance to spend some time with were having a blast as well. Forecastle ’17 was a success from our vantage point; hopefully it was from yours as well.