FORECASTLE ’18 RECAP: Day One

Alas, another Forecastle is upon us, and as usual, I’m here to fill you in on what I’ve seen and heard, whether you like it or not. Admittedly, the 2018 lineup isn’t as sexy to me as I’ve seen in year’s past. There are quite a few repeaters on this roster (Modest Mouse, Jenny Lewis, White Reaper), but I’m not necessarily bummed about it because most of these are bands that are really fun to see in person. It’d be easy to be a sour puss and complain about which bands/artists weren’t included, but the fact remains that this is what we’ve got, and despite the flair from FC iterations from the past, this is still one hell of a lineup. Needless to say, I went in to day one with an optimistic attitude which may or may not have had to do with the Against The Grain “Citra Ass Down” I had before my arrival. 

EDITOR’S NOTE: All photographs in this post were taken by Miranda Hellman. To see her complete set of photos from FC Day One, go here.

LUCERO

After some confusion on where the media entrance was, I waltzed through the gate in the middle of Lucero‘s set (pictured above). Personally, I’ve never been big on this band, but considering so many of my friends and likeminded people are really into them, I checked them out for a bit before meeting up with the rest of the Never Nervous crew in the media tent. After a few sweaty hugs and high fives, I was off, ready to explore Forecastle 2018.

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After a bit of perusing around to see what if anything had changed with the festival layout, I made my way to the WFPK Port Stage to watch rock and roll machine Wax Fang (pictured above). For me, this was my own personal launch into Forecastle mania as this is the kind of band that gets your blood pumping providing the energy you’re gonna need to outlast the floods of show-goers in the sweltering heat. Per usual, Wax Fang didn’t disappoint as they blasted through a set full of toe-tapping jams, new and old. It was especially cool to see the band bring out Lacy Guthrie (Twin Limb, Pleasure Boys) to perform “Glass Island”, a slow-grooving single from last year — check out a video I took of the joint performance below:

After grabbing a beer, I migrated over to the Boom Stage to watch the one and only Kurt Vile casually play a few songs. I’m not overly familiar with any of his songs past his Walking On A Pretty Daze record, so a good chunk of his set was new to me. But as a fan of everything I’d heard up to that point, naturally his newer material was easily digested. He mixed in a few older tracks like “Jesus Fever” and “Wakin On A Pretty Day” to keep folks like me engaged. Aside from his music (he sound great, by the way), I have to mention the cool-as-hell Highwaymen shirt he was wearing. The shirt was black, as were his pants indicating he didn’t give a fuck about the heat as he put on a hell of a show.

At this point, I was fucking famished, but the thought of eating something outdoors was very unappealing at the time, so I ventured outside of Forecastle and made my way to Merle’s Whiskey Kitchen. After a shot of bourbon and an ice cold beer, I ordered a taco, and cup of chili. But because I’m a masochist, I asked our friendly waitress for the hottest hot sauce they have to offer. A couple minutes later, the manager came to our table to inform us that this particular hot sauce is really, really fucking hot, so he suggested something else with a good amount of heat, but a sauce that wouldn’t melt my insides. His suggestion was right on point as my chili and taco were pretty damned good. 

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After one more beer, I headed back to the madness. I ended up catching just enough of Father John Misty‘s set to solidify the fact that I just don’t really care for this guy’s music. I don’t hate it or anything, but for whatever reason his vibe has never resonated with me. Having said that, boatloads of other people were having a great time watching him perform, and technically speaking he sounded great, so there’s that.

LUCERO

Modest Mouse closed day one out with a barrage of songs from all across their wide-spanning discography. They played songs off of older records like The Moon and Antarctica, Lonesome Crowded West and This is a Long Drive for Someone with Nothing to Think About and as you’d expect a couple from their latest album Strangers to Ourselves. Despite being a bit sloppy at times, frontman Isaac Brock was the wrecking ball of energy necessary to close out day one on a memorable, high note. They closed their set with an energetic performance of their classic song “Tiny Cities Made of Ashes” — watch a video of the closer below:

Immediately following Modest Mouse, I hailed a cab and headed home. After a late night snack, I finished off the first day of Forecastle by appropriately watching Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter. I mean, shit, it was Friday the 13th and all, and what better way to cap off what had been such a great time? I think I did it right. Now, on to day two!