And just like that, another Forecastle is in the books. We laughed. We Cried. We Hurled. Read on as I describe my own personal experience throughout the third and final day of Louisville’s biggest music festival. For my recap of day one, go here; for day two’s recap, go here.
To make this day especially memorable, I met up with the Never Nervous crew at the bourbon tent, something I’d never done at Forecastles from the past. We sampled a bunch of rare spirits, all of which were really good — admittedly, I’m no connoisseur, but what sort of red blooded Louisvillian would turn down the chance to taste eclectic bourbons and whiskeys?
White Reaper kicked the day off at the Mast Stage with a killer set full of fist pumping rock and roll jams — couple their performance with a beer and a blazing sun, and you’ve got one hell of a hangover cure. As they blasted through a bunch of fun-as-shit tunes from all of their records, I did a bit of people watching, as this was the rowdiest crowd I saw all weekend. There was a kid wearing a White Reaper shirt that was crowd surfing, clearly having the best fucking day of his life. That energy was contagious, as I found myself enjoying WR’s set more and more as it progressed. It was a hell of a show.
As White Reaper’s set came to a close, my mind and body became very fatigued, so I decided to get away from the madness by retreating to the media tent. I spent an hour or so there drinking beers and talking with friends. Yeah, I missed a few bands and artists I wanted to see during this time, but holy shit, 3 straight days of Forecastle is exhausting.
I eventually picked my broken ass up, and made my way to the WFPK stage to catch Maiden Radio, a folk trio consisting of Joan Shelley, Cheyenne Mize and Julia Purcell. Their set was a bit delayed due to some technical difficulties, but it was well worth the wait as these three ladies put on a hell of a performance. Their voices harmonized to perfection, and the band was on point as they brought out several guests including Joe Manning, Tyler Lance Walker Gill, and a few others I didn’t recognize. Their set was full of soothing, old-timey folk, country and honkey tonk songs, all of which sounded great.
At this point, it was time to eat, and since I was tired of eating festival food while sitting on the filthy pavement, I ventured outside of Forecastle to Troll Pub. After devouring their beer cheese burger and a plate full of fries, I made my way back for one final show.
At this time, I was drunk, tired, and full of food, generally uninterested in anything else Forecastle had to offer. That feeling changed immediately when Australian singer/songwriter/asskicker Courtney Barnett made her way on to the Mast Stage for what would be my headliner of the day (sorry, Arcade Fire). From start to finish her explosive, kinetic energy and unique voice made the little hairs on the back of my neck stand up, and just like that, I was back into Fest Mode. I couldn’t stop focusing on the fact that she doesn’t use a pick when she plays guitar; the fact that she’s a lefty magnified this obsession, but didn’t detour from her brilliant performance.
To put an unofficial bow on Forecastle 2018, I walked to Against the Grain for one last beer and reflected on the weekend that was. No, it wasn’t the greatest FC lineup of all time, but honestly I had as much fun as I ever had at one of these 3 day festivals. Hanging out with friends while watching bands will always be in style, and thanks to Forecastle I have one more excuse to get my boring old ass out of the house for what is always sure to be a great time. I’m aware that Forecastle isn’t for everybody, but for me personally, it remains as an annual can’t-miss event.