If you have ever been to a multi-day music festival, you know that the day after a long day of heat can be pretty tough to keep going. I think that is the way we felt when the day started, but the lineup for the final day of this years festival was more than enough to keep me excited about the day.
The heat was back in a big way, but it didn’t keep us from hitting up some local music to start our day from Pop Empire. The Cincinnati duo started the day right with a set of seven brand new songs, and each one got me more and more excited for their next recording. After their set I didn’t need to budge because the good folks that make up Vandaveer was up next. Mark was joined as usual by his lovely sister Rose and was also flanked by Robbie from These United States on percussion. They had a good deal of family in the crowd and kept the afternoon heat away with their crisp, cool set.
After taking in part of Sara Watkins set over on the main stage, I needed some shade and H2O and thankfully found it to recharge a bit. I heard the crowd gathering not long afterwards for Minus the Bear and made sure to get over there for a good spot. It was worth the hustle too, as Minus The Bear sounded as tight as ever while performing alot of new material from their excellent new album Omni.
No more time to relax at this point in the day, as the rest of the evening was jam packed with headliner material. She & Him were up next for me, and as a huge M. Ward fan, this was a set I wasn’t missing no matter what. Both She & Him albums are fairly boring but who passes up a chance to see Zooey croon while Matt plays his guitar unlike most can. Surprisingly, a couple M. Ward songs made their way into the She & Him set as well, including “Rave On” and “Magic Trick.” The well attended set was the only one in which I actually saw the band come out for an encore all weekend as well, and it was an encore worth it’s wait because an M. Ward led cover of “Roll Over Beethoven” started it while Zooey brought it home with a great version of Screaming Jay Hawkins “I Put A Spell On You” which was every bit was enticing as Nina Simone’s version of the classic.
Once again I stayed put, this time to wait for Spoon, who I knew would be in fine form for the Louisville crowd. And in fine form they were, opening with “The Beast, The Dragon Adored” and playing a set that was in my opinion, the best from front to back of the entire festival. No offense to the Smashing Pumpkins and Flaming Lips, who did an amazing job themselves, but Spoon’s set the king of the weekend for this reviewer.
What more can you say about The Flaming Lips. Well, this is the fourth time I’ve seen them and no matter how similar their festival show is, it’s always beyond spectacular. I think our photographer Keith Klenowski not only captured their set in a perfect way, but the whole festival, so I encourage you to go through his photoset below. It will give you a good view of what this years Forecastle Festival looked like, and we hope it gives you cause to be in attendance next year down in Louisville when the midwest connects again. Ahoy!