Forecastle Festival XI: Day 2

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Photos by C. Michael Stewart

By BRADEN LAMMERS

The second day of the 11th Forecastle Festival started brightly enough, but around 4 p.m. the threat of severe weather rolled in and threw a few big waves at the Forecastle ship.

All was righted as the storms missed downtown Louisville and the night moved on, by the end of the evening it was all but forgotten.

Dawes

Dawes took to the Mast Stage after the aforementioned weather delay, about an hour and 15 minutes behind schedule. But the Los Angles transplants played a brisk set to make up for the interruption.

And they were impressive.

What Dawes showcased was among the best musicianship of the entire festival. They played a clean, harmonious, enjoyable set.

Alabama Shakes

Alabama Shakes followed Dawes onto the Mast Stage and may have been facing unfair expectations.

Having never heard the band live, there was an anticipation that the energy, passion and soul would bowl the audience over. Unfortunately, it didn’t. Mind you, they still sounded good, but lacked the energy that was expected.

It didn’t help that when the Alabama Shakes slowed down the pace, they could barely be heard over the murmur of the crowd.

It took well into the band’s set before Brittany Howard showcased the force and zeal in her singing that has drawn comparisons to Janis Joplin. It was showcased in “Be Mine” and “I Ain’t the Same.”

Joy Formidable

While the Alabama Shakes were wrapping up, one of the best performances of the festival was underway on the Boom Stage.

The Joy Formidable was high energy, they were loud and the crowd was thrilled. In contrast to the Alabama Shakes the energy they brought to the stage was unexpected and they put on a stellar rock show.

It was their first time in Louisville, and if they come back, go see them. Among the best tracks were “Cradle” and the band’s finale “Whirring.”

Jim James

One of Louisville’s favorite sons was welcomed with open arms to Forecastle, as expected.

James is quite the showman and showcased it again Saturday night.

Louisvillians have come to expect it from James and those out-of-towners who hadn’t seen him before were shown why.

A special moment during his set was when James closed the show with The Beatles “Let it Be.”

The Black Keys

A delayed set, and 20 minutes after the rescheduled start time, The Black Keys took the stage as the Forecastle Festival’s headliner.

Guitarist and lead singer Dan Auerbach walked on stage and said, “let’s get moving.” And like that they were off.

The Black Keys opened with “Howlin’ for You,” and stuck to playing most of the tracks off of their two most recent albums, “Brothers” and “El Camino.”

They peppered a few older tracks into the middle of the set and with a shorter show they didn’t delve too deeply into their catalog.

Keeping with the songs most of the audience knows kept the energy up throughout the show.

The Black Keys closed Saturday night with a flourish. The duo played an extended version of “I Got Mine” that whipped the Louisville crowd into a fervor.

Saturday’s performances ended to the sounds Forecastle revelers chanting, “encore.”

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About hoosierhits
The music blog of the News and Tribune, Jeffersonville & New Albany, Ind.

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