This weekend, the March Madness Marching Band performed at the Forecastle Festival in Louisville. Forecastle isn't typically the kind of festival I would attend (not enough bands I like to justify the high price tag,) but since it was free for performers I decided to return from my summer hiatus to play the festival. We did five performances throughout the weekend each one taking a 2-3 hour block of time for costuming, organizing, and performing so I missed several chunks of the weekend and a few of the bands I wanted to see. Regardless, it was a great weekend and I did get to see some really great performers. Also, I got to stay at 21C which is the coolest hotel I will probably ever stay in.
Due to the consumption of too much alcohol and too little food, my recollection of Friday is a little fuzzy. I am pretty sure we went to see Manchester Orchestra, but since I can't remember the show I will critique the one thing I do remember- Rain Organics Vodka. I bought a bottle of Rain Lavendar Lemonade vodka for the weekend (plain would have been more practical, but the idea of lavendar was very enticing in the summer heat.) For those of you who don't know, Rain is made in Frankfort at the Buffalo Trace Distillery. It is organic and distilled seven times so it is pure and very smooth. The lavender vodka was great by itself, but even better when mixed with Sprite- the perfect summer drink.
Grace Potter and the Nocturnals- I tried to like them, but the lead singer has that slightly raspy folk singer voice that always turns me away from bands.
Mucca Pazza- So fun, but definitely a band you want to see live. Kinda puts our little marching band to shame, in a good way.
Cake- Wanna feel old? Go see Cake.
Devo- Exceeded expectations. I imagined that Devo had amazing shows in the 80's, but I didn't expect too much from this reunion tour. Well, the show was incredible, everything I would have hoped a Devo show to be.
Cloud Cult- The problem with music festivals is the band overlaps. We missed the beginning of Cloud Cult because of Devo and while I don't regret staying for all of Devo, I do wish that we got to see all of Cloud Cult. They were amazing, even with the microphone problems. (on a side note: they are providing the soundtrack for this blog entry.)
Smashing Pumpkins- Billy Corgan is a douche. I made it through one song and about a minute of stage banter before I had to leave due to a feeling of complete disgust. Die Smashing Pumpkins, die!!! Supposedly it was between Smashing Pumpkins and Pavement and the Forecastle organizers went with the Smashing Pumpkins, total fail.
Dar Williams- I have seen Dar live about a million times and she has yet to disappoint. Plus, every time I see her live I come away with a new favorite Dar song (this time it was The Ocean.) This show she managed to play all of my favorites (partially due to the fact that she takes requests and I was in the front yelling my playlist) and pulled Sara Watkins (of Nickle Creek) on stage for a couple of songs including Iowa, my all-time favorite Dar song. I was in a very happy place for this show.
Sara Watkins- Sara Watkins has a beautiful voice and an amazing stage presence. She has a sweet bluegrass sound that really feels like home to me. Bonus- she pulled out a ukulele for a couple of songs. Oh how I love those girls with ukuleles!
Cirque Berzerk- Mostly acrobatics with a dark vaudeville twist- joyous, sad, and beautiful. I don't know how often these guys actually tour, but they have a regular show in LA so if you get the chance to see them, do it (this goes for all of you PETA people about to migrate out west.) They asked us to perform with them at two of their shows which was an amazing honor.
She & Him- I have mixed feelings about this band. I have both albums and I enjoy them (mostly as background music at the shop,) but honestly I couldn't imagine going out of my way to see them live. That being said, I was a little excited to see them in the Forecastle line-up and I did rush over from our performance with Cirque Berzerk to see the show. I think a lot of the hype about the band is due to Zooey's crossover and not because of the actual music. Their music can border on mediocre, but Zooey has an amazing voice and when she belted out the encore she really proved how much potential she has in the music industry. Hopefully their future albums can capture a bit of this power.
Spoon- By this point, the exhaustion of little sleep and five performances had really kicked in, but I still found the energy to dance to Spoon. I have never really considered myself a Spoon fan, I like their music, but don't listen to it with any regularity. I think that is about to change.
Flaming Lips- This was my first time to see the Flaming Lips in an outdoor venue and I have to say that while the show is definitely suited for a festival setting, the crowd was full of assholes who were there more for drinking and assholery than for the music which made the show slightly less enjoyable. I still had an amazing time and would do it again.