By John Connor Coulston // Lifestyles Editor
While we missed out on sets from artists such as OutKast, Gary Clark Jr. and Twenty One Pilots on the first day of the 2014 Forecastle Festival in Louisville, Kentucky, we more than made up for it Saturday and Sunday by catching some of the best sets of the weekend:
With Jack White’s revered Bonnaroo set still lingering in fans minds, many festival-goers were anxious to see what the Third Man Records’ mastermind would do during his solo Louisville debut Saturday night. While his Forecastle set wasn’t as brilliant as his Bonnaroo performance, the riverfront setting and easy-going audience led it to be an overall more enjoyable experience.
As expected, White performed songs from across his discography including The Raconteurs’ “Steady as She Goes” and The White Stripes’ “Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground” and “The Hardest Button to Button.” Tracks from his latest release, Lazeretto, were high points of the performance including “High Ball Stepper” and “Just One Drink.” Welcome additions to White and company’s set were the often overlooked White Stripes’ single “My Doorbell,” the Hank Williams-penned “You Know that I Know” and the Bill Monroe classic “Blue Moon of Kentucky.”
Jack White and his band played a perfectly executed set, sounding just a great as ever. While it could be said the show was a stream-lined version of White’s Bonnaroo set, it was surely a show Louisville soon won’t forget.
Newly-reunited bluegrass trio Nickel Creek returned to Louisville Sunday evening with a set of songs new and old. Supporting their spring release, A Dotted Line, the group played a riveting 17-song set filled with fan favorites such as “The Lighthouse’s Tale” and new songs like “Destination.”
While the trio, who were backed a stand-up bass player, had a tremendous amount of chemistry playing and harmonizing together, they each had opportunities to shine individually. Guitarist Sean Watkins took the lead on the hit single “This Side” and the new track “21st of May” and his sister, Sara Watkins, showcased her unfaltering voice on the intimate ballad “Anthony” and a cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “The Ledge.” Not to be forgotten, mandolin player Chris Thile led impressive instrumentals like “Smoothie Song” and “Scotch & Chocolate” as well as provided excellent vocals throughout the set.
Nickel Creek’s bluegrass set felt right at home paired with Forecastle’s relaxed atmosphere, leaving fans hoping that this reunion tour won’t be the last Louisville sees of Nickel Creek.
One of the most anticipated sets of the weekend was from the reunited Replacements, who are currently touring after being broken-up for twenty years.
The influential alt-rock group took the stage Sunday afternoon to a crowd of fans that had waited over two decades to see the group live. Every fan from the oldest festival-goers that had followed the band since the ‘80s to young fans that had discovered the band long after they had disbanded sang along to almost every track, looking as if they had waiting their whole lives to see The Replacements in person. However, the admiration for the band stretched farther than just the audience. Superstar Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong joined the group onstage for a majority of the set, playing rhythm guitar with his idols.
Playing tracks from throughout their career like “Alex Chilton,” “I Will Dare” and “Bastards of Young,” the rockers showed little rust and gave fans a true once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Follow John Connor Coulston on Twitter at @JCCoulston.
For our full archive of Forecastle coverage, click here.