July 19th, Forecastle Festival- Day 2

Day two commenced with a mad dash to find the elusive tent where the interview with Nashville’s Goodbye June was to be held. With a minute to spare the tent was found, and the interview proceeded smoothly. They’re a great group of guys; all three genuine rockers! On stage they bring an old school Lynard Skynard feel (their long unruly hair only adds to this) constantly head banging to their southern rock jams. Their popular single “Out Of Your Mind” doesn’t do them justice. I almost didn’t recognize the song when they played it live! It’s a mellower song on the record, but when played live it takes a whole new shape. All three of the guys jamed out on guitar for a solo that deserved a hell of an applause. These guys definitely come alive in front of a crowd.

The second interview was with Abner Ramirez and Amanda Sudano of  the lovely duo, Johnnyswim. I’m a big fan of these two, and being star struck can be a serious problem of mine (I know, maybe I’m not in the right profession?), nevertheless the pair, also husband and wife, welcomed our conversation with an ease that only two beautiful souls could bring upon a complete stranger. We spoke without interruption about everything from his 4-year pursuit for alone time with his stunning wife to the first time they saw a crowd sing every word to their album. Talking with them was an absolute blast, and when Abner mentioned they first met in my favorite Nashville coffee shop, Cafe CoCo, I just about melted. I think they enjoyed talking to me too for at the end Abner asked what song I wanted to hear most with which I quickly responded “Pay Dearly”, the only bluesy song on the album. Later in the evening I arrived a few minutes early to Johnnyswim’s set to claim my front and center spot. No way was I going to show my support from the back! The highlight of my day (weekend) came soon after the duo began when Amanda and the band cleared the stage as Abner strummed the first chord of the song I requested. His performance was passionate, sincere, and even without a band behind him he filled the entire stage. I was beyond ecstatic.

Now lets back up a little bit! At 4:15 Lord Huron took to the stage with their hipster/cowboy get up. I’ve only ever heard their most popular song “Time To Run”, and I was pleasantly surprised with the pop rock band. The amount of talent on stage was astounding. Their bass player doubled as a keyboardist, the front man played the drums, and everyone on stage sang. There was the perfect fusion of folk with a bit of new wave trippyness from the vocal distortions to create a largely entertaining hour long set.

I then caught a bit of an electronic set from Kygo. I walked up right as he was playing his remix of BANKS’ “Warm Water”, which was all I needed to hear to recognize this guy knows how to make a killer remix. Up next was the always exquisite Band Of Horses. On the main stage Band of Horses played to one of the larger audiences of the weekend, and with good reason. The band’s recent shift towards the swinging country vibe, with the help of front man Ben Bridwell playing the pedal steel guitar, has made their concert more upbeat and danceable. Even their older songs like “Ode to the LRC” seemed to be a little lighter than their previous shows. They ended the set with “The Funeral” as the crowd sang along adoringly to every word, and just like that- it was time for Jack White

At 9:30 sharp the man himself, Jack White, took to the stage. Everyone was thinking the same thing… this was going to be a show to remember. He played for over two hours, well past Forecastle’s curfew, and definitely didn’t turn down the volume for anyone trying to catch up on sleep. His drummer rarely sat down, and the violinist/vocalist, Lillie Mae Risch, kept all eyes on her every time she opened her mouth. With the aid of an intense blue light shrouding the stage, White and Risch made the whole night feel like a Tim Burton movie, and after a fifteen song set, Jack White still wasn’t done, not even close. He began the encore with The White Stripe’s classic “Icky Thump” only to somehow weave Jay-Z’s “99 Problems” brilliantly into the ending. The crowd went insane, and somewhere out there Jay-Z sat on his throne looking on as the hardest rocker of our generation paid his respect to hip-hop. Seven songs later, the night finally came to an end with “Seven Nation Army”. Oh, and he smashed his guitar into a million pieces. It was epic.

Written By: Rachel Oldham

Photos By: Casey Close