Hometown heroes, recent sensations, legends, local bands–Forecastle Festival will have them all this year. In their first wave of releasing the lineup, the headliners were My Morning Jacket (MMJ), Sam Smith and Widespread Panic, with Modest Mouse–who will be releasing their first album in eight years this year–Cage the Elephant, Houndmouth, Tweedy, The Tallest Man on Earth, Portugal. The Man and RL Grime rounding out the top ten.
The headliners, MMJ, Sam Smith and Widespread Panic, just show that Forecastle does in fact continue to step up it’s game.
Sam Smith will probably play Friday night. In 2014, Smith had a number one single, “Stay with Me,” where his falsetto first hit the music world like a cannon ball. His debut album “In the Lonely Hour” was the second-best selling album in both the UK and US last year. Smith also surpassed Pharrell and tied with Beyonce for most 2015 Grammy nominations, with six in various categories, including Album of the Year and Record of the Year. Smith joins Outkast in being the only two Forecastle headliners who have had number-one singles in recent years.
For a festival like Forecastle, in a city full of people who can’t get enough of our hometown, MMJ are Louisville-based legends. They have proven themselves to be a great studio band, as well as being able to put on a rocking show. They are more than likely going to be the main event on Saturday night. If you don’t already know MMJ, then you probably should listen to “One Big Holiday” or their album “Circuital” before you call yourself a Louisvillian again.
This leaves Sunday night to Widespread Panic. Widespread is a southern-rock legend, and the closest thing that Forecastle has to country or country rock. They are in the Georgia Music Hall of Fame. Widespread’s hits include “Porch Song,” “Driving Song” and “Red Hot Mama.”
Other artists you should check out before shelling out cash for weekend passes: Shovels & Rope, Big K.R.I.T., The Word, The Gaslight Anthem, Cherub, ILoveMakonnen, Over The Rhine, Alvvays, Jeff The Brotherhood, King Tuff and The Revivalists. These are lesser-known artists, but will make Forecastle this year a very diverse festival, with genres spanning the musical spectrum.
This is only the first round of artists, which means many of the smaller local bands have yet to be booked, so look forward to seeing your favorite locals, who still have a chance to get in the festival.
The annual music, art and activism festival will be once again at The Waterfront from July 17-19 this year. Go to forecastlefest.com for more information.