Ahhhh day three: The last day of Forecastle 2017. My feet were saying “finally” but my heart was saying “noooo it can’t be over!”
But I walked into the festival excited, because today was the lineup of all lineups: Whitney, Charles Bradley, Foxygen, Conor Oberst, PJ Harvey, and Weezer. Unfortunately, Whitney had to cancel because one of their members got sick. But luckily the Forecastle app let us know right away, so it didn’t affect our plans too much.
Charles Bradley: the most energetic, enthusiastic 68-year-old I’ve ever seen. You can tell he loves what he does, he is a born performer. He rocked the nastiest stank face you’ve ever seen – so stank, it looked like gonna cry at any moment. During his last song he grabbed a bouquet of roses and walked into the audience and handing them out and hugging everyone, all while sharing the message “No matter what color our skin, all of our hearts are red!”
Foxygen was a good time. They have fun on stage, and they are kind of goofballs. Their music is super vintage inspired, to the point where if you told someone their record came out in 1974, they would probably believe you.
Conor Oberst – the only set I cared about getting a good seat for this entire weekend. I have been waiting to see him for 10+ years – I was READY. I used up the rest of my Bourbon Lodge tickets and got there 45 minutes early to secure my spot. About fifty other people had the same idea and were camping out by the front gate. As I sat and waited, I listened to everyone sharing their stories about how Conor’s music affected their lives. I ended up getting a spot in the third row. I consider it a good seat when you can make eye contact with the artist, which I did. At least I think I did – he was in sunglasses the whole time, but that just made it easier to imagine he was looking at me the whole time. I made it through about three-quarters of his set without crying, but when played Poison Oak, I lost it. It was emotional seeing one of my favorite artists (who I consider to be one of the best songwriters of our generation) live, playing such an emotional song. It was a show I will never forget.
I found PJ Harvey how I found all good music growing up – through Rory Gilmore. I borrowed one of her CD’s from the library, and I fell in love with her music, her aesthetic, her entire persona. As a musician, I also appreciate her musicality. She’s not just a singer and a songwriter, she plays piano, guitar, saxophone, autoharp, and just about everything else it seems like. She sounded beautiful live – such a pure voice, and a natural stage presence.
I wanted to enjoy Weezer, but honestly I was so tired at that point, my mind just felt dim. I mean, of course we danced to Buddy Holly and Hashpipe, but anything under 90bpm was just white noise to me at that point. That attitude turned around quickly once they revealed their whole stage getup. They had video projecting on the screen behind them, props, and confetti cannons. They knew we were all tired, so they kept our attention with pretty, shiny things. It worked.
Leaving the festival was bittersweet. Again, feet vs. heart. But I was glad to see that as we were leaving the festival, they already were advertising dates for next year. It’s already on our calendar. It’s good to have something to look forward to.