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Date of event: July 15-17, 2016 Location: Waterfront Park, Louisville, KY By Tori Biggs & Nina Martin Photos by Nina Martin/ StellarPhoto Day 1 of Forecastle Festival started off with a bang. Literally. The festival grounds were evacuated due to severe thunderstorms in the area, leaving the thousands of eager show-goers uncertain about possibly missing their favorite bands. Fortunately, the evacuation only lasted 90 minutes and fans were readmitted, relieved the sets were only pushed back and all performances would still happen. At the time of the evacuation, Phosphorescence was midway through their set. Once the crowd received the green light to come back, the band resumed their performance with an even bigger crowd than before. Bass and trap artist Bauuer, the mastermind behind the viral hit “Harlem Shake” had festival patrons jumping with his electro samples of everything from Jay-Z to Disclosure. An electric light show accompanied the music, adding an almost rave element to a wild soundscape. Indie rock quintet Grouplove engaged the audience with their infectious enthusiasm and radiating positivity. Their in-your-face style is illustrated through both their sound and their aesthetic, as frontman Christian Zucconi romped around in a bright red Hawaiian shirt while frontwoman Hanna Hooper donned a full cheetah print bodysuit. Playing fan favorites such as ‘Tongue Tied’ and ‘Shark Attack’, their cover of Beastie Boys’ ‘Sabotage’ created a huge response from the crowd. The epitome of good vibes, Grouplove had everyone dancing and singing along to their unforgettable set, which included ‘Itchin’ On a Photograph’ and the wildly popular ‘Ways To Go’. The band also unleashed their newest single ‘Welcome To Your Life’ from their upcoming third studio album, Big Mess, which they officially dropped that day. Grouplove closed out their set with a vibrant performance ‘Colours’ from their debut album, sending the satisfied spectators off to the next show with a heartwarming feeling of contentment. As far as the crowd was concerned, every song was a hit. Right as the sun began to set over the Ohio River, Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals took the stage. The entire band had an incredible energy outdone only by the massive crowd stretching back to the end of the lawn. With their sometimes stupidly simple melodies and extra funky bass lines, the crowd was immediately captured. The Innocent Criminals provided the perfect complement to Harper’s classic sound, from newer offerings to their performance of Harper’s 90s classic, ‘Steal My Kisses‘. Percussionist Leon Mobley jumped around the stage from instrument to instrument, starting off with the simple wooden box he thumped while sitting on before moving on to the bongos. Despite surely having played the song hundreds of times over the past 16 years, the entire band gave off such a fun energy that it seemed as if it was the first time. The performance of the day goes to UK five-piece Glass Animals. The first stop on their new American tour, Glass Animals brought a level of energy no one expected. Opening with ‘Life Itself’, the first official single from their upcoming album, the band immediately had everyone’s attention. Vocalist Dave Bayley endeared the audience with his antsy, awkward dance moves and amped-up delivery of tracks from their debut Zaba. The band’s unique, trademark sound takes on a whole new life in its live element, adding a kinetic essence to the more laid-back, mellow recordings. Aside from classics such as ‘Pools’, ‘Walla Walla’, and ‘Hazey’, Glass Animals treated the crowd to their first-ever stateside performance of new tracks from the upcoming album How To Be a Human. The band reached their apex with what may be the most loved track from Zaba. ‘Gooey’ fully encompassed audience participation with confetti, beach balls, and LED hoops careening the crowd while everyone was singing along to Bayley’s subtle vocals and toothsome hair flips. Their unexpectedly animated set culminated with an oddly charming incidence of Bayley throwing an entire pineapple into the crowd during ‘Pools’ and their finale cover of Kanye West’s ‘Love Lockdown’. Glass Animals was undeniably the stand-out show of the night.

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