Posted by: Cory | January 20, 2009

REVIEW: Halfway to Forecastle @ The Green Building – 1/17

Roughly 6 months out, we’re Halfway to Forecastle, and to celebrate, JK brought out a diverse group of artists to the Green Building on Market. Despite the cold and some electrical issues due to the greeness of the building, the show went really well.  The first thing anyone would notice the moment they entered the concert area, after passing through the sponsorship room with Louisville Public Media, Jansport, Louisville Water Alliance, Ohio Valley Creative Energy, etc.  was a series of large screens projecting images of previous Forecastle photos, interviews, etc, all of which are mashed together with some intriguing effects. People came in from all over, including a huge group of cool kids in from Cincinnati.

The show started roughly around 7:30 with Louisville-based jazz band Squeeze-bot armed to the teeth with an accordion, tuba, banjo and drums and not at all afraid to cover Elliot Smith.  That is exactly why this is one of Louisville’s more important bands that you need to see.  Following Squeeze-bot, we experienced a little power outage, which slowed down the next stage of the night, and forced several of the heaters to be turned off as well as many of the lights being turned off.  Next in line were the Cincinnati-based rock trio Buffalo Killers, who were introduced by the Louisville Water Alliance, and who might have been a smidgen too loud for the space because they nearly blew my eardrums out.  The Buffalo Killers are what it means to be a rock band, and are kept in good company having shared the stage with the Black Crowes as well as the Black Keys, as well as having had their latest album produced by the Black Keys’ guitarist/vocalist Dan Auerbach. Following, a big chunk of the crowd showed up for Ekoostik Hookah.  Hippies everywhere showed en masse to catch the iconic jam band who put on just the type of show you’d like to see.  Forecastle tends to mix together indie rock & hippie, and EH provided the later for the night.  Following EH was Jansport’s Battle of the Bands winner Broderick, who put on a much better than expected show.  You never know what you’ll get with a Battle of the Bands winner, but I was pleasantly surprisde by the talent these guys showed up with.  The best thing is that, out of the 1400+ submissions from across the country, these guys just happen to be based out of Bloomington, IN.  Our friend Dodge at My Old KY Blog has made his feelings well known about the evolving group, and we can’t help but echo the sentiment that these kids may well have a good future ahead of them with a very tight sound for such a young band, and a great stage presence.  Following Broderick was the band I was most excited to catch, The Protomen, who kicked off Forecastle last year at the Glassworks opening party.  Keith Robbins had gotten some great video of that performance (Promo Video 1, Promo Video 2).  The Protomen have been making some recent changes, relocating from the land of Thundercon to America, but continuing the epic struggle against Megaman from our National shores.  The bands debut album is described as a Rock Opera about their war against video game legend Megaman.  In full armor, The Protomen took a break from their battle to call all participants to arms against Megaman by playing us for the music fans we are.  You’ll see from the photos below, but several persons from the army came into the crowd, dressed for battle.  Perhaps one of my favorite moments of the night happened when we caught part of the crew dancing to OK DJz spinning vinyl upstairs where Narwhal & A.Bell kept kids warm all night by going track after track of great dance music for dancing close and sweating on one another.  Protomen’s act thrives on schtick and recontextualizing rock with elements of Nintendo 64 while reworking kitsch characters into rock legends.  It’s the kind of set where they’re just as likely to use an 80s ballad to talk about destroy planets as they are making love to robot-girls.  Put that together wiht an energetic, raucous live show and you’ve got got the makings of concept-band legend.   DJ 2nd Nature finished the night with those fans still going strong around 1am.

We had the opportunity to interview Squeeze-bot, Broderick & The Protomen, so be sure to look out for each of those soon to come.

For more photos,

Squeeze-bot

Buffalo Killers

Ekoostic Hookah

OK DJz

Broderick

The Protomen

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