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Photo by Jason Ashcraft

You wanna know what Forecastle Festival is like? Ok. It’s a little something like this: Music. Art(ists). Ecology. Louisville-lovers. Dirty hippie dudes. Dirty hippie dames. Beardos. Rollie Fingers’ staches. Dreadlocks. Tye-dye. Bassheads. Potheads. River-bathers. Burlesque performances. Tree-huggers. Socialists. Liberals. Journalists. Hacky-sack circles. Sweaty people drinking PBR. Sweaty people making out. Sweaty people drinking PBRs and making out. Teenage make-shift obstacle hurdlers. Pervasive Mary Jane aromas. Muhammad Ali portraits in the head. The Mayor in VIP.

Yep, this is how it went down on the banks of the Ohio River when more than 35,000 people jumbled together to celebrate Louisville, right below its own skyline in Waterfront Park. And, yes, this was a city government-endorsed event as Mayor Fischer was present to once again welcome My Morning Jacket with Forecastle Festival founder JK McKnight. Whereas some city governments shun music festivals like these, Louisville’s embraces it.

Things have really evolved culturally in this town over the last couple decades, and Forecastle just may be one, if not the main, instigator of said evolution. It’s living, breathing, naked proof that people from many different backgrounds, beliefs and races can coexist together in a way that promotes unity, cultural awareness, activism and freedom with music as the unifying stimulus.

With music being one of the biggest aspects of the festival, here is the rundown of the artists ranked from best to worst in my own opinion.

My Morning Jacket

Jim James – Photo by Kate Eldridge (www.KateEldridge.com)

I don’t have a clue where to freaking begin here. Why? Because last May 2011, when the band released Circuital at Louisville’s Palace Theatre I said that MMJ gave the greatest performance they could ever give. Now here I am, again, both eating my words and again saying, “MMJ gave the greatest performance they could ever give at Forecastle.” Not to mention the best performance – by far – of the entire damn festival. Exactly as they planned to.

In a recent interview with MMJ bassist Two-Tone Tommy, he promised that “surprises” were in store, and the first came only two songs in when the big brass backing of Preservation Hall Jazz Band joined them for a crowd-pleasing version of “Holdin’ Onto Black Metal.”

Keeping the set eclectic, they played songs from virtually their entire discography, opening with “The Dark” and busting out mesmerizing versions of “The Bear,” “Anytime,” “Smoking From Shooting,” “Steam Engine,” and crowd favorites, including“Wordless Chorus” and an Andrew Bird-accompanied version of “Gideon.”

They also logged killer covers of Elton John’s “Rocket Man,” George Harrison’s “Isn’t It a Pity,” The Band’s “It Makes No Difference,” and an encore performance of George Michael’s “Careless Whisper” in which Jim delivered a message from George Michael himself, while tossing bananas to the audience and hilariously adjusting the lyrics to suit the occasion.

I wouldn’t be surprised if that cover perpetuated the sale of a few more George Michaels’ albums on iTunes post-show from all those youngins, who were wondering what the hell they just heard. Hey kids, just like Jim mentioned during a mid-song instrumental break, “George Michaels gets a lot of shit, but he is a fucking genius.” Truer words never spoken.

Once the banana tossing concluded, and with Forecastle’s First-mate saluting the audience from side-stage, former MMJ guitarist Johnny Quaid (of Ravenna Colt) emerged from backstage to play a rambunctious version of “One Big Holiday.” With that, the stage came alive as human-propelled animal and fish props became part of the stage show and provided the last of many “holy shit” moments for the evening.

Sleeper Agent

Now here is a band with a lot of charisma and a seemingly bright future ahead of them — that is — if they keep giving performances like they did at Forecastle. Make no mistake folks, lead singer Alex Kandel is the star in this band as she danced, headbanged and pushed her way around stage with fellow bandmates, flipping her hair from one side to the next every five steps.

Sleeper Agent – Photo by Kate Eldridge (www.KateEldridge.com)

I guess Guitarist Tony Smith figured he, too, needed to get a little wicked, electing to jump offstage and crowd-surf till he was dropped. He quickly jumped back to his feet and climbed back onstage to carry on.

The Bowling Green, Kentuckians logged rowdy live performances of “Get Burned,” “Get It Daddy” and “Proper Taste,” all from their debut album Celebrasion. If these little young Kentucky lads are to have some more big shows in their future, then all they gotta do is keep doing what they did at Forecastle. Their crowd was one of the biggest of the smaller two stages. Next time, they should get a bigger stage because I’m betting they will hold their own on a stage of any size.  

Ben Sollee

Ben Sollee – Photo by Kate Eldridge (www.KateEldridge.com)

Kentucky’s cello-rocker Ben Sollee is a one-man orchestra onstage. Offstage, he’s a seemingly passive, small-framed guy, who almost looks like a scientist or a high school math teacher. But don’t be fooled, because he once again shattered that subtle image the moment he took stage and masterfully blended elements of classical and out-right jamming styles of sound from his cello. He adds in some soulful vocals and sometimes plays with vicious intent and a lot of passion.

Not even a 10-minute late start due to a technical glitch slowed him down on his Sunday evening performance, nor did it decrease the size of his audience, which eagerly awaited him to start plucking and strumming that cello with his bow. Once he started, Sollee quickly captured his audience with his passion in both personality and showmanship. His one-hour set flew by, and I found myself having to cut-out about 15 minutes early to see another equally impressive band getting ready to start.

Clutch

“Hat’s off to My Morning Jacket for their great taste in music!” says Clutch lead singer Neil Fallon, who selfishly joked at mid-set about their invitation to play. But he’s right, especially if you’re fan of good ole’ dirty and stripped-down rock ‘n’ roll, which is a music style that’s not the norm at Forecastle.

Clutch – Photo by Kate Eldridge (www.KateEldridge.com)

Filling the Boom Stage’s lawn with a couple thousand people, Clutch played cuts from their entire catalog. Opening with “Gravel Road” and closing with “One Eye Dollar,” Clutch delivered a set that spanned their 20-year career in music, including high-energy versions of their more popular hits like “50,000 Unstoppable Watts” and “Electric Worry,” yet strangely left out “The Mob Goes Wild.” Damn. Maybe next time.

Ochestre Poly-Rythmo

These Afrobeat and funk pioneers were probably one of the most under-anticipated acts playing in the entire festival. These guys have been playing together for decades but added a hip international flair unlike previous years. Although they’ve been jamming out since the ‘60s, this was only their second trip to the U.S.

Orchestre Poly-Rythmo – Photo by Jason Ashcraft

About an equal amount of time was shared between instrumental play and the soulful French-African vocals of lead singer Amenoudji Joseph Vicky, who spoke to the audience during and in-between songs.

After his performance, I actually had the chance to speak with Vicky on things like the meaning of his music, who some of his musical influences are, and even got a little political, quizzing him on his thoughts on President Obama and our country’s political system.

Speaking in his native French tongue and with a little help from Poly Rythmo’s interpreter and U.S. Manager, Elodie, Vicky was candid and entertaining to listen to. I just wish he had broken out a peace pipe on me. Oh well.

Moon Taxi

This is one band I hadn’t actually planned on seeing, but that I just happened to stumble upon while waiting to see Cabin at the next stage over. I gotta say I’m definitely glad I did, because the guys were totally balls-out rock ‘n’ roll with enough energy radiating off the stage to keep their audience growing through the set.

Now I didn’t recognize any of their original music, but they belted out one mean cover of The Who’s “Teenage Wasteland,” which stopped a few would-be passerbys dead in their tracks as they made their way to the stage.

Cabin

Cabin with Ben Sollee – Photo by Kate Eldridge (www.KateEldridge.com)

One of several Louisville-based indie rock acts took the stage on a muggy Sunday evening to a rather shy and undersized crowd. Lead singer Noah Hewett-Ball has a calm, cool and collected demeanor onstage that seems to carry over with most of their music as a band.

One of their more catchy tunes they played, “A Lie Worth Believing,” just happened to bring out cello extraordinaire, Ben Sollee, for a little eclectic addition to an already catchy song. Much to the modest crowd’s appeasement, Keyboard and Violinist Sarah Beth Welder wasn’t shy about admitting that “I got to knock something off my bucket list by playing with Ben Sollee.”

Lucero

The country punk rockers make their Forecastle return, this time with less bugs up in their grills. Yep, the last time they played Forecastle in 2010 Lucero was swarmed by big river flies that spoiled their performance a little. Not this time, though, instead they were swarmed with a steady fan base.

Frontman Ben Nichols’ gritty and countryfied vocals charmed the couple thousand fans, who weren’t in short supply of being fond for alt-southern sounds that makes Lucero iconic.

Lucero – Photo by Kate Eldridge (www.KateEldridge.com)

Promoting their latest album Women & Work, Nichols and band jammed out the title track to an eager audience. And it wouldn’t be a true Lucero show if they didn’t play “Nights Like These” and “Kiss the Bottle,” which Nichols refers to as his “jaw breaking song.”

Preservation Hall Jazz Band

The pride of New Orlean’s zydeco-jazz music culture stormed into Louisville — almost literally. Staying true to Preservation Hall’s reputation of never hosting a performance in the rain, the day’s storms cleared out of Louisville just in time. Some things never change, I guess.

Preservation Hall Jazz Band with Jim James – Photo by Kate Eldridge (www.KateEldridge.com)

Just as everyone anticipated, Jim James took the stage for a cabaret-like sing-a-long with Bourbon Street’s brass kings. And somehow at the end of that boisterous performance, James was holding a broken mic stand. Figure that one out for me.

Ravenna Colt

Johnny Quaid – Photo by Kate Eldridge (www.KateEldridge.com)

Who would’ve ever known that frontman Johnny Quaid actually had something more exciting in store than his own band’s performance at Forecastle? Not even me. Just a few hours after a bit of a mundane performance with his band Ravenna Colt, Quaid joined his former bandmates in My Morning Jacket onstage for what had to be the highlight of his night.

Ravenna Colt has some decent songs, thanks to Quaid’s obvious ear for sound, but their presentation needs some work. Many of their songs don’t warrant an energetic performance; the band just didn’t seem to be inspired by the music they were playing.

“South of Ohio” is one song they played that warrants a feather in his hat, but a bleak crowd seemed to detract from the performance.

GirlTalk

From Bruce Springsteen to Outkast to Black Sabbath, etc., etc. All laced with a steady backbeat. Ok, this guy reminded me of this loud-mouth, yet like-able, drunken club DJ that I used to work with in college in Richmond, Ky.
This dude pressed a damn button every so often on his laptop, yelled through his microphone “How y’all doing?” a few times and then staggered around like a boozed up ADHD patient all night — sometimes being away from his “instrument” for extended periods of time. Sure, he was a fun guy who “breaks out the jams” and entertains the chemically induced masses. But let’s be clear; I never considered this drunken bastard “talented.” Know what I mean?

GirlTalk – Photo by Kate Eldridge (www.KateEldridge.com)

Final thoughts…

It’s safe to say that this year’s Forecastle Festival topped everyone’s expectations, even my own. I admit that one of my first worries with all the amped up hype was that there would be an equally amped up Police force and security team ready to spoil the fun. As it turned out, however, and much to everyone’s appreciation, that wasn’t the case. They were seemingly respectful of the fans.

Photo by Jason Ashcraft

I mean, let’s face it; you can’t have the police dragging away a bunch of teenage and 20-something potheads for passing around doobies. Not when the Mayor just came off stage from amping them up and hanging out in VIP. That wouldn’t look good, now would it?

In all seriousness, well done LMPD and Axis Security! You see? You guys still brought home the same amount of pay, maintained the safety of all festival-goers and didn’t have to break a sweat or someone’s arm while doing it. Hopefully, you guys now realize that all those pot-smoking, music-junkie hippie kids aren’t really interested in bringing harm to anyone or anything. Nah. All they really want to do is get another polish sausage to suffice their munchies, dance in circles to a My Morning Jacket or Dr. Dog song, and maybe learn how to burn a few less fossil fuels in their daily lives. So, thank you for allowing this to happen. Peacefully.

** This review also published at LouisvilleKY.com and PerformerMag.com

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Leading up to their Forecastle Festival performance on Friday the 13th, founding members of Kentucky’s Sleeper Agent, Alex Kandel (vocals) and Tony Smith (lead guitar) chatted with me on a few things like their influences, what they think of other Kentucky musicians, Alex’s recent nomination into the latest Rolling Stone readers poll, and what their new album holds.

Jason Ashcraft: I’m here with Kentucky’s own Sleeper Agent, Tony and Alex, how are you all doing today? 

Tony Smith: Pretty good 

Alex Kandel: Yeah, we’re doing good. 

Excellent. So here we are at Forecastle Festival 2012, and it’s Friday the 13th. Any superstitions? 

Tony: (laughing) No! 

Alex: No, we’ll watch a horror movie I guess. We’re big horror movie fans as a band. 

Horror movie fans? 

Alex: Yeah. 

Does that have any influence on your music by chance? 

Tony: Only on stuff like “Be My Monster” 

Alex: Yeah, I guess. Then there is our publishing thing called “Sleep-away Camp” which is named after one of favorite movies. 

You guys have been a really up-and-coming band after only being together for just a couple of years, so tell me about your musical influences and your chemical influences? 

Tony: Uh, a lot of beer. 

Alex: (laughing) Caffeine. 

Tony: Musically, if you’d ask me two years ago it’d be totally different….

Alex: Constantly changing. Right now? I mean I will always be influenced by The Ronettes. 

And you also have a likeness for Fiona Apple, who I believe was the first concert you ever went to? 

Alex: Um, yeah it was THE first concert I ever went to. It was like, I didn’t actually know it till I found a journal entry from that time. (laughing)  But, it’s kind of funny how things work out. 

Cool. 

So I like to focus on a lot of Kentucky artists. And since you guys are amongst that group now, I’ve got a list here of other Kentucky based artists. I’m gonna call their names out and the first word that comes to mind when I say their name, just tell me what it is. Whatever your first reaction is. 

Tony: This could be dangerous. 

Alex: (laughing) 

So let’s start off with My Morning Jacket.

Tony: Epic

Alex: Epic, yeah that’s the word. 

Nappy Roots.

Tony: What happened? 

Alex: (laughing) They’re great. 

Tony: They’re great guys, but after their second album they kind of disappeared. 

Black Stone Cherry.

Tony: Metal. 

Alex: I don’t know. I’ve met them a few times. They were really nice. 

Cage The Elephant

Alex: Family.

Tony: Family (laughing). 

Loretta Lynn

Alex: Amazing.

Tony: Up there. 

Days of the New

Tony: Unheard of.

Alex: No idea who that is.

Kentucky Headhunters

Alex: Legendary

Tony: I was going to say that actually. 

Good to know. Welcome to the Kentucky music family so to speak. 

So, Alex. Turning the attention to you for a moment. You were recently nominated in Rolling Stone’s latest readers’ poll “Women Who Rock.” So, tell me. Why do you rock? 

Alex: (smiling) Because I’m actually in a “rock” band. Which, you know, some of the other contestants aren’t. I got that going for me. And because I live in a van, and just like play shows all the time and there is no smoking mirror. I’m just working my ass off. 

Tony: You’ve gotten injured several times. 

Alex: Oh, I have scars. 

Oh, scars. Scars are good. 

Alex: (pointing to a scar on her upper forehead) Can you see it? From a guitar. 

Yeah. What happened there? 

Alex: (smiling and laughing) I broke Tony’s guitar with my head. 

That is totally awesome! If you don’t “rock” for that alone, then I don’t know who does. 

In your own words, you know, with a lot of bands it takes them a long time to get where you guys have already gone. Why do you think its happened so quickly for you guys?

Tony: Well, technically it took us nine years to get here. So what this is, is the dregs of all the other projects plus Alex (laughing). So just nine years of non-stop work. 

Alex: Yeah, they’re is a lot that goes into it too, and you have to be the right sound, with the right path. Our first record was just good timing and the right people believing in us at the right time. A lot of factors go into what makes us a band. It has nothing to do with what we make alone. It has everything to do with what people hear it, and every fan that bought our record and came to our shows. 

Cool. Well looking forward to hearing you play here at Forecastle Festival. And I just caught wind that you guys are writing a new record already. Any thoughts or anything you’d like to share with that? 

Tony: I’m really excited. 

Alex: Even though I’m just hearing the songs in their very early stages where they’re just infants, it’s really cool to know that I am already proud of this record.  

Release date yet? Do you even know? 

Alex: I have no idea. 

Would you say your music is evolving? Are you experimenting? Or staying with your same root sound? 

Tony: Yeah, the first album was more of a sketch. This one is more of a painting. 

** This interview is also posted at LouisvilleKY.com

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To say Hunter S. Thompson was in a league of his own would be a bit of an understatement. Thompson, a Louisville native, and creator of Gonzo Journalism, was known for his many antics. Journalistically speaking; for inserting himself into his own stories and actually becoming part of the assignment. Thompson would thrill seek and risk-take his way through many of his assignments, often times hyped up on his substance of choice in the process. He was a lover of guns, drugs, booze and women. He didn’t trust the government, or hardly anyone else for that matter. He rode with the Hells Angels, followed and insulted Richard Nixon on the campaign trail, and even ran for Sheriff in Aspen, Colorado, almost winning. Thompson was a bit of mad man to say the least. A working rage-a-holic. One whose mission was to redefine the very concept of professional journalism by unseating as many of his readers and editors as he possibly could in the process. Mission accomplished if you ask me.

Hunter Thompson’s legacy will be celebrated this Saturday, Ocotber 15 at the 2nd Annual Gonzofest at The Monkey Wrench in the Highlands. You’ll get a heavy dose of live music from both national recording artists & Louisville artists, along with poets, authors, visual artists and Congressman John Yarmuth. WFPK’s Kyle Meredith will emcee the organized chaos.

Musically speaking, headlining this year’s event is Athens, Georgia-based alt-rockers, The Whigs. Louisville music favorites like The Broken Spurs, Scott Carney from Wax Fang, Cougar Express, and Nerves Junior are also set to take the stage, along with Fresh Millions, David Wax Museum, Tyrone Cotton, Ron Whitehead and The Underground Rats, and Lydia Burrell.

Local artist’s with their work on display will be Andy Cook, Carol McLeod, Evan Lebowitz, and Alexander King – all of whom worked together last year on the “Hunter’s Louisville” mural painted on the sidewall of the Monkey Wrench.

So, if your like me, and feel like partying in the name of one of Louisville’s most exported names, then head on down to the Monkey Wrench Saturday, and together we’ll all say “Thank you Hunter S. Thompson” for giving birth to alternative journalism. “Thanks” for paving the way and laying the foundation for present day nut-jobs like myself to also get published by a real media organization. Now let’s party.



2nd Annual Gonzofest
Saturday, October 15
The Monkey Wrench
1025 Barret Ave.
2:00 pm
$20 advance or $25 DOS
21+

*Photo courtesy of Ralph Steadman

** This preview also published at Louisville.com

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Two Kentucky musicians, Louisville’s My Morning Jacket and Edmonton’s Black Stone Cherry both debuted their latest albums on May 31. Now, both these Kentucky rockers are realizing some of their highest Billboard 200 chart successes to date.

MMJ’s Circuital checked in at #5, just above two Nashville country puppets (whew!) and just below Eddie Vedder’s Ukulele Songs.

BSC’s Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea clocked in at #29, just above the Foo Fighters’ Wasting Light (at #32), I might add.

MMJ continues to stay in the limelight in virtually every viewable media and every huge music festival. Since they launched Circuital, they’ve also debuted a Vh1 Storytellers episode, and played on the Jimmy Fallon show. Right now they are gearing up for their Bonnaroo performance, and even managing to pitch in and play a benefit concert for the Tuscaloosa tornado victims. Nice Kentucky boys they are, right?

BSC is currently on tour in Europe. They’re headed back to the U.S. in July, and will make a Friday, August 26th Kentucky State Fair gig in Louisville, as part of the Carnival of Madness Tour. I’m anticipating it will be in Cardinal Stadium again, but more to come on exact location in the fair.

So, if you haven’t bought a copy of Circuital or BTD&TDBS yet, then get out there and get your hands on a copy or logon to iTunes. Let’s see how far we can help export these Kentucky boys.

Here are some videos from each of their latest albums:

Videos and album artwork courtesy of Roadrunner Records for BSC, & ATO Records for MMJ.

** This review also published at Louisville.com

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Exactly 68 years ago today the U.S. Army, along with allied forces, started kicking some serious Nazi ass on the beaches of Normandy, France, thus launching what would become a year-long campaign against the German military.

My Grandfather from my father’s side served as a Tank Sergeant under Gen. George Patton’s 10th Armored Division. He began his tour soon after the French beaches were captured. He took part in the liberation of Paris and was one of the infamous Battered Bastards of Bastogne, surviving the Battle of the Bulge in southern France in December 1944. He then helped spearhead the assault into Germany in March 1945. Yep. He survived all that shit. That’s how us Ashcraft’s are.

Never forget any of our military’s veterans and the sacrifices they’ve made to make and keep our country free.

Photos courtesy of Wikipedia

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After nearly a decade and a half, a My Morning Jacket concert is rapidly becoming that of legend in the world of music.  Yes, that’s right, legend. Virtually every time they claim the stage, they have something up their sleeve that will soon leave their fans’ heads spinning. Last night’s performance at Louisville’s Palace Theater, the official launching of their new album Circuital, did just that. Multiple times over, I might add, and all of it streamed on the internet live on YouTube and Vevo for anyone willing to logon.

They promised the night would be full of surprises, and the first surprise came with the raising of the stage’s curtain and MMJ, not Erykah Badu, appearing in front of an elaborate giant “Circuital” eye from the album’s cover art as the stage backdrop. The audience erupted into a chaotic frenzy as the first note chimed from Bo Koster’s keyboard, and they went right into the opening track from Circuital, “Victory Dance.” Just like on the album, they followed with a majestic version of the title track “Circuital” and all of a sudden it seemed as though a live run through the entire album was in store. But that quickly dissipated once they followed up with Z’s “Off The Record.”

Certainly more cuts from other albums would follow, and that they did with a heartfelt version of “Gideon” and “Mageetah,” a candid performance of “I’m Amazed,” an aw-inspiring version of “Smokin’ From Shootin,” and both versions of “Touch Me I’m Going To Scream.”

Even Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer couldn’t help but make an appearance, declaring MMJ as “the world’s greatest band” and announcing that through an online poll the song fans most wanted to hear was “Steam Engine.” The performance that followed of the song was mesmerizing to say the least.

A host of other guest musicians joined MMJ onstage throughout the night including Wax Fang’s Kevin Ratterman, who aided in percussion on several songs, Ben Sollee and Daniel Martin Moore who joined in on “Wonderful (The Way I Feel),” and of course, Erykah Badu who added some soul to “Wordless Chorus” and “The Day Is Coming.” MMJ also performed two of Badu’s songs, “Twinkle,” and “Tyrone” which was highlighted by Jim James bowing down before Badu while she stroked his hair, and James simultaneously blistering out one wicked guitar solo. The onstage drama was intense and this proved to be the pinnacle of the night.

Over the years MMJ has given some amazing performances and played some of the world’s most storied venues. From Coachella to Bonaroo, Madison Square Garden to Boston Symphony Hall, and Saturday Night Live to David Letterman, MMJ has done it all. And although I’ve not attended one of those performances I can confidently say that last night’s 3+ hour performance at Louisville’s Palace Theater had to be their most legendary yet. In one night they transformed Louisville’s Palace Theater into their own makeshift commune, played virtually every song off their new album “Circuital” and basically every other hit from their previous discography.

They ignited the crowd to the point where nobody ever really sat in their seats and instead spent the entire night dancing wherever they could muster a move, raising the temperature inside the Palace to something that felt like a sauna. After the concert ended, fans were high-fiving, hugging and cheering all the way out the door and onto 4th Street. At that moment I realized what MMJ had done. They hadn’t just released a new album or just given another legendary performance. Nope. They unified our city of Louisville while the world was watching.

* Photos by Jason Ashcraft & Zach Everson
*Videos courtesy of American Express “Unstaged”


Pre-Show with MMJ.

** This review also posted at Louisville.com

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The Deftones are no strangers to Louisville. In fact, they make their way through our city at least once per year, and most recently on Friday, May 27th at Expo 5.

Also performing that night was Dillinger Escape Plan. I never offer any more coherent words on my review than the band has to offer during their set. That being said, I’ve only got 3 words for you: Obnoxious. Incomprehensible. Sketchy.

Now for those of you who’ve never seen a Deftones show before, you missed out on one of the most fervent live performers in metal music today. And, might I add, whose lyrics you can actually comprehend. For those of you who did catch them this past Friday, I’m sure your ears are still ringing from their raucous, nearly 3 hour performance. The sound was as loud as I’ve ever experienced it in Expo 5, and although rather intense, it was balanced almost perfect. The powerful guitar chords that are central to the Deftones sound ignited the jam-packed venue and fueled the audiences‘ intent to crowd surf and sustain what looked like a pretty chaotic slam-dance circle, something virtually every Deftones show never seems to go without.

Hardcore Deftones’ fans couldn’t have been more pleased as the band took their time playing through one hit song after another from a compilation of six albums going back to 1995. They played everything from “Engine #9” to “My Own Summer” to “Digital Bath” to “Change (In the House of Flies)” to “Minerva” – which brought the crowd singing in unison with lead vocalist Chino Moreno to – and “You’ve Seen The Butcher” just to name a few. The encore song came with “7 Words,” one more track from their debut platinum album Adrenaline.

Once the sound went null, the Deftones cleared the stage, and lights came on, the audience was a little reluctant to leave. I think some of them probably thought their was going to be yet another encore song, because believe it or not, their were still a few songs Deftones left on the table like “Around The Fur” and “Back To School.” But, hey, not many bands who perform as intensely as Deftones have the endurance to play 2+ hour sets, so we should cut them some slack, I suppose. Not to worry though, because between the Deftones’ substantial local fan-base, and local concert promoter Terry Harper, a Louisville hiatus is not likely to happen anytime soon. Bet on it.

Interview with Frank Delgado of Deftones on 5-27-2011

Photos by JasonAshcraft

** This review also posted at Louisville.com

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