Run the Jewels – The duo known as RTJ (El-P and Killer Mike) bring their “Run the World Tour” through Forecastle on Friday. The tour is appropriately named, as the duo has, and will continue, to play and headline festivals across the world this summer. Only 3 albums into their short tenure together, RTJ has raised the bar for real hip-hop lyricism. Both artists are on top of their game, seemingly becoming more blunt and honest on each album. Killer Mike and El-P’s chemistry only gets better and the duo has placed their stake as the “realest” MCs in the game. RTJ has produced some of the best hip-hop music in the last 5 years, making this performance a must-see of the weekend.
GRiZ – Forecastle continues to feature artists in each genre that stand out above the rest in innovation and creativity, while appealing to a variety of listeners. GRiZ has risen quickly in popularity due to his unique style of electronic music, which includes collaborations with Eric Krasno (Lettuce), Son Little, and Talib Kweli. He incorporates live guitar and saxophone into his live performances, jumping from fast electronic beats to smooth hip-hop ballads. As far as electronic music is concerned, GRiZ’s unique style has propelled him to one of the best, a must-see for fans of the genre, and a guaranteed fun experience for all.
Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires – After being diagnosed with stomach cancer, the modern day king of soul returns to Forecastle once again. The 68-year-old, ex-James Brown impersonator, has only been around a few years, but has left a mark on soul music to this generation of festival goers. There is no more emotional performer. Bradley’s songs are personal and meaningful, and his cover of Black Sabbath’s “Changes” proves just how powerful that can be. He truly loves the world and the people in it, and his live performance will leave you inspired and grateful, a rare aspect in music these days.
JD McPherson – JD McPherson joins a Saturday main stage which appears to be made to highlight bands who utilize multiple genres, balanced together, to create truly unique music. His use of blues, rockabilly, country, and R&B are just that. JD creates an interesting mix of the old and the new, the prepped and the scruffy, leading to a wide fan base. With his high energy and accomplished band, McPherson is sure to get the crowd more than warmed up.
LCD Soundsystem – LCD’s return is like none before. After storming through major festivals in 2016, the genre-bending, indie dance-rock comeback lands in Louisville. The band is gaining new fans and increased respect, ignoring (and sometimes joking about) the ever-widening gap between electronic and rock fans. James Murphy’s emotion is contagious, delivering thoughtful lyrics, combined with intricate songwriting and incredible musical talent. The band is guaranteed to run through their best songs with the same consistent effort and energy as always, with some new material thrown in as well. Fans of all genres should be there.