|ALL PHOTOS BY JASON GONULSEN|
And here we go.
Okay, many moments to talk about here. To my eyes, Ryan Adams hasn’t looked this happy in a long time, and it’s for good reason: his band, The Shining, is rad as hell. They can jam on a song like “Peaceful Valley,” and take it easy with “Oh My Sweet Carolina.” Which brings me to my favorite moment. When it came time to sing, “I miss Kentucky…,” Adams didn’t even need to bother — the audience did it for him. Those sweet winds do still blow across the South.
Right before their set, the mayor of Louisville, Greg Fischer, took the stage to address the address the crowd to honor Muhammad Ali, who passed on June 3rd. Soon after, Brittany Howard appeared, arms in the air, a sign of victory. Well done, Forecastle. Well done, Alabama Shakes.
My favorite guitarist, besides Neil Young, is Gary Clark Jr., and what a joy it was seeing him open with “Bright Lights.” The heat was some kind of torture for everyone standing; Gary’s raw and dirty guitar solos were not. They did not seek perfection. They sought new roads. They made me smile, reminded me why it’s great to be alive. I can still feel the power, the healing. Peace.