Everything We Saw At Louisville's Poorcastle 2023

The nonprofit, locally-focused Poorcastle is the antithesis of corporate-fueled massive music festivals, and over three days of perfect weather in Breslin Park this past weekend, the scrappy “festival for the rest of us” once again produced its magic by highlighting some of the area’s best talent. 

Poorcastle — which began in 2013 at Apocalypse Brew Works’ parking lot — is obviously a play-on-words joke about being more affordable than the currently-on-hiatus Forecastle, but over the past decade, it’s really developed into something that feels strikingly unique and incredibly important to the local music scene.

This year, the new twist was that the first day of Poorcastle, titled Flashback Friday, featured reunion sets by bands like Twin Limb and Dream Eye Color Wheel, and returning sets by RMLLW2LLZ, Bungalow Betty, and others. There were some technical issues late on Friday, and the last two bands of the night couldn’t perform on the main stage, but they made it work anyway. A makeshift stage was created on the ground, and the crowd circled around the acts. Something about it felt right, like the situation just leaned into the DIY elements of the festival, giving everyone a story to tell. The Twin Limb show itself was predictably great, with the band’s chemistry proving to be unbreakable.

One of the best aspects of music festivals is discovery — stumbling upon that band or artist that you have never heard of and becoming an instant fan. For me, that was The Daddy Sisters on Saturday. Through punk-infused garage-rock, that’s not shy with power chords but pulls inspiration from the blues — similar to bands like The White Stripes or The Darkness — The Daddy Sisters have a magnetic, massive sound that combines with a great stage presence. 

And I’m sure everyone else who attended also left with a new, under-the-radar act to be excited about. Once again, that’s the magic of Poorcastle.—Scott Recker

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