Sasquatch! Festival Expands to Two Weekends

Sasquatch Gorge
Sasquatch! Festival expands to two weeks – Memorial Day and Fourth of July – in 2013. Each weekend will feature a different lineup. I wrote more about it over at Seattle Met. Check it out.

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Sasquatch! Festival 2013 Photo Recap

GrimesI headed over the The Gorge this Memorial Day weekend for Sasquatch! Music Festival and put together a recap slideshow that features Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, The Postal Service, Grimes, P.O.S., Nick Offerman, and more. Check it out.

Fiendish Conversation with Sasquatch! Founder Adam Zacks

Sasquatch GorgeBefore Sasquatch! Music Festival 2013, I talked to the fest’s founder about the event’s start, growth, and more. Check it out.

Sasquatch 2012 Picks From Seattle Met

I laid out my 10 must-see acts for this year’s Sasquatch! Festival over at Seattle Met. Check it out.

Sasquatch! Festival 2010 Day 2 Recap – Bullet Point Edition

Because when there really wasn’t a coherent thread, why force one?  Here’s a look back on the one day of Sasquatch! Festival that I trekked out to this year, complete with color pictures.

  • Caribou is exactly the type of band that should play the first set of a festival day.  The group was the first act on the mainstage and the light, non-abrasive but catchy brand of electronic music Daniel Victor Snaith and his live backing band dispensed was just the right mood setter.  One has to consider that many of the people watching are lightly hung over from first day fest antics or groggy from just waking up, so having something that eases you into a music listening mood with smooth grooves that are just fun enough to get you moving a little is ideal.  I’ve seen the first band, in such a situation not fit more times than I’d like to count.  Kudos to Caribou.

Caribou

    • For some reason there was a black backdrop covering the entire back of the mainstage.  This was a travesty.  Part of the magic of The Gorge is the unbelievable view behind the massive stage.  Someone seriously dropped the ball on that one.  Totally inexcusable.
    • I’m sure the general media consensus is going to be that LCD Sounsystem ruled the mainstage on Sunday, but the real king was Kid Cudi.  The kids in the pit were just rabid for him.  Chants of “CU-DI CU-DI CU-DI!” were heard long before he even took the stage.  Once he actually did make his way out for his adoring throngs, he delivered a performance that left them craving more.  Cudi really commanded the whole stage and worked the crowd like a true showman between renditions of “Soundtrack 2 My Life,” “Pursuit of Happiness,” and others.  For an MC that doesn’t rely on super high energy tracks, the energy was fantastic.  If anyone wasn’t a believer in Kid Cudi before that set, it’s hard to imagine that they still wouldn’t be after witnessing him kill it.

      Kid Cudi

      • Speaking of LCD Soundsystem, James Murphy’s dance contingent is officially in the “artists I just don’t get” category now.  Live it’s just dance music that’s really, really repetitive that lack a lot of energy and stage presence.  I understand the group layers lots of percussion and electronic sounds, but seven minutes of the same few words and beats isn’t that interesting.  To the group’s credit, the coolest moment of the day happened during their set when everyone on the hill started doing a synchronized dance and eventually the people in the pit noticed and joined in time.  Very sweet.  However, I’m slowly starting to suspect that LCD Soundsystem is just The Black Eyed Peas for hipsters, which…well…yikes.

      LCD Soundsystem

      • The reason I only attended one day (and the reason I didn’t attend at all last year) is due to the general decline in Sasquatch!’s lineup.  Even for the one day I did catch, man there were were a lot of boring bands.  Watching a group like Local Natives makes me want to take a nap.  Call me crazy, but I like a little energy in my rock festival.  Heck, even the day’s “headliner” Massive Attack couldn’t even keep my attention for two songs.  Is ambient electronic trance music really a good headlining fit?  Really? Continue reading

      Tegan, X Chromosomes, Unwanted Touching, Sqatch, And – Of Course – Sara

      With Memorial Day and the Sasquatch! Festival approaching, I’m left to ponder my past experiences at the Northwest’s best music fest. Tegan and Sara’s is one of my must-see acts for this coming installment. That said, as great as they were two years ago at Sasqautch!, it’s hard for me to think back to their set without thinking of the ummm… unique experience I encountered last time they took The Gorge’s main stage.

      Heading into the 2008’s edition of the Squatch!, I had become a moderate fan of the Canadian twosome of Tegan and Sara. My friend had supplied me with a copy of So Jealous and I had just begun to familiarities myself with their delightful brand of folk-pop. They’ve since become one of my favorite groups, but at the time I really didn’t know what to expect as I trudged down to the mainstage pit.

      The first thing I noticed as I made my way through the throngs of people was the mass exodus of Y chromosomes. Cold War Kids had just finished up a solid afternoon set, it appeared many of the guys in the crowd were ready to get up and go before the gals took the stage. When I finally made it to the center-ish part of the pit I was surrounded by the most female heavy crowd I’ve ever seen.

      As Tegan and Sara took the stage, everything seemed to be fine. The girls started riffling off cuts from So Jealous and The Con that sounded terrific. It seemed like this was going to be just another stellar set, but not tremendously different than a half dozen other ones from the weekend.

      Then Drunk Sorority Girl started acting up. Continue reading

      Sasquatch! 2009 Rant

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      As I was scanning the initial list of artists for the Sasquatch! Festival that was released this week, I could only think one thing: Man…this year’s lineup sucks.

      Admittedly, part of this is taste. I’m not gaga for some of the indie darlings that grace the bill. Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Silversun Pickups, Bon Iver, and other critical darlings of their ilk might do it for some, but I’m hardly clamoring to get myself to central Washington and shell out over $55 a day (plus camping) to see them. It just seems like Sasquatch! is trying to be a bit too hip. Aside from TV on the Radio, The Decemberists, and Explosions in the Sky (all of whom happen to be playing different days) there isn’t a lot to spark my desire to go to a festival I loved last year.

      Most astonishingly, Kings of Leon is the headliner on Saturday. Who listens to Kings of Leon?!? Aside from my A&E editor, I don’t know of anyone who does. While they are huge in Europe, last time I checked, Washington wasn’t a part of the EU.

      On top of that, Ben Harper and Relentless7 headline Monday. That’s two of the three days being headlined by a band that has no business in such a slot. While Coachella may have lost a bit of hipster cred by choosing Paul McCartney, The Killers, and The Cure as this year’s headliners, at least all of those artists are huge. For goodness sake, Modest Mouse and Death Cab for Cutie were both sub-headliners last year. Has Sasquatch! really fallen that far so quickly?

      Why not throw some cash at a band like Pavement (who has been open to reuniting) to headline and actually one-up Coachella? Something needs to be done to inject some life into this lineup.

      I’ll grant that Sasquatch has always been about indie cred and representing the Northwest. And with bands like Fleet Foxes and The Builders and the butchers, they do just that. But Sasquatch is becoming more than a localized event. It needs to draw upon more than underground Northwest talent, spanning their invitations across the globe as the more successful Coachella festival has done. The Northwest is known for its sound, it should be known for it’s music festivals as well.

      The strongest part of the entire bill are the comedians. Featuring Zach Galifiankis, Demetri Martin, Tim & Eric Awesome Show Great Job, Todd Barry, and others, the comedy tent should be a total hoot. But when the comedians are the highlight of your music festival, well, you’re doing it wrong.

      Unless some serious additions are still to come, there’s no reason to waste your money on this year’s incarnation. Here’s to Sasquatch! 2010.

      *Published in today’s issue of The Gonzaga Bulletin*