Sasquatch! Music Festival 2012 | Washington | Review | Photos

Words by: Davin Michael Stedman & Jake Amster | Images by: Todd Hobert

Sasquatch! Music Festival :: 05.25.12-05.28.12 :: The Gorge :: George, WA

Big photo gallery below review!

Sasquatch Festival 2012 by Todd Hobert
Sasquatch! Festival, in its 11th year, has become a juggernaut among the biggest festivals in the country while remaining extremely unique. It remains one of the only festivals in the country held at a permanent music venue. It is one of the smallest of the big festivals at a capacity of only 25,000, yet it spans four days and boasts just as wide and strong a range of acts as Bonnaroo and Coachella. Set against the backdrop of the beautiful Columbia Gorge at a time of year when it isn’t stifling hot, it is shocking that this festival doesn’t sell out the second it goes on sale. It still seems to be the Northwest’s best kept secret. (Jake Amster)

My impression of the Sasquatch! Festival is forever colored by my misadventures there as a stagehand in 2006 working 14 hour days as history and the back hand of Momma Nature just kept smacking me in the face. My first morning out there, bright and early sans coffee, I’m helping lay down the snake for NIN and trying not to bring too much attention to the fact I don’t know what the hell I’m doing. I pull up yet another portion of metal grating and without a second thought, pick up a tiny little Gardner snake and toss it safely out of the way. Moments later as that second thought finally reaches my brain, I turn around and see the desert, realizing that I was a damn fool. I wasn’t in Seattle anymore and I just picked up a baby rattlesnake. This is the Wild West. That’s why it’s kind of ironic that the festival’s visionary founder Adam Zachs named this event Sasquatch. The real Sasquatch would die like a mad thirsty dog out there in the badlands (they never venture past Roslyn). While The Gorge is one of the best places in the world to catch a concert, but that place can turn on one faster than stepping on a rattler. I learned that lesson two days later rushing Neko Case and her band off stage as the sky came falling down. This was the year of the infamous hailstorm that brought the festival to a screeching halt. At the first sign of hail, the folks backstage smiled at Neko’s steely resolve to play through the elements. But then God doubled down, and the man mixing monitors turned to me and said, “They could die. Get them off stage now.”

Six years later I’m on assignment for JamBase, cruising up I-90 with enough supplies to survive two weeks in the outback. At about 60 mph the power steering in my photographer’s damn near new Jetta goes out. As oil gushes over his engine, stranding us at the mouth of the Cascades, my first thought was, “Here we go again, Sasquatch.” Though many of this year’s adventures are either too gonzo or unprintable for this publication – after all this is just a concert review – know this: Sasquatch never fails to bring out one’s inner Dr. Indiana Jones.

P.S.: Don’t get to close to Jack White. He’ll rip your heart out. (Davin Michael Stedman)

Friday Highlight

Pretty Lights by Todd Hobert
Pretty Lights - Sasquatch Stage - 10:15-11:45 PM

Pretty Lights’ performance was first and foremost an impressive light show. DJ /producer Derek Vincent Smith stood at the epicenter of his carnival of lights doing whatever each particular DJ actually does back there behind their velvet work desk (mixing? texting? DJing? taxes? Words With Friends?). Fellow contributor Jake Amster were disappointmented that drummer Adam Deitch (Lettuce, Break Science) wasn’t a part of the show. That definitely would have been the right touch in honor of closing down the Main Stage on Friday. But the floor was certainly moving regardless – as evidenced by the necessity of dodging countless tiny glow sticks. There was just the right mix of WOMP for the cool kids up front, and mid-tempo anthems for the 10,000 relaxing (or possibly frying balls) above them on the lawn. Highlights included a song I’m still searching for that sounded like a pair of sperm whales fucking the International Station, as well as an extended version of Pretty Lights’ 2006 masterpiece “Finally Moving” from Taking Up Your Precious Time. The latter is notable for a) its use of the Etta James’ sample a half a decade before Flo Rida took it to airwaves and the bank, and b) the terrific use of the brief intro to the Stax Records classic “Private Number” that folks my age remember from the Summer of 94’ as Rappin’ 4-Tay’s “Playaz Club.” (DMS)

Saturday Highlights

Charles Bradley by Todd Hobert
Pickwick - Sasquatch Stage - 12:00-12:45 PM

One of the great things about Sasquatch is its loyalty to Northwest artists. Up-and-comers get a chance to shine in front of thousands instead of a couple hundred. Pickwick is a great example of the great soul and funk coming out of Seattle these days. A six-piece band of white boys, these guys sound like a cross between Sam Cooke and Beck’s Midnite Vultures. Frontman Galen Disston is shy and frenetic at the same time. What amazed me about these guys was how catchy their music was with virtually zero choruses. They seem to write thoroughly composed songs that stay with you while lacking the hooks that their Motown and Stax predecessors used. An impressive feat from one of the best new bands out there today. (JA)

Charles Bradley - Sasquatch Stage - 1:05-1:50 PM

It was a nice touch placing Pickwick and Charles Bradley back to back on the Sasquatch (Main) stage. God bless, Charles Bradley. The Screaming Eagle may have one less move than Mathew Brodrick in War Games playing Tic Tac Toe, but everything Bradley does is magic. It’s righteous. It’s endearing. It’s the sound of a soul singer carrying a pebble in his shoes from every mile he ever walked alone. Sure sometimes when you close your eyes, you hear James Brown with a smokin’ little boogaloo band behind him – and that’s beautiful, man - but on the show closer, when Charles Bradley became none other than Charles Bradley and sang the line “It’s hard to make it in America” from the song “Why Is It So Hard,” I cried. When I looked around fighting back those tears, I wasn’t the only one. The fact that Charles Bradley finally made it in America is a beautiful thang. But as the exception so often tragically proves the rule, you just can’t help but love this man and celebrate his underdog story. Personally, I love that Charles Bradley dances like my big white dad at my Puerto Rican family reunion. It ain’t tight but it’s just right, and it makes you love him that much more. (DMS)

Alabama Shakes by Todd Hobert
Alabama Shakes – Big Foot Stage – 3:-00-3:45 PM

Alabama Shakes literally came out swinging. Whether for the safety of a covert sound check, or in honoring the traditions of a hot soul or country combo, they announced their arrival with a quick one – a honky tonk piano driven number that sounded like…Lynyrd Skynyrd. Alabama Shakes is country like Ike & Tina and Memphis-era Charlie Rich are country. It’s just where they’re from and it rolls off their tongues. What they really are is rock & rollers – freaks just finding their footing on rich soil. The Shakes are still young and loose, and it’s hard to tell how much range they have from a balls-out festival set, but I love them and so did that crowd. Co-conspirator Jake Amster noted that judging by the size of the crowd and the general reactions they should have been on the main stage, and thousands of people at this set agree.

What separates Alabama Shakes from 100 other bands (besides a great name) is their singer, Brittany Howard. She’s up there beating up her guitar like Ike Turner and screamin’ like Tina, with a Southern band swingin’ drunk punches behind her. You can detect a bit of Mavis Staples in her vocal tone as well, and that’s a gift. I’d love to see her a) put down that guitar for a song and sing a power ballad with the slow fire and been-to-hell-and-back dynamics you get from a young Otis Redding, and b) I want to see what she can do solo with just a steel guitar and her nasty gorgeous vocals. That’s rock & roll, too.

An excerpt from my chicken scratch notes reads: Speaking of Brittany and her gang: “Jerry Lee Lewis banged Tina Turner. She's tough. Somebody's got a pistol.” A true metric of the Alabama Shakes’ success was the coincidence that I happened to be dressed, and look enough like bass player Zac Cockrell that for the rest of the day Saturday half a dozen people approached me testify that they came to Sasquatch to see the Alabama Shakes. After seeing how disappointed the first few were that I wasn’t their man - I might as well have just kicked them in the heart - I just went with it and took pictures with them. And you can’t beat waking up on the ground listening to Jamey Johnson because some fine young tender is laying next to you on the ground, kissing you on the cheek and snapping your picture. Zac Cockrell, I salute you…and I have her phone number. (DMS)

Childish Gambino - Sasquatch Stage -5:25-6:10 PM

Childish Gambino by Todd Hobert
Donald Glover’s alter-ego Childish Gambino was one of the great surprises of the weekend for me. As a main character on TV series Community, I would have expected a comedy-laden musical performance. What I got instead was a unique 5-piece band that would have Kanye West crying with jealousy. With his stream-of-conscious rants and on-point lyrical delivery, Glover is a force to be reckoned with onstage. The energy of this set was non-stop. It certainly didn’t hurt that his unorthodox band (guitar, percussion, keys, and violin) just killed it on every tune. I would say that this guy is going to be a superstar if he wasn’t already. Nevertheless, Childish Gambino deserves to be a star in his own right. This was easily one of the top three performances of the weekend for me. (JA)

A couple things surprised me about Childish Gambino. Has any current or former NBC employee, since Tracey Morgan or Michael Richards dropped the N Bomb so much in a single performance? Maybe they have a security guard that raps at night that currently sits at #3. So many N Bombs from such a sweet little man. And could I have been more impressed with somebody outplaying Kanye West at his own game? I often wonder where Kanye West would be in his career if he was just likeable enough that we could figure out if he was even charismatic. Donald Glover could be another megalomaniac, but I just like him so much at this point it’s hard to tell. Kanye, it’s not often that both a President and a rapper can bring a nation together. The entire Birther Movement and can hold hands and agree you are both a jackass…and a genius. I would pay rent money to sit next to Kanye at a Childish Gambino show, as he lost his damn mind, texting and screaming about how Donald Glover stole his shit. Because he did, and I liiiiiiiike it. (DMS)

The Shins - Sasquatch Stage - 8:10-9:25 PM

One of my favorite aspects of my festival experience was the wildly varying impressions each performance had on longtime fans and the recently converted. A fan to my right testified that the new lineup of The Shins was leaps and bounds better than the original band. Fresh new lead guitarist Jessica Dobson certainly was on point and grabbed people’s attention. Later that weekend, another fan sadly testified to me that El Shins had lost their swag, as if their sturdy Mexican-American roots and mojo was buried in a taco truck in Albuquerque. Personally, I had a grand ol’ time riding a wave of nostalgia back to seeing them in the golden days of 2006 – before our recent Great Depression, back when the recording industry was still only teetering on collapse. The only real distraction for the fans and The Shins was that the sound absolutely sucked. Maybe Jack White and his minions were hacking and chewing at cables backstage (Jack's sound was pristine). It sounded like a cable went bad or a speaker was blown. And not that the Shins are known for booty shakin', baby makin’, block rockin’ beats, but ‘ey Poppi, what happened to the low end? (DMS)

Jack White - Sasquatch Stage -10:00-11:30 PM

Jack White by Todd Hobert
I don’t care what anyone says about the cell phone and bootleg videos that surface from Jack White’s headlining performance Saturday night. I don’t care if you don’t like Jack White’s new solo album, Blunderbuss. None of it equates or adds up to show I witnessed that night. It was quite simply the greatest rock show I’ve ever seen. It’s the closest thing I’ve ever experienced to seeing Led Zeppelin at their peak. Simpy put, Jack White is the Devil.

Let me put it this way, Jack White is Bob Dylan. There is no way that guy is as cool as he appears to be, but what separates them from you and I is that they are capable of swallowing their own myth. Those that can swallow that enormous pill, if they survive, can trick destiny and become bigger than their biggest lie. I envy such men. I don’t believe a word Jack White says, but I believe every note he plays. Sure, some say that everything Jack White has done has been done before – just way less cool (and color coordinated). To those people I say, YES, but don’t forget the power of this ideal:

When you steal in rock & roll, steal from the bluesmen who stole it first.

It wasn’t just Jack White that Saturday night. It was the company he keeps. His drummer Daru Jones is easily one of the top five rock & roll drummers I’ve ever seen. The fact that he just recently began performing rock & roll, and was instead cut from the musical cloth of the Black church, well excuse me, but there’s nothing more rock & roll than that. Daru had that elephant march of John Bonham, and he never missed a beat or stopped taking chances. The whole band took my breath away. The Devil I tell you, Jack White is the Devil (and he wants your blood). When Jack left us with his last encore, a “7 Nation Army” road house special, he left us all possessed and freshly infected. As we sprinted up the hill towards The Roots’ late night set, the chant of his soccer anthem riff passed through the fleeing masses at the speed of darkness. (DMS)

The Roots – Big Foot Stage - 11:30 PM-1:00 AM

Most people don’t realize that 2012 marks Philadelphia’s legendary Roots crew’s 25th anniversary as a group. They have come a long way since those early days and certainly had a change of pace when they most recently became the house band for Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. While still recording albums, their live shows have become scarcer. So when the band stepped on stage for the Saturday late night set, I was extremely excited to see the entire Roots crew in attendance and ready to throw down - and throw down they did. Opening their set with a spot on performance of the Beastie Boys’ “Paul Revere” in honor of the late MCA, The Roots never let up for the next hour and a half. While playing a career spanning set, the group wound up being perhaps the most ‘jammy’ band of the weekend. They left songs unfinished, jammed songs out, and played perhaps only 15 tracks in their allotted time. The only misstep was a poorly placed cover of ‘Sweet Child o Mine’. Other than that, ?uestlove and the crew proved to be the quintessential late night party-throwers. (JA)

Sunday Highlights

Sasquatch Festival 2012 by Todd Hobert
The folks at Sasquatch anticipated that many festival goers would be hung over, sleep deprived, and lacking functional levels of serotonin. Their guess was correct. The entire day was one big Bloody Mary. There were still fine moments of music to be had, but Saturday was the orgy of awesomeness from start to finish. We could have written a coming of age novel about what happened Saturday night alone, but here are some things that happened Sunday, including notable highlights I briefly witnessed while running from stage to stage: the lovely Little Dragon commanding a huge crowd at the Big Foot Stage, and on the Yeti, the stained glass harmonies of The Staves and the youthful majesty of Zola Jesus as she descended into the crowd. (DMS)

Howlin Rain - Yeti Stage - 2:25-3:10 PM

Howlin Rain was a class 5 hurricane with each member like super tornadoes around this cyclone that flung cars, pets, and bags of weed and paraphernalia at their sizable audience. All around me were real God damn Americans (and Canadians) that looked me in the eye when I looked at them, nodded their head, and said, “Fuck yeah!” I praise Jehovah I was in the adjacent media center as I heard the never ending coda to one of the best songs I’d never ever heard. At first I didn’t notice The Truth but it just kept coming, and before long it took control of my body. I shut my net book, jumped over a gauntlet of power cables, twinkle toed past the snack table, and ran into the WALL of twin guitar waaaaaaaaaaaaa that is Howlin Rain. They were loud, and they looked a little dirty. They were the perfect cure to a staid and proper Sunday afternoon. Sonically, they spit into our mouths. (DMS)

Don't Talk To Cops
By Todd Hobert
Maine Stage Highlights

Let’s take this slow Sunday to discuss the Maine Stage in general. No, not the main stage (i.e. Sasquatch Stage) , but the Maine Stage as in Northernmost state in this Union, where your cousin contracted Lyme disease.

The Maine Stage message seemed to be, “Seattle Hip Hop, here is your stage,” but it also provided me with one of the great mysteries of Sasquatch 2012 - I couldn’t stop wondering how much the Maine tourism board paid for this tongue in cheek bit of PR. In the place designated for sponsors, there was a prominently placed illustration of the state of Maine, a bumble bee, and a mention that Maine was the Pine State. Maybe it was an inside joke that the festival’s smallest (public) venue, dedicated solely to acts repping Seattle area code 206, would be referred to audibly as the main stage. Who could complain when all their mothers replied, “Oh my word, my baby’s playing on the main stage!”

On Monday, the Maine Stage should have been renamed the Trent Moorman Stage. The drummer/writer played all three sets on the stage Sunday with Katie Kate, Don’t Talk To Cops and Fresh Espresso. A good drummer who is familiar with the material is always a welcome addition to the boom bap of a live hip hop show leaning on pre-recorded tracks. Along with a charismatic DJ, it takes a lot of pressure off an MC from having to own every single breathing moment of a set.

Katie Kate
By Todd Hobert
On Saturday, Fatal Lucciauno demonstrated how to capture a crowd and draw an even bigger one with a spectacle: You’re a rapper, it’s just you and a DJ, so you invite half the crowd on stage. Before long, another 100 kids arrived to shake their asses to his street tales. On Sunday, fellow Sport N Life label mate Spac3man employed a similar trick, this time coming down to the crowd, demanding they jump with him through verse and chorus, until the youth swallowed him up whole and became one jiggling party rap organism.

Later that Sunday, Dyme Def channeled the Beastie Boys, and though I missed it, the word on the festival street was that Fly Moon Royalty stole everyone’s heart with their Fly Girls. On Monday, the Maine Stage opened with Katie Kate, an exciting new producer/musician/vocalist/MC with one of the stronger debuts of 2012. Matching the majesty of her recording with consistent live performances is a tall order for any newcomer. She will wreck your house party, but as far as a performer on larger stages, she is still green. But mark my words if she sits behind a piano and pulls out her flute for a moment or two, it’s GAME OVER.

One final highlight worth mentioning from Monday was the dance performances during the Don’t Talk To Cops set. Powered by a three-piece band, backing tracks, and the reverse Lucy & Desi energy of front couple djblesOne and emecks, once their very own break team hit the stage, fists were pumping. Well played. (DMS)

Bon Iver - Sasquatch Stage -10:00-11:30 PM

Bon Iver by Todd Hobert
Those familiar with Bon Iver, the brainchild of Justin Vernon, know that their performances are something unique. Different. Special. Saturday night’s headlining set stuck to that general mold. While perhaps a bit mellow to close out the night, Vernon and his nine-piece band did what they do best - recreate the unmistakable sound from their two albums and one EP. Opening with the first two songs off the latest eponymous LP, “Perth” and “Minnesota, WI,” Bon Iver spent an hour and a half weaving a narrative that had the audience transfixed the entire time. It is impressive to watch the musicianship displayed among this band, where every member is a multi-instrumentalist. The set included older tunes like “Creature Fear” and “Skinny Love,” a spot on version of perhaps his most well-known tune “Holocene,” and a set-closing sing-along to “The Wolves (Act I and II)” off the debut album For Emma Forever Ago. Bon Iver’s greatest strength in my opinion is taking a classic approach to songwriting and making it extremely ambitious. While these songs would hold up with just one guy on an acoustic guitar, they become something magical in the hands of a genius like Vernon and his collaborators. (JA)

Monday Highlights

Sasquatch Festival 2012 by Todd Hobert
Gary Clark Jr. - Sasquatch Stage - 2:10-2:55 PM

Monday at Sasquatch is always a toss-up - sometimes there is an electricity and sometimes exhaustion has set in. Gary Clark Jr.’s Monday afternoon set on the main stage ensured that this year’s festival would go out with a bang. Straight out of the gates, Clark and his four-piece band were at 100 MPH and brought it for the entire 45 minute set. Part Hendrix, part early Buddy Guy, Clark does justice to a late 60s sound while keeping his songs fresh and original. He and his band obviously play a lot together as they were extremely tight and well-rehearsed. The crowd this early in the day was so into the singer/guitarist’s larger-than-life persona that they chanted, “GARY, GARY,” in between every song. Yet while confident during these songs, Gary Clark Jr. has a certain shyness about him in the breaks. All in all this was a highlight of the weekend and definitely one to check out on the festival circuit. (JA)

The Joy Formidable - Sasquatch Stage - 4:20-5:05 PM

If somebody had told me last week that the highlight of the entire weekend for me was going to be The Joy Formidable, an indie-rock trio from Wales, I would have told them there were too many other acts to be excited about. Yet when all is said and done, this is the performance I can’t stop talking about. Ritzy Bryan, the thin, young lead singer/guitarist of the band, might be the most entertaining performer in music today. She ran the length of the stage nonstop in between her soaring vocal parts. She was so energetic that at one point she face-planted off the drum riser. It is a rarity these days to see a band leave everything they’ve got on the stage, but The Joy Formidable do just that. Combine an incendiary stage performance with some of the best straight-ahead songwriting I’ve heard in a while, and my throat is still trying to recover from screaming for 45 minutes straight. Festivals are all about discovering new music and finding new bands to love. I will definitely be seeing more of these guys in the future. (JA)

Awesome Tapes From Africa - Banana Shack - 4:40-5:25 PM

Feist by Todd Hobert
You should have seen the sight of me booking it towards the Banana Shack, shoving emaciated hipsters out of the way, hoping to see if the most glorious sound Sasquatch had offered me yet could be genuine. There I was wandering, looking for answers, not even knowing the question, when I heard it. Could it be? A West African band tearing up the rave & comedy tent? I fell to my knees and poured bottled water on my face, praising the Motherland, when I saw it was but a mirage. It was not ten African funk warriors, just one man playing songs he found on cassette. I picked myself up, combed the sand from my hair, and did what everyone else was doing around me - I danced. I stuck around for every last drop of Awesome Tapes From Africa. Brooklyn's Brian Shimkovitz is the man behind the blog and the decks, and god bless him for bringing the pale masses these wonderful songs we all most probably would have missed. I often wonder about the greatest songs lost on tape, and it seems in terms of resources, Sub Saharan Africa has the mother lode. I’m still trying to figure out who played the marvelous cover of the Stax staple “Knock On Wood.” (DMS)

Feist - Sasquatch Stage - 5:30–6:30 PM

Having only caught the last two songs of Fiest’s set, I added this to my list of great moments I probably missed. What I did catch sold me down the river. Feist is a cool guitar player and a nimble, funky little singer that can ride a groove with a welcome tinge of jazz and gospel. Her stage presence was excellent for a woman that looked like she was hosting a garden party in the Hamptons. Mountain Man, her trio of backup singers, were quite a complement visually and sonically. They looked like 1970s sister wives she rescued off the grid in southern Utah. They were geek-chic and they sang like angels with her as the crowd joined in on the “na na nas” of “Comfort Me” and closer “See-Line Woman” as she channeled Nina Simone in a manner that completely suited her voice and did sweet justice to that ancient playground anthem. I had a couple goose bumps. (DMS)

Silversun Pickups - Sasquatch Stage - 7:00-8:00 PM

Silversun Pickups by Todd Hobert
Brian Aubert’s vocals are unmistakable. It isn’t the only charm of Silversun Pickup’s music, but it is what sets them apart from other bands these days. He goes from a high tenor range to a chesty scream effortlessly. Like them or not, this band has created a sound that is only theirs. They are one of the few groups out there today that you can recognize without even knowing their songs. Their Monday evening set consisted of songs from their three full-lengths with a heavy dose of tunes from their latest album, Neck of the Woods. The California four-piece looked extremely happy to just be there playing and it had a great influence on the audience. Their set was extremely tight and well-paced. These guys have been touring nonstop around the new album and show no signs of letting up. They are a band that is truly in it for the music. As the sun was going down on the final day of Sasquatch, I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face from watching talented musicians do what they do best - ROCK! (JA)

Silversun Pickups Setlist:
Skin Graph, The Royal We, Bloody Mary (Never Endings), The Pit, Substitution, Future Foe Scenarios, Mean Spirits, Panic Switch, Dots and Dashes (Enough Already), Lazy Eye

Tenacious D - Sasquatch Stage - 8:30-9:30 PM

Tenacious D by Todd Hobert
The D lived up to its reputation as the greatest rock duo of all time. Simon & Garfunkel and Hall & Oates may have sold exponentially more records but Tenacious D has seen a million faces and made sweet to love to them all. It’s easily forgotten how integral Tenacious D was in launching Jack Black into mega-stardom as an actor. Garfunkel’s acting career was meteoric in the sense that it immediately crashed into the earth. While Paul Simon’s cameo in Annie Hall didn’t suck, neither Simon nor Garfunkel, nor even John Oates’ mustache, had the cumulative sex appeal and chemistry to carry an entire Hollywood movie. Kyle Gass and Jack Black have that chemistry. Thus neither Simon & Garfunkel nor Hall & Oates have a legacy as rich as Tenacious D.

Jack Black and Kyle Gass took the stage before 25 feet of cock and balls that vaguely resembled a mythic phoenix. Along with their crack band, they grabbed on and never let go – and the hits just kept coming. One of the highlights of the festival for me was hearing thousands sing-along to “Fuck Me Gently,” as Jack Black demonstrated why he is - and I’m saying this quite seriously - one of the greatest voices in rock. He also might be the greatest frontman since John Belushi. Chris Cornell might look cooler with his shirt off, but Kyle Gass looks cooler on your t-shirt. (DMS)

Beck - Sasquatch Stage - 10:00-11:30 PM

Beck by Todd Hobert
I was a little worried during Beck’s opening salvo. I was freezing my balls off as I sat for the first time high on the hill overlooking the stage. To put it politely, I felt like Beck and his band started slow, and I had the feeling that they could have used just one more rehearsal. Sporadic feedback problems early on didn’t help, and Beck missed making a lyric here and there audible as he balanced his duties rapping with his rhythm guitar chops. There’s no doubt it was a great set. Recorded tracks flying in sax or not, five people representing the Beck catalog takes the strength of ninjas, and Beck brought grizzled Samurai. He explained preceding a run of songs from Sea Change that it was the very unit that recorded that album. With that run of songs they settled in, and I slipped back to the floor and the warmth of the crowd. By the home stretch, Canadian girls were doing the jerk to “Girl,” and by the time Beck invited Tenacious D back on stage for the encores the faithful were frenzied. It doesn’t get much better encore wise than the fest hardened final 15,000 screaming “na na na” to the cold crystal sky as Sasquatch and Jack Black screamed eye-to-eye on “E Pro.” (DMS)

Outro It’s all about how you finish the race and how you keep on fighting. My suspicions are that Canadians weathered the four days best, and I have my theories that many anchor babies were laid by enterprising American boys – the impact we will feel for generations to come. It was truly a party. As I stared down at the ground on the march to the exit, the asphalt and trail was a Technicolor wasteland dotted with cheap hipster glasses and faux Indian feathers. I couldn’t help but lift my head and crack a wistful smile of instant nostalgia as thousands broke into a spontaneous rendition of Biz Markie’s “Just a Friend.” As I finally neared the exit, the folks around me suddenly applauded as if it was their final encore - one last chance to applaud a moment that was already passing and paling in comparison, lost in the keyhole of remembrance as grainy cell phone videos and filtered web photos. As I reached my car, I turned around to hear one last mob of kids, probably Canadians (those wily survivors), cheer as they passed through the final gate. (DMS)

JamBase | Gorged
Go See Live Music!

[Published on: 6/5/12]

Take full advantage of all JamBase has to offer by signing up for an account!

You'll receive

show alerts

when your favorite artists announce shows, be eligible to enter contests for

free tickets

, gain the ability to

share your personalized live music calendar

and much more. Join JamBase!