Sasquatch! | 05.23-05.25 | The Gorge

By Team JamBase May 27, 2009 3:55 pm PDT

Words by: Court Scott & Lindsay Colip | Images by: Sean Pecknold, Christopher Nelson & Jackie Kingsbury

Sasquatch! Music Festival :: 05.23.09 – 05.25.09 :: The Gorge :: George, WA

Sasquatch 2009 by Nelson
It’s official: festival season is underway in the Pacific Northwest with the three-day Sasquatch! Music Festival held each Memorial Day at the breathtaking Gorge Amphitheatre in Washington State. With 80 bands and a dozen comedians, there was a considerable buffet for your two JamBase reporters to sample and consume. Yet with the crowd at-capacity, it was as tough to navigate the grounds as it was to stay on schedule.

Three stages – the Main Stage overlooking The Gorge, the high on the hill Wookie Stage, and the more intimate Yeti Stage – were this year augmented by a colossal manta ray-meets-clam looking white tent. Hailed as the Dance Tent, the clam revealed itself to be a prime piece of real estate, providing respite from each day’s heat and unrelenting sun, a home to comedians by day and DJs and dance oriented bands at night. Regardless of time of day, the clam was shoulder-to-shoulder, nuts-to-butts all weekend long.

The stylistic diversity of the bands was matched only by the range of concertgoers – electro-oriented dance bands, DJs, hip-hop, techno/industrial, rock, bluegrass, gypsy, folk, mope-rock, beard-rock, punk-rock and straight forward rock-rock, all bound together by their (mostly) indie and (mostly) Pacific Northwesty beginnings.

Sasquatch! has always appealed to a broad swath of people. A large part of the crowd was younger than 21, as evidenced by their lack of alcohol wristbands and their penchant for neon, a good segment was Canadian (based on license plate research) and most were Caucasian given the high percentage of sun-pinkened shoulders, backs and noses.

So there we were. Spectacular vistas, blue skies, and many, many bands on four stages with a few hundred feet of elevation gain and loss between them. And about 20,000 of our closest weekend buddies. So, let’s get on with it, shall we? (Court Scott)

Saturday :: 05.23.09

Blind Pilot

Passion Pit Sasquatch 2009 by Pecknold
Day One, Sasquatch. Around 1:30 p.m. everyone finally had their beer buzz on, the sun was high in the sky, neon body paint had been applied and Urban Outfitters shades were out in full effect. The first stop of the day was the Wookie Stage for Portland-based Blind Pilot. Israel Nebeker and Ryan Dobrowski have picked up a collection of talented musicians for this tour, giving their sound a wonderfully twangy boost. They kicked off with a new song, “White Apple,” and then went straight into hits from their first album, Three Rounds and a Sound. “The Story I Heard,” “Oviedo” and “One Red Thread” were definitely crowd-pleasing sing-and-dance alongs. It was great to see this band, who literally started off on a bike tour (trailing their instruments behind them) last summer just to see if they could do it, and have amassed a strong, loyal fan base along the way. Their album makes you want to get into a hammock with your Arnold Palmer and smile the day away. Live, they don’t disappoint, however, it’s definitely different from what you hear on the album. As I mentioned before, the sound was definitely more twangy, more country. It’ll be interesting to see if they continue down this road on their next album or stick to their perfect formula from the first album. Either way, what a great way to get into the first day of Sasquatch. (Lindsay Colip)

Passion Pit
As soon as the Blind Pilot crew left, hoards of body painted, American Apparel wearing teeny boppers flooded the Wookie Stage for Passion Pit. It was a bit of a shit show, but it was entertaining to watch. Frontman Michael Angelakos and company are getting a lot of hype, so I was really keyed to see them. When the guys took the stage, the crowd went completely wild and I couldn’t help but wonder why on earth this show wasn’t at night… or in the dance tent? People wanted to rock out and they did, but it was hard to do at 2:30 p.m. in major heat. Now, I love their first album, Chunk of Change, and I’m just getting really into their latest album, Manners, so you know I’m going into this as a fan. But, I have to say I was disappointed. Angelakos didn’t have much of a voice at all. Maybe he had screamed it out the night before in San Francisco? Maybe the dust was affecting him? At any rate, he wasn’t hitting all of the notes and the screams weren’t as charming as they are on the album. That being said, the beat was there and that was all the crowd seemed to need. They played hits “Sleepyhead” and “Smile Upon Me” but spent most of the show playing songs off the new album. Overall, I was a little bummed at the performance, but because I’m a fan I’m going to give them the benefit of the doubt and go check them out at another venue, preferably an inside venue and hopefully at night. (LC)

Animal Collective

Animal Collective Sasquatch 2009 by Pecknold
I love these guys. As I’ve said before, they are from the future for sure. If you don’t like these guys or don’t get it, it’s okay. I understand. It’s because they’re not from this time. It should become apparent in like five years that these guys are unbelievable. Talking with a lot of fans on the campgrounds, this was one of the most anticipated sets of the weekend. How would they sound live? Would their rad new album translate? They played the Main Stage (read: GORGEOUS) and for the first half of the set, kicked ass. They opened with “Summertime Clothes” and followed right up with “My Girls.” The crowd was dancing, singing, shaking, twirling, convulsing, flailing, all those wonderfully futuristic moves people do. The only drag about “My Girls” was that they never really got it going. They built and built that song and then never delivered the punch. After those two openers, they went a little more indulgent and honestly, I spaced out a bit. I think had I been in the mix down front it would’ve been mind blowing, but experienced a little ways away something was lost. I was lost. People around me were lost. Maybe I’m not as future-forward as I thought. Again, I’ll be seeing these guys another time to really get the vibe for their live show. I feel like they’re more of a light-show, crazy TV screens, Daft Punk-esque, props galore type show, and playing in the daytime where lights and screens don’t really translate, well, it didn’t blow me away. (LC)

Animal Collective
Sorry guys, you lost me. In the weeks leading up to Sasquatch! peeps were coming unglued at the prospect of this show, but in the moment it just felt really unfocused to me. They opened with their singles – nice – and then got all ambient. I don’t dislike ambient at all, but I was unsure about what kind of statement they were making. I don’t think they meant to come out and get all wussy, and I suspect in another (smaller) venue this sound would have filled the room, seeping into every space and coloring the experience beautifully, but at the vast Gorge it was less than dynamic. I know there is talent there, but I think this performance can be chalked up to a lesson in learning. (CS)

Ra Ra Riot
Back on the Yeti Stage, Ra Ra Riot was ripping it up. They are such a genuinely happy band. They all dance, smile and look like they’re having a grand ol’ time up there, which makes you feel like you’re having a grand ol’ time as well. Lead singer Wes Mile sounded great live. He has an incredibly beautiful voice and hearing it echoing through the venue was chill producing. Nothing was lost from the record The Rhumb Line to my delight and surprise. It was a great late in the day performance, playing hits like “Oh La,” “Dying is Fine” and Kate Bush’s “Suspended In Gaffa.” The sun started to set as they finished up and everyone walked away with smiles on their faces, hand in hand, arm in arm. (LC)

Mos Def

Mos Def Sasquatch 2009 by Pecknold
One of the names most commonly associated with underground hip-hop, Mos Def is perhaps better known in recent years for his acting. He’s released a number of albums on several labels, his latest, The Ecstatic, scheduled to drop on June 9. In the meantime he’s done guest spots on tracks with The Roots and Talib Kweli, among others. At Sasquatch!, bolstered by two DJs spinning records behind him, it was clear that he was in his element as a musician and performer. He came out wearing a Mardi Gras mask and long Japanese jacket, both of which he soon discarded. Mos Def seemed wildly impressed by the scenery, repeatedly telling the audience, “The dream is real. Look around!” His flow wasn’t seamless – he paused a lot – and there was zero freestyling, but he’s got a nice singing voice that he fell back on. And when he launched into “Rapper’s Delight,” the Wookie Stage’s crowd went bananas. It was just a really fun, playful set to break up the afternoon. (CS)

The Decemberists
Having just seen their show last week in San Francisco, I was curious to see if they’d be playing their new record, The Hazards of Love, from start to finish, or if they’d come out and play a bunch of hits. To my surprise, they went with their brand new album. Because this record is so new, not many people knew any of the songs. And, it’s not like these songs sounds particularly ‘Decemberists-like,’ so fans around me were definitely confused. To quickly refresh, this new album is a disturbing, dark folk tale about love, starring a woman named Margaret and her finicky shape-shifting lover. Because it’s so musical-like and because they didn’t have the benefit of power lighting and a sexy venue like the Fox Theater in Oakland to support them, it was a ballsy choice, but in the end it turned out to be a good one. Singer-songwriter Colin Meloy and company, including female vocalists Becky Stark and Shara Worden, ended up wowing the crowd. This is a good time to mention that either out of inspiration or boredom, two Sasquatch! attendees decided to drop their pants and make sweet, sweet love in front of everyone during this show. Meloy actually saw this act of love and pointed to it while laughing during one of the songs. Unfortunately for them, they were stopped by some employees, but not for a good while. Nice highlight to the day. (LC)

Bon Iver

Bon Iver Sasquatch 2009 by Pecknold
Justin Vernon makes beautiful music. His songs are sweet, sad, sweeping, gorgeous and full of angst, love and drive. People who love his sound usually fall asleep to it, cry to it, make love to it, but probably not rock out to it. His Sasquatch! performance, however, was an absolute rock & roll show. It was unbelievable. He came out with an electric guitar (what?) and jammed out the whole time. He had two drum kits on stage, multiple guitars, keys and more to amp up his sound. It was also impressive to see that every member of his band sang along with him. They all had gorgeous voices just like Vernon, slightly reminiscent of Fleet Foxes with all of their beautiful harmonizing. Vernon started the set with “Flume,” and had Shara Worden from The Decemberists sing with him. She has an unreal voice – low, haunting and powerful – and combined with Vernon’s high vocals produced ahhhs and chills. Apparently something technical was off and he wasn’t able to play the set he had originally intended, but he did manage to play “Skinny Love” and “The Wolves (Act I and II),” both of which were amazing. The best part of the performance was during “The Wolves” when he had the audience sing, “What might’ve been lost,” at the top of our lungs. It was so beautiful that people were going nuts and I thought there were going to be fireworks behind the stage, it was that powerful. This was definitely my vote for show of the day. Check out our exclusive feature/interview with Bon Iver from this week here. (LC)

Yeah Yeah Yeahs
With a brand new album, It’s Blitz!, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs are back in fighting form. Their sophomore effort, Show Your Bones, was less well received than their 2003 debut. A fan of their music, I’d never seen the Yeah3 live, but I finally get it. I totally get it. This is one of those bands that really give you a show. Vocalist Karen O is a physical powerhouse. She shimmies, kicks, struts, howls and coos with personality. Noted as a fashion forward dresser, O is the stylistic embodiment of her vocalizations – well conceived and polished, yet fun and confident. This is one of those instances when instead of being a singer, the lead vocalist is really a crucial part of their trademark sound (think Robert Plant or Eddie Vedder). The Yeah Yeah Yeahs play pretty straight ahead rock songs with fairly simple structure. The addition of guitarist Nick Zinner‘s new penchant for synthesizers creates a perfect electro-layer, complimenting and oddly softening their overall sound. Drummer Brian Chase‘s kit was positioned in front of a giant inflatable eyeball tuned on the audience. The mix on the Main Stage was great despite a little wind rolling off the Columbia River, but the band sounded primed, tight and excited to play for the large crowd assembled. The four college aged girls next to me helped me understand the draw of the band, too, as they pranced around, sang loudly to one another, interpreted lyrics and generally raved on in their leggings, DayGlo sunglasses and in-the-moment smiles. O is this generation’s Madonna (without the sour disposition and batshit crazy control issues). She’s a safe bet for longevity, equal parts sex symbol and smarty and a genuine talent, which you just can’t fake. For that, Karen O and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs get my MVP award for Saturday. (CS)

Crystal Castles

Crystal Castles Sasquatch 2009 by Nelson
I had heard the hype about this electro-disco trio from Toronto and so immediately after the Yeah Yeah Yeahs on the Main Stage, I hauled ass up the hill to the clam. I scooched my way into prime location atop the VIP riser 20-feet from the stage, flanked front and back by two speaker stacks. When the music started -a drum machine and synth track amplified by live drums – I literally thought it was the end for my eyes and ears. Thumpcrunch, thumpcrunch, thumpcrunch went the bass and snare as the crowd roared and seizure-inducing strobes pulsed at random intervals without actually providing any illumination. A sea of outstretched, flailing arms supported teenage bodies that surfaced as quickly as they’d submerge. Girls were repeatedly helped out of the mess across the stage. Saber-like light beams seemed to breach the integrity of the tent’s taut casing, and the riser I was on with 40 other people shuddered. And all that was before vocalist Alice Glass made a peep. Glass, a slight woman dressed in black with hair to match, has a helluva set of pipes on her. Somewhere between singing, moaning and shrieking, she plays the tormented lead to the letter. As the strobes were increasingly replaced by patterned LED panels, she writhed onstage, leaning forward to let the audience support her, climbing on the speaker stacks as she strutted and whipped the mic cord like a dominatrix. All of it was a bit much, like they were just trying too hard, and there was just something unoriginal about it. The sonic frenzy didn’t let up and I wasn’t really enjoying myself so much as marveling at the scene. Finally, when I couldn’t shake my sense of impending doom, I climbed down the scaffolding to escape into the relative quiet and dark of the night. (CS)

Continue reading for Sunday coverage of Sasquatch!…

Sunday :: 05.24.09

The Avett Brothers

Sasquatch 2009 by Pecknold
In this day, it can be tough to come up with a unique sound, which is why The Avett Brothers seem to be the real deal – bluegrass meets punk, Americana reinterpreted. I read of them being described as “Violent Femmes-via-the-Appalachian-Mountains,” and I can’t think of a more apt, five word description. Acoustic guitar, banjo, cello and bass create a warm, comfy sound over which the Avetts, Scott and Seth, deliver their alternately tuneful and yelpy vocals. It sounds odd, but it is unique and honest, and it completely works. It is summertime music, and given that they’re touring through late July hopefully you can check them out for yourself. Really, how often do you hear a rippin’ cello solo? Well, I heard one on Sunday at the Main Stage. (CS)

M83 played to a huge crowd Sunday night, the same wild crowd that would later rock out with of Montreal. But, before everyone could be mesmerized by futuristic craziness, they needed to take a moment to reflect on their youth, of simpler times… cue M83. Anthony Gonzalez creates beautifully melancholic, John Hughes-esque ambient pop heavy on the synths. He gave the audience everything they wanted including hits from Saturdays=Youth (he thinks Saturday is the ‘coolest day of the week for a teenager’ and that’s why it’s in the title) like “Kim & Jessie,” “Graveyard Girl,” and “Couleurs.” He also played a personal favorite, “Teen Angst,” which echoed hauntingly through The Gorge. Everyone was singing-along, swaying arm in arm with their friends, feeling the good energy that Gonzalez was putting out. It was a high point of the day, mainly because it was a break from running around, sweating and thinking about what’s next, who’s next, where to go next; it was a set that demanded your attention. It made you think about where you came from (everyone suffered teenage years and can relate) and how far you’d come to get to right where you were. Thank you for helping us all enjoy the moment. (LC)

of Montreal
While everyone else was claiming their plot of grass for NIN and Jane’s Addiction, I joined the other half of the crowd at the Wookie Stage for of Montreal. Holy Cirque de disturbing Soleil! There were animal masks, blood, acrobats, cartoon graphics, costume changes, and even a Prince cover. Frontman Kevin Barnes took the already pumped up crowd (as mentioned above, M83 kicked ass right before they came on) to the next level. Their music is catchy, weird, up-beat, Bowie-esque and dance friendly, and even if you didn’t know one song (not many people around me had ever heard of them), you were rocking out. This was truly a spectacle; a vaudeville show at its finest. The entire crowd was smiling at and laughing at Barnes and company, especially when he came out with what looked like a bear fur jacket that was smoking. At one point, musicians who had performed earlier in the day joined them onstage to play ‘paparazzi’ to the crowd, shooting our photos and pointing at us. It was weird and fun and it worked. John Vanderslice was particularly noticeable jumping around shooting fan photos. Overall, this was the best show I saw the entire day. However, I wasn’t at NIN and Jane’s, so maybe Court has something to trump me. (LC)

Nine Inch Nails

Nine Inch Nails Sasquatch 2009 by Nelson
I’ll be honest. My high school years called and they needed me to come to The Gorge. One of the biggest reasons I wanted to go to Sasquatch! was to check out NIN (and Jane’s Addiction) and experience what for years I’d heard was one helluva show. Indeed, it was one of the most aurally and visually punishing, yet completely enjoyable sets I’ve ever witnessed. 20 years after he freaked out the squares with his angry, industrial, sexually aggressive debut, Pretty Hate Machine, evil genius Trent Reznor proved he’s still got it. In spades.

Bursting forth from a dense fog rolling off the stage just before sundown with his live touring band, Reznor was immediately the center of attention. Looking and sounding good, he lapped the stage and delivered each lyric like his life depended on it. The sound was big, simple, bright and clean, boasting the industrial-meets-pop sound NIN is known for. And though his music is themed around alienation, despair and less-than-warm-and-fuzzy feelings on the vibe spectrum, Reznor seemed pretty damned happy. “This is one of my most favorite places in the world to play,” he announced with a bit of excitement.

The Main Stage was flanked with huge light banks and strobes that caused my eyes to flutter and pulse with each flick. Both the floor and The Gorge’s cavernous lawn were filled. It felt like something very special was happening, and I think it was. Reznor has said that after this tour, the band will go on ‘hiatus’ (every music fan’s least favorite phrase). Pretty Hate Machine‘s “Terrible Lie,” Downward Spiral‘s “Doesn’t It Make You Feel Better,” as well as newer, instrumental material from Ghosts I-IV was played. “Head Like A Hole” was the closer, and then, lit only by subtle stage lights and hundreds of lighters from the audience, NIN encored with a blistering “Hurt.” Out of nowhere it appeared that the audience was beamed the lyrics as nearly everyone started singing along. It was as chilling as it was beautiful, which perfectly sums up the lure of NIN’s music. (CS)


Jane’s Addiction by Nelson
Even if you’re not a dancing machine, you have to appreciate the show that Deadmau5 (aka John Zimmerman, DJ from Toronto) put on. The crowd from of Montreal ran into the dance tent to end the night jumping and fist pumping. Deadmau5 rocks the mouse helmet/mask/ears, which looks a lot like a huge version of Mickey Mouse’s famous dome. It’s visually fantastic to see a giant mouse spinning records, and even if you were in the back, you could appreciate the scene. He 100-percent slew the massive crowd. The only price to pay was you definitely had to be okay with being squished and sweated on by the masses, which from the looks of it most people were. A great end to a great day. (LC)

Jane’s Addiction Jane’s Addiction is the latest “old” band to reunite for a tour, this time with NIN. The spectacle is still there and the tunes hold up – they were f’n great 20 years ago when they were written. All the material Jane’s played Sunday night on the Main Stage was off their first two studio albums, Nothing’s Shocking and Ritual de lo Habitual. Opening with a ripping “Three Days,” complete with Dave Navarro jamming out during the extended solo, the instrumentation and mix sounded really great from my spot in the center of the floor. Bassist Eric Avery dropped strategically placed, gut rumbling bombs and was tight as could be with drummer Stephen Perkins. Seriously, the rhythm section was tops. Navarro did his shirtless schtick and I have zero complaints with that. The one weakness seemed to be lead singer Perry Farrell‘s voice, and frankly, that was the complaint I had most often heard about Jane’s reunion shows. But who cares? He seemed to be using some sort of looping device to extend the notes and my feeling is it’s fine; at least he knows his limits. His delivery was slower and the phrasing emphasized different lyrics than back in the day.

Farrell conducted the show, proving he’s still one serious showman. He drank from a bottle of wine, at one point, jumped down into the barricade in front of the stage and gave sips to some fans. Farrell seemed honestly pleased to be at The Gorge and did his best to bond with the crowd.

Most of the songs were preceded by a few sentences of banter, which was initially directed at the men. There was a lot of talk about penises, snakes and fucking. I mean a lot. But, it took me a few songs to realize they were introductions to songs, and though it was cheesy, again, it was okay because a lot of Jane’s songs are about sex. I was happy to be there to hear a lot of my favorite songs played live and loud. Highlights included “Whores,” “Pigs In Zen,” a thunderous “Mountain Song” and a funk-tinged “Ocean Sized.” The audience at-large seemed to enjoy the singles “Been Caught Stealing” and “Stop!” off Ritual. It was a good show and a solid delivery, but it felt like maybe the performance wasn’t all that different from previous stops on this tour. (CS)

Continue reading for Monday coverage of Sasquatch!…

Monday :: 05.25.09

Grizzly Bear

Grizzly Bear Sasquatch 2009 by Pecknold
Out of all the shows this day, this was the one I was most excited about, purely because I think their new record, Veckatimest, is amazing and wonderfully bananas. Grizzly Bear comes out of Brooklyn, NY, and the guys are Daniel Rossen (songwriting/guitar), Chris Taylor (bass/woodwinds/electronics/vocals), Ed Droste (songwriting/guitar) and Christopher Bear (drums/vocals). I was anxious to see if the crowd was going to be receptive to them seeing how their sound is pretty unique. They fall more into the Fleet Foxes realm, using heavy reverb and operatic voices to seduce us. Not really dancing music, not particularly singing-along music, more not really sure what the hell they’re doing but, man, they’re doing it right music. To my delight, the crowd loved them. And, they even knew lyrics! They sounded gorgeous as each of the four guys graced us with their beautiful voices, each interesting, complimentary and unique to the others. Taylor used his voice as his main instrument, hitting high, chill-producing notes without a lot of dialogue, while Rossen and Droste glided us through each track. This was the perfect venue for these guys, and even better that it was during the day when the sun was shining. They don’t need light shows, props or costumes; they just need you to pay attention, because trust me, what they’re saying is worth the listen. (LC)

Santigold, aka Santi White, and her new band took over the Main Stage for the biggest dance party yet. Even though they’ve only played four shows together, they rocked it like a well-oiled ’80s dance/funk/soul/pop machine. She was all suited up in a fantastically late ’80s one-piece jumpsuit, and had two SG-1s (as she called them) flanking her, each wearing gold coats, tight braids and funky eyewear. They played a nice, fat set including all of her hits, and the crowd danced and sang along. She even invited twelve lucky fans onstage for a big dance party for the last song. It was 3 p.m. and hot as oven mitts, but the crowd was on fire and enjoying every second of it. If you feel like a good dance party with some interesting and daring wardrobe choices, Santigold is a must see. (LC)

Blitzen Trapper

Fleet Foxes Sasquatch 2009 by Pecknold
Playing most of their songs off new album Furr, Blitzen Trapper killed it at the Wookie Stage. These guys are so entertaining to watch. They look like they come from completely different walks of life (as in, you’d most likely never put these six together as a cohesive looking unit), but their musical goals are the same. They all come together for the purpose of making foot tapping, head bopping, campfire sing along music – a sound that fits perfectly with the themes of Sasquatch!, i.e. camping, friends, cold beer, the Earth, livin’ a lil’ dusty, wearing plaid, chopping wood (no actual evidence of wood being chopped here this weekend, but for some reason Blitzen Trapper make me want to split logs). Songs like “Black River Killer,” “Furr,” “Not Your Lover Anymore” and “Wild Mountain Nation” were crowd favorites. Lead singer Eric Earley treated us to the harmonica on a few songs as well. Overall, they looked like they really belonged here at The Gorge, so much so that I think we might’ve seen them at their absolute best. (LC)

Fleet Foxes
Lastly for this scribe, the band that was MADE to sing at the Main Stage at The Gorge, FLEET FOXES! Sorry for the all-caps but these guys are from another planet and deserve the props. The setting for their set was breathtaking, even more breathtaking than when anyone else played for some reason. Maybe because seeing The Gorge makes you believe in something bigger than yourself, and that’s exactly what Robin Pecknold and company do. If you close your eyes and listen to them for just one chorus you just might open those orbs and find yourself sitting on a cloud. At least that’s how you feel – weightless, above ground, cottony. The crowd sang along to “White Winter Hymnal,” “Ragged Wood” and “Blue Ridge Mountains,” and also got a glimpse of two new songs as well. I had the highest expectations of this band because of the perfect venue match, and they didn’t disappoint. These guys have an amazing future ahead of them, lucky for us. (LC)

Girl Talk Sasquatch 2009 by Nelson
Girl Talk
Sealing the proverbial deal on Monday night at the Wookie Stage and the clam were the one-two punch of mash-up master, Girl Talk, nee Gregg Gillis, and Canadian duo, Chromeo. It seemed that everyone still at the festival was at these events rather than at the Main Stage for Erykah Badu and Ben Harper and Relentless7, and that was perfectly indicative of the entire weekend. There were tons of people at Sasquatch! who were there to dance their faces off and conversely, there was the folkie vibe. Each day as I looked out at the crowd, I marveled at the irony of bands acoustic, or at least further down the folk spectrum, playing to crowds ready to rage. The Decemberists and Animal Collective are cases in point. But it was the electro-pop bands that stole the weekend and got the crowds off and gave them the communal party vibe that festivals cultivate. At the Girl Talk set the audience was fully and undeniably engaged. Balloons abound, peeps dancing on the stage and Gillis all over the place; it felt like an exercise in reciprocation, and dare I say mutual masturbation. This set was the reward for people who were in it for the long haul. The music moved so fast it was hard to track, but the past 30 years’ hits were all represented. Gillis, on his super-fun albums, Unstoppable, Night Ripper, and most recently 2008’s Feed the Animals, matches bands and beats you’d NEVER think to put together. It’s all unauthorized sampling, but before you can name that cut, it’s gone. I can’t imagine hearing music the way he must; it is a true gift, and thankfully he shared it with us. (CS)

Explosions In The Sky
After Girl Talk’s high octane, dance-your-face-off, gongshow set, it was time to relax a little with Explosions In The Sky. I have to say, the Wookie Stage at sunset is unbeatable. Bon Iver and of Montreal had killed it the previous nights, so I was excited to see if Explosions would have the same magical effect. They did. Most everyone spread out blankets, put on hoodies, and took to laying on the ground for this performance. Lots of staring up into the night sky, lazily smoking cigarettes, reminiscing on the weekend’s debauchery all the while Explosions providing the perfect backdrop soundtrack. At some points they really kicked it into high gear, with loud guitars and big drums, but mostly they stayed inside sprawling cinematic soundscapes. These guys provoke thought and emotion unlike any other… maybe Sigur Ros, okay definitely Sigur Ros, but that’s about it. Several people around me were referencing Friday Night Lights (the movie) as the place they first heard this beautiful music, and to their delight, Explosions played some songs from the soundtrack. They also provide the theme song to FNL (the TV show) in case you’re jonesing for more. This set was the absolute best way to end the day, and more importantly, get you rested up for what was to come next… Chromeo DJ set, uh oh! (LC)


Dance Tent Sasquatch 2009 by Nelson
The final set at the dance clam was a continuation of the party across the field at Girl Talk. People simply raged it on over 200 yards to the west. Childhood friends, Montreal DJs P-Thugg and Dave 1 closed out Sasquatch! with a monster set of their ’80’s inspired “electrofunk.” Spilling forth from the clam, this show, similar to Girl Talk, appeared to give the people what they wanted. If you frequent the television, you’ve probably heard Chromeo and didn’t know it; their music has been in loads of commercials. Synthesizer-heavy, beat-friendly, and utterly pleasing to the ears. I can’t tell you any of the names of the tunes, but they will undoubtedly be coursing through my brain for days to come.

I guess the Powers That Be booked these two bands for the last night in the hopes of keeping people at the festival longer, but these shows should have been Sunday night, and they should have gone until 2 a.m., or at least past 11 p.m. I feel badly for ubertalents Badu and Harper, playing to diminished crowds, but hopefully next year’s festival will learn from this one’s scheduling weirdness and people will get what they want all weekend long. (CS)

Continue reading for more pics of Sasquatch!…

Sasquatch 2009 by Pecknold
Sasquatch 2009 by Pecknold
Sasquatch 2009 by Pecknold
Sasquatch 2009 by Pecknold
Avett Brothers Sasquatch 2009 by Pecknold
Heartless Bastards Sasquatch 2009 by Nelson
BLK JKS Sasquatch 2009 by Nelson
Blitzen Trapper Sasquatch 2009 by Nelson
Gogol Bordello Sasquatch 2009 by Nelson
Grizzly Bear Sasquatch 2009 by Nelson
Kings of Leon Sasquatch 2009 by Pecknold
Kings of Leon Sasquatch 2009 by Pecknold
Dance Tent Sasquatch 2009 by Pecknold

Continue reading for more pics of Sasquatch!…

Sasquatch 2009 by Pecknold
Sasquatch 2009 by Nelson
Fleet Foxes Sasquatch 2009 by Pecknold
M. Ward Sasquatch 2009 by Pecknold
Murder City Devils Sasquatch 2009 by Kingsbury
Sasquatch 2009 by Pecknold
Sasquatch 2009 by Pecknold
of Montreal Sasquatch 2009 by Kingsbury
of Montreal Sasquatch 2009 by Kingsbury
Bon Iver Sasquatch 2009 by Pecknold
Sasquatch 2009 by Pecknold
Jane’s Addiction Sasquatch 2009 by Pecknold
Jane’s Addiction Sasquatch 2009 by Pecknold

Continue reading for even more pics of Sasquatch!…

Santigold Sasquatch 2009 by Pecknold
St. Vincent Sasquatch 2009 by Nelson
Street Sweeper Social Club Sasquatch 2009 by Nelson
Silversun Pickups Sasquatch 2009 by Pecknold
Monotonix Sasquatch 2009 by Nelson
King Khan & the Shrines Sasquatch 2009 by Nelson
Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! Sasquatch 2009 by Nelson
TV on the Radio Sasquatch 2009 by Pecknold
Explosions in the Sky Sasquatch 2009 by Pecknold
Erykah Badu Sasquatch 2009 by Nelson
Ben Harper and Relentless7 Sasquatch 2009 by Nelson
Sasquatch 2009 by Pecknold
Sasquatch 2009 by Pecknold

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